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Oak vs Beech worktops - is Oak worth the Premium?

Discussion in 'Wood / Woodwork / Carpentry' started by wau5, 21 May 2017.

  1. wau5

    wau5

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    I wanted to get 2 oak worktops ( about £150/each unfinished for a bit better quality 40mm wide staves),
    however I got offered 2 beech worktops now for £62/each which seems like a bargain.
    This is for rather low budget kitchen refurb and I'm making everything myself but wanted to get better worktops which will last and look better.

    It sounds tempting and they obviously look almost the same when finished, however.. have never worked with beech so not sure how good wood it is?
    What are the main differences really? Is it as or nearly as durable as oak? Does it ages well?
     
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  3. chappers

    chappers

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    Beech definitely won't be as hard as the oak, but then they are completely different, they won't look the same, the beech will be loads lighter in colour that the oak
     
  4. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    Oak has one major problem, IMHO. It can stain very badly if people insist on leaving damp cast iron or steel pots and pans on it. From an installation point of view it is also a lot harder on edge tools
     
  5. The oak worktops could make a cheap kitchen refurb look great, or look completely out of character, so it's difficult to comment without seeing the kitchen and the units. As long as it's well sealed, beech will be just as durable. Oak requires stainless steel screws, but I'm not sure about beech though.
     
  6. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    Oak, mahogany and walnut all contain largish amounts of tannin which is why you need to use stainless steel screws with them, ideally

    (Quick chemistry lesson: Tannin + water = tannic acid. Tannic acid + iron or steel = black ferrous oxide or black rust. Stainless steel isn't reactive like mild steel)
     
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  7. foxhole

    foxhole

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    I used thinner but cheaper oak ( £90. +vat) for cheap kitchen refurb.
     
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