General information about our wooden islands, worktops and breakfast bars
Earthy Timber’s worktops, breakfast bars, kitchen islands and shelves are premium quality products made to order to the highest standards. Our solid wood counter tops are sourced from renewable and responsibly managed woodlands. Every worktop, bar, breakfast bar or an island is made to measure to your specifications.
We supply work surfaces with different levels of service including one or any combination of the following: timber cut-to-size, timber machined (PAR), finished with cut outs and joints, raw and character finished with resin, finished with brass, finished with aluminium, finished with copper, square edged, finished with a choice of bespoke edging, raw edge (otherwise called live edge, waney edge or natural edge), sandblasted, sanded and oiled ready for installation.
Since all our wooden bars, worktops, islands, shelves are bespoke, orders cannot be cancelled once we have accepted them for production and sent you confirmation of the order.
Our solid wood worktops are manufactured from English and European hardwood planks and slabs. If planks are jointed on the width, they are bonded using moisture resistant B3 or B4 glue, sanded to 120 grit. Our wooden counter tops can be either collected or delivered raw, square or raw edged (otherwise called natural edged, waney edged, or live edged) and ready for finishing, unless you have requested our additional services. Our wood is kiln dried to 8-10% moisture content.
Each plank of timber we select for your work top has its own unique markings, colourations and grain patterns, and the effect achieved by these makes each counter top a remarkable piece of art.
In our manufacturing process we are also able to combine the timber with other exclusive materials such as glass, iron, steel, aluminium, brass and silver to produce a stunning centrepiece of unique interest. Our rustic oak and earthy walnut worktops can be finished with resin which highlights the natural beauty of the timber.
The structural characteristics of the wood make oak one of the most versatile hardwoods, valued by many industries. The strength of European oak is a result of a unique inner structure of vessels and fibres. Medullary rays are a distinct figuring which is usually associated with top end, quarter-sawn timber. These ribbon-like cells allow sap to flow through the oak trunk, making them an essential part of the growing process of the tree. When the trunk is cut, the cells produce beautiful silky silver markings across the sawn area that become particularly prominent when the oak is polished, varnished or oiled.
Wood is a natural product and may be subject to some colour variations and ‘imperfections’. When the wood is dried, small cracks may appear on the surface; this is because wood is a living material that expands and contracts according to the surrounding humidity levels. Movement in solid wood cannot be prevented. This is a natural occurrence and can also occur as a result of changes in temperature. These features are perfectly normal and are part of the natural beauty of the timber.
Small cracks and movements are a natural part of solid wood and do not constitute any fault with the timber or construction.
We are confident that our solid oak, solid walnut islands, worktops and bars will give you many years of excellent service. However, we cannot be liable for any faults in the wooden counter tops