Is a beech worktop right for your kitchen? Your top 5 FAQs about beech answered

When you are deciding to refurbish your kitchen and have chosen to use a wooden worktop, you will probably have a few questions.

Of course, the primary queries will probably revolve around cost, but when it comes to choosing the perfect wooden worktop, there is a compare and contrast exercise that needs to be undertaken, so you can choose the perfect wood for your kitchen.

While not as well known as oak, a beech worktop from the UK may be just the wood you are looking for. Its golden honey colour makes it easy to contrast with other designs, and its price can make it more practical if you are wanting to makeover your kitchen on a budget.

But how does it compare to more traditional materials, such as oak or walnut worktops? Here, some of the most commonly asked questions about beech countertops are answered, to help you determine if they are the right accompaniment to your kitchen design.

Is it durable?

Even if you are not a chef in the kitchen, you will want a worktop that can handle pressure, water, wine spills and of course, heat.

And if it is maintained correctly, beech is indeed a durable wood. In fact, many experts refer to it as a hard-wearing wood, meaning that it doesn’t lose its strength with repeated use and ensuring it will be as strong 15 years from now as it was when it was first installed.

Is it rot-proof?

No wooden worktop is completely rot-proof and in order to keep your beech countertop in workable order, you need to take good care of it.

This will include keeping water and spills to a minimum and ensuring that the surface is sealed with an antimicrobial and antibacterial varnish.

Is it as antibacterial as oak?

Yes, it is.

Like any tree that is native to the UK, beech has evolved to be resistant to humidity based bacteria or water-based microbes. However, in a kitchen, it will be exposed to higher levels of humidity and a denser concentration of water than it would be in its natural environment, making it more susceptible to these problems. And so, in order to keep it bacteria resistant, it will need an antibacterial varnish applied to it every 6-8 weeks.

How do I maintain it?

Like many other wooden based worktops, beech is best maintained by keeping it dry, varnishing it every 6 weeks with Danish oil and applying some regular buffing!

If you notice a scratch or dent in your beech countertop, simply use a handheld sander to buff out the imperfection, and then apply varnish to the area. If you wish, you can stain the beech, but be sure that the staining agent used is compatible with this wood type or it may appear blotchy, spoiling the finish.

How long will a beech work surface last?

With the aforementioned maintenance tips (and any others as recommended by the supplier), your beech countertop can last well over 30 years. Just be sure to keep it varnished!