How To Properly Take Care Of Wood Kitchen Countertops
Do you want to install kitchen countertops made out of wood? That is great since you can find so many options, ranging from oak to walnut. Practically, most wood types can be used to create kitchen countertops.
A big part of the appeal is that we have a natural surface that is capable of adding warmth to the space. We do want our kitchens to be warm since we spend a lot of time inside (if we cook that is).
Unfortunately, it is not so easy to take care of wood kitchen countertops. The fact that the surface is natural is a problem. Wood has specific problems that every homeowner needs to be aware of. Because of this, you should know about the following care tips.
Understand Wood Care
The very first thing to understand is that wood needs attention. You have to know and acknowledge this before you buy anything. Most wood countertops stand out. They are beautiful but extra care will be necessary. If you want wood to remain beautiful, you need to put in the needed work.
Allow For Wood Movement
This is something most people do not know. Wood is practically a living product. Due to this, it reacts to the room’s moisture level. Wood kitchen countertops will expand and contract when room humidity and temperature change. Solid wood size can easily shift up to 5 millimeters when the depth is the standard of 60 centimeters.
Whenever you decide what size the countertops need to have you need to take this movement into account. Also, avoid flush finish. Simply put, avoid any finish that would be affected by wood movement.
Wood Needs To Be Protected
Speaking about finish, initial wood preparation and oiling is a very important thing for kitchen countertops. Oiling helps to make finish stronger. When everything is done correctly, not much refinishing is necessary in the future.
Kitchen countertops made out of wood have to be sanded. This is what offers the smooth finish you most likely know. After, they have to be oiled. Using many light coats is much better than adding fewer thick coats. This is because the oil dries and is actually soaked right into the wood. As a result, natural wood tones become richer and a natural resistance to stains and water is developed.
Routine Wood Kitchen Countertop Treatment
You have to treat wood kitchen countertops around 2 to 3 times per year. It is important to be careful when you get rid of oily cloths because many oils cause problems. Instructions offered by manufacturers have to be respected at all times.
In the very first year after you buy the countertops, you should oil more. Once after 14 days, then after 30 days, after 3 months and after half a year. Whenever you notice some places that are worn or dry, use oil. Do this during the night so oil can properly dry until morning.
Simple Cleaning Works Great
Wood countertops rarely need special cleaning products. You just need to avoid the chemicals that would hurt the finish or the wood. Something as simple as soapy water is usually enough, as long as you properly wipe the countertops after finishing. Water should not sit on the surface of the wood kitchen countertop.
Make sure you avoid the abrasive cleaning agents, concentrated detergents, concentrated soaps and scouring pads. They can so easily damage wood.
Remove Scratches And Stains
Do not worry if you stain or scratch wooden countertops. The smaller marks and scratches are normally really easy to be removed. You just need some light sanding and then polishing. Wood countertop manufacturers often offer a maintenance kit that includes maintenance oil, polishing pads and sandpaper.
One of the great things about choosing wood is that even when it is worn out, you can sand it back and then refinish it. Do not just replace it. See if you can make it look better.
Carefully Protect The Area Around The Sink
You have to be really careful with the area around the sink since this is where most water can end up damaging the wood. No problems appear if you oil the area properly but you still need to check from time to time. The underside of your sink has to be properly sealed, especially around the basin area.
As you can easily notice, there are some really important things to take into account whenever you have kitchen countertops made out of wood. Unfortunately, most people just ignore maintenance tasks. Do not make this mistake.
Do you have tips for maintaining and installing wood countertops? Make sure to share them in the comments section below.
Featured image from: Maryland Wood Countertops