Modern families tend to spend a great deal of time, both cooking and socializing, in the kitchen. As more and more materials are used in the construction of ever more elaborate and versatile kitchens, never has it been more important to give thought to the pros and cons of each material.
Here we look at stone and wood, two mainstay materials of the kitchen, and investigate how and why you might consider using them in your kitchen.
Both contemporary and modern styles make use of wood and stone. Wood and stone both have organic texture and offer a counterpoint to plain minimal surfaces used elsewhere. Contrast can be created with a totally plain white high gloss cabinet scheme with wood flooring or a stone worktop. Likewise, all wood cabinetry can be paired with stone worktop in a contemporary farmhouse style kitchen.
Contrasting styles. The kitchen above makes use of contemporary clean feel in white. The kitchen below offers a classic luxury feel. Both feature stone heavily.
Source : MKW Surface
These next two kitchens feature wooden work surfaces. Bothfeature similar colour schemes (light and dark) but made use of shape to create very different styles.
Source : Bordercraft
The natures of wood and stone mean that, from a hygiene perspective, they are treated differently. Clean wooden worktops with a damp cloth. While the wood will score with tiny cuts and scratches, due to the physical properties of wood, germs will pass through into the lower layers of wood where they are less of a danger. Stone will come sealed and as such can be cleaned with very diluted soap and water or a mild alcohol/water mix. Specialist stone cleaners are available.
Both surfaces can be damaged, but wood is the more likely to become dented or scratched. Dents in wood can be eased out with careful use of water and/or heat. Scraches and stains in wood can sometimes be removed without resorting to sanding, but a total re-sand is an option as a last resort. Stone may stain or crack; the latter needing a specialist. Stains in stone can sometimes be dealt with by soaking or rubbing with stain-specific stone cleaners.
Wood and stone need regular treatment. Wood will need to be re-oiled and stone will be need to be re-sealed. Depending on the type of surface you can expect to have to perform maintenance on them once or twice a year. The good news is that this tender loving care will result in a fair chance that your chosen surface will last a lifetime.
About the Author: Jon Buck has been managing director at Bordercraft for nearly twenty years. During this time he has overseen projects from a single drawer front through to a complete Oak panelled office for a Japanese multi-national corporation. Jon is a keen runner and loves travel and red wine in equal measure. You can connect with Jon at Bordercraft on Facebook.