Please read the installation and aftercare information below; following these instructions will ensure that your solid wood worktop provides years of optimum service. These guides are also available in PDF format - click here to view.
Wooden Worktop Installation Guide
Important Note: Before making any cuts or customisations, please identify the 'A' and 'B' sides of your worktop. The 'A' side of a worktop has a smooth, even surface, and must face upwards. The 'B' side may contain some small, naturally-occurring imperfections (which do not compromise the strength of the wood), and the surface is slightly rougher. For worktops that have had customisations or pre-oiling prior to delivery, the 'A' and 'B' sides will already be labelled, and they will be ready to install.
As beautiful as our wooden work surfaces are, the innate qualities of timber as a material mean that there several important considerations - most importantly - heat, humidity and moisture.
For example, the moisture content in wood is directly related to the relative humidity within the air. If the relative humidity is high, so is the moisture content in the wood, causing the wood to expand. On the contrary, when the relative humidity is low, the moisture content in the wood decreases (leading to it retracting and shrinking in size). So, before, during, and after installation, the worktop is prone to gain or lose moisture which often leads to many problems such as bowing or warping.
This installation guide has been designed to help you safely and correctly install your worktop. The guide also gives valuable insight into the proper maintenance programme for this product. It is advisable to read these instructions carefully and file in a safe place so that you might consult this document in future.
We strongly recommend that your worktops are oiled as soon as possible after delivery in order to gain the best finish. However, if this is not possible for any reason, please be advised that correct storage is equally important.
Firstly, do not remove the packaging; rather lay the worktops down flat (but not directly onto the floor.) If there is more than one worktop to store, it will be necessary to place battens between each surface. These supply the worktops with full support, removing any pressure that may cause damage (see the diagram below for visual guidance.)
- A consistent temperature (not too warm and not too cold.)
- A stable humidity.
- Cabinets and carcasses must be fully fitted.
- There should be no debris or dust in the surrounding areas.
- Wet trades should be completed with enough time provided for natural drying.
- Fresh plaster should have completely dried - a minimum of 6 weeks.
Preparation for installation
Before you consider installing your new worktops, you must ensure that all surfaces - edges and faces - have been oiled at least three times to allow for maximum protection. Between 6-8 hours is needed in between each coat of oil. Moreover, we strongly recommend the use of Rustins Danish Oil to achieve the perfect finish. Make sure that any excess oil has been wiped away no more than 30 minutes after application, to avoid staining and to ensure that no streaks are left behind. Once this has been completed you are ready for installation.
NOTE: Cut edges and end grain absorb larger amounts during the oiling process; it is therefore important to apply a further coat to these areas for an even tone overall.
To allow enough room for the worktop to expand and contract make sure that there is a 4-5mm gap between any adjacent walls and units, and the worktop edges. This is particularly important if you are installing the worktop against a wall.
If you are installing the work surface near a freestanding oven (i.e. a range cooker) then please allow at least a 30mm gap around the work top. This is to prevent any damage to the worktop and also helps to protect the end grain.
A moisture barrier is essential if an appliance is going to be fixed underneath any worktop, or if it is being fixed directly onto exposed brickwork. This is to protect the worktop against any extremities of heat or humidity. Instructions regarding the fitting of a moisture barrier can be found within this guide - please read on.
NOTE: For a 620mm worktop, the maximum unsupported overhang is 200mm, with other worktop sizes being calculated on a pro-rata basis. E.g. a 960mm wide worktop recommended overhang would be 110mm. It is also advised that in some cases the application of a support leg(s) is necessary for secure installation.
Fixing worktop to cabinets:
If you are fixing your worktop to a cabinet, then you should only use a slotted angle bracket and a round head screw for fixing. Do not use an unslotted bracket, even if it is supplied with your cabinet (this could cause significant problems with your worktop as there is no room allowed for expansion and contraction). Be sure to choose the slot in the bracket that runs perpendicular to the width of the worktop - across the grain, not parallel to it.
Some circumstances mean that slotted brackets cannot be used (cabinets that have a solid top, for instance, or when they can only be secured through the cross rail). If this is the case then an oversized hole of around 8-10mm needs to be drilled through the carcass top and secure worktop by using a large washer and screw. Like the slotted bracket, this allows for expansion and contraction as the work surface is able to slide over the washer.
It is important that you do not directly screw through the carcass and into the worktop, or use fixing blocks to secure. The methods we have recommended here should be followed.
If you are not covering the expansion gap with tiling or silicone, then we suggest that you fit an upstand along with the worktop. This must be fitted to the wall rather than the worktop.
Worktops and masonry features:
It is important that you do not fix your wooden worktop directly into masonry. To prevent moisture transference and to allow adequate air circulation to be received under the worktop, 6-10mm thick timber spacers should be fitted on a Damp Proof Membrane (DPM) (See diagram for visual guidance.)
