Is a beech kitchen top as hardy as an oak one? A comparison of these two woods

When you are choosing a sturdy wood for your kitchen, it can seem like the most obvious choice is going to be a hardy wood, which will be able to take the pressure of everyday life such as staining and heat.

And if you are a bit cautious and conservative, the wood you would choose would be oak.

But there are many other kinds of wood which can offer the same robustness as an oak surface, and add a different hue to your kitchen without that high price tag. In modern-day designs, many people are choosing more striking woods, such as mahogany to furnish their kitchens. Even a beech worktop UK is now becoming much more commonplace!

But does beech offer all of the same advantages as oak? Here, these two kinds of wood are compared concerning making a suitable kitchen countertop.

Scorch/heat

When in their natural form, there are few (if any!) woods which are scorch or heat resistant.

However, once the wood has been processed by a skilled craftsperson for use in a kitchen, each type will have a scorch and heat resistant layer applied synthetically.

In this regard, both an oak and a beech worktop are hardy when it comes to deflecting heat and scorch marks, meaning that you will be able to place a frying pan onto your beech worktop without worrying about leaving a burn mark.

Staining

Like heat resistance, woods are naturally porous and so, they must undertake sanding and varnishing to make them stain resistant.

Again, in this regard, both oak and beech are equally matched although depending on the maintenance, a beech surface may be more prone to showing darker stains like coffee. So, keep those surfaces oiled for maximum stain-resistance!

Repairs

home maintenance

Woods, in general, are exceedingly easy to repair; if there is a crack in the surface, an application or beeswax can cover the crack. If the damage runs deeper, you can simply sand the surface down.

As beech has such a unique colouring, it can be a bit trickier to find an exact match in waxes, and so, many people choose to use synthetic fillers when repairing these surfaces. But beech is an easy wood to repair and so, when compared to oak, it has no immediate shortcomings.

Maintenance

As mentioned earlier, if you want to keep a wooden work surface in prime condition, you will need to maintain it to prevent stains from forming or to prevent it from appearing dull.

Beech will require oiling every 4-6 weeks to keep it stain proof, liquid resistant and hygienic. For this, it is recommended that you use an oil such as danish oil to keep the surface workable.

Once again, this is a general rule across all wooden surfaces, so it bears little difference to oak.

Longevity

Despite beech being more affordable than oak in many cases, it is a surprisingly durable and hardy wood. It is attractive and appealing in appearance and if maintained, it can last up to 20 years plus!

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