If you’re renovating or building a new kitchen, you might want to consider the addition of timber benchtops for show-stopping aesthetics combined with functionality.
According to the 2021 Houzz & Home AUSTRALIA report, kitchens were the most renovated room in Australian homes across 2018–2020. They also attracted the biggest median spend of all interior room renovations across the same timeframe.
Of course, updating, modernising or replacing your kitchen is one of the highest-profit-returning renovations you can do in your home. Kitchen renovations add enormous appeal and value to your property, and can return as much as five or six times the dollar value.
Here at Osnem Projects, we have many years’ experience converting tired or difficult kitchens into modern, functional beauties. Trends come and go, but timeless design will always look good. And it may surprise you to hear that timber is one of the best features you can add to your kitchen.
Using Timber in Your Kitchen
If you’ve ever been in a kitchen built in the 70s, you might feel quite strongly that timber – that is bare, brown cabinets and benchtops – should be left in the 70s. But actually, timber can add a beautiful element to any kitchen. There is a warmth and organic beauty to natural timber that you simply won’t get from any other material. And for the kitchen – which is the heart of the home – this can work very well.
In fact, one of the standout features we have had the pleasure of building recently were timber kitchen benchtops in a renovation at The Gap.
How to Renovate with Timber Kitchen Benchtops – The Gap Renovation
We were so thrilled to be able to use timber kitchen benchtops in this 301sqm four-bedroom, two-bathroom house in The Gap, Brisbane. The home already offered plenty of potential, so the owners asked our team to help them take it to the next level.
The low-set, brick-veneer, timber-framed home benefitted from a full interior renovation, with an internal wall removed, new timber flooring and carpet laid throughout, and all electrical fixtures, architraves, skirting boards, internal doors and hardware replaced. The bathroom, ensuite, walk-in robe and laundry all underwent a complete transformation, showcasing modern finishes and custom joinery.
But it was the kitchen that really set us alight. It already featured dated timber cabinetry and the owners wanted to retain the warmth and light that timber brings, but with a modern, clean feel. So, our team sourced 60mm-thick Ana Caspi timber slabs the benchtops and one solid piece of 3300mm x 1200mm timber for the kitchen island bench.
Working with timber for benchtops can be tricky. The size, weight and cost of the timber created challenges. And we wanted to be sure to retain the beauty of the grain and the organic feeling of the wood, while allowing for contemporary conveniences. We precision cut the kitchen sink space, delicately squared off the corners and straightened edges. We used resin to fill in any uneven spaces to create a smooth finish perfect for benchtops. And we finished the project with a satin clear 2pac coating over the top to ensure that the lustre and magnificence of the wood itself shown through.
The owners were thrilled with the results – and so were we.
Benefits of Timber Kitchen Benchtops
Of course timber kitchen benchtops can be beautiful if any home. With the colour variations and modern technology, they can be made to beautifully complement both modern and traditional homes – and everything in between.
The benefits of timber in the kitchen are many:
- Stunning visual appeal
- Variations in texture and colour offer a unique point of difference
- Wide range of timber types and cuts to choose from
- When maintained well, timber can last a long time
- Can source recycled timber for increased sustainability and reduced cost
- Can be repurposed when no longer needed as a benchtop, e.g. as a shelf
- Classic, timeless look
Considerations to Keep In Mind
There are considerations to keep in mind when using timber for benchtops:
- It does require consistent maintenance. You’ll need to reseal them every two years or so, and minimise the effects of heat and moisture. That means not placing hot pans directly onto their surface and being aware of steam that might be coming from the oven or stovetop. You’ll also have to be careful of stains. (For example, don’t chop beetroot directly on the surface!)
- It is more vulnerable. Because it has a softer surface it’s more vulnerable to scratches, chipping and staining.
Give It a Try!
At the end of the day, if you’re willing to take a little more care, timber kitchen benchtops are well worth the investment for the beauty and warmth they bring to your kitchen.