Cutting & routing worktops:
As a guide to cutting worktops, we strongly recommend that you use any templates that have been supplied with your sink/hob or similar items. To avoid any mis-cuts or unnecessary damage, ensure that everything has been marked out correctly.
Drainer grooves should be created by an experienced fitter - if they are angled incorrectly and the water is unable to properly drain away, the worktop can split.
If you are fitting a sink, the area around the work surface and sink join must be sealed with a suitable mould-resistant silicone after installation, with the underside receiving a particularly thorough application. Immediately after cutting your worktop, be sure to coat any cut edges with plenty of oil for the best finish.
NOTE: Cut outs must be bench-cut using a jig plus suitable router (and not a jig saw). Our staff are happy to help you if you need further advice regarding the required equipment.
Installing your moisture barrier:
Moisture barriers are important pieces of equipment - they protect your worktop from any moisture that may damage it when appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines are installed. Simple but necessary! Before installation you will need:
- a moisture barrier
- moisture barrier tape (these two items are provided when you order a moisture barrier from us)
- a general purpose silicon sealant (you will need to buy this separately.)
Following these step-by-step instructions will allow you to install your moisture barrier correctly and safely:
The moisture barrier should now be firmly attached to the underside of your worktop.
When two worktops are being joined together you will need to use three standard worktop bolts on each joint. Seal the end grain (at both sides) using a suitable sealer - we suggest something like MitreSeal works best - before making the joint. When the parts are tightened, you will need to seal again.
Often we recommend only using the butt joints. This does not apply, however, to a worktop that has a radius. In this case a mitre joint needs to be used. If this is the case please ensure that the 'hockey stick' doesn't exceed the 10mm bull-nose radius (see diagram below for visual guidance.)
How to seal corner joints:
Before the joints are assembled, make sure that any visible end grain is sealed.
- Clear, low modulus silicone seal needs to be applied to one side of the joint - slightly below top surfaces and edges.
- Before you clamp them together with the worktop bolts, ensure that the two sides are aligned and even using biscuits. If you haven't done so already, excess sealant should be wiped off now to avoid permanent staining.
- Move your worktops into place and position them with around 4-5mm gap between any edges, ends of the tops and the walls (this is important to allow room for expansion and contraction).
Should the work surface become cupped or bowed, a different installation method is required - or you may need to re-install the worktop. This may have been a result of moisture differences on site or a period of lengthy/incorrect storage.
- Fix the length of the rear of the worktop to the supporting base units.
- Gently and slowly pull the worktop downwards using clamps and battens.
- Once these first two steps have been completed, screw down the front.
NOTE: please be patient - it may take 1-2 weeks for the worktop to return to its flat shape.
In order to offer your worktop the best protection and finish, please oil after installation. We recommend Rustins Danish Oil - you can purchase this directly from us.
After successful installation, lightly sand the worktop with fine sandpaper. Before the final coat of oil is applied, make sure that there is no dust on the surface by running over it with a dry cloth or a tack rag.
Spread the oil over the work surface, leaving around 30 minutes of soaking. Make sure all areas are covered - reapply more oil to any dry patches you can see.
After 30 minutes, wipe away any excess oil so there is a dry, even finish. Leave for around 6-8 hours to completely dry and repeat this process 4 or 5 times for a perfect finish.
NOTE: The time required for drying may vary depending on the conditions of the room and the temperature.
Here are some final tips on maintaining the quality of your solid wood worktop:
When cleaning your worktop, take a small amount of hot water and soap, and wipe down with a lint-free cloth. Any cleaning products containing chemicals can damage the worktop so therefore should not be used. Avoid scouring pads.
If liquid is allowed to pool on the surface of the worktop, this will lead to staining and can even cause the wood to split. Spilt liquid should be immediately wiped up using a clean, dry cloth.
Due to their natural qualities, your worktop needs that extra bit of protection - particularly against items such as hot pots and pans. Our stainless steel hotrods would be advisable for preventing damage from such items. Hot, wet, or dirty objects, along with most metal vessels (cans, iron, copper or steel containers) should also not come into direct contact with your worktop.
Avoid cutting directly on the surface of the wood - you will only damage your beautiful kitchen worktop. Use a chopping board or butcher's block instead: it's much safer!
This is essential in protecting the quality of your timber worktop, as well as improving its durability. Protection does not take long to build up; however, the wood does require extra care and attention during the first few weeks.
You will know if your worktop is well-oiled as a 'surface sheen' will develop and water - if allowed to touch the surface - will form into droplets. If this isn't the case, your worktop requires re-oiling.
For the first six weeks, the worktop should be treated with Danish Oil once a week. After that, we suggest re-oiling every three months (approximately).
IF THESE INSTALLATION AND AFTERCARE INSTRUCTIONS ARE NOT FOLLOWED, YOUR PRODUCT WARRANTY WILL BE VOIDED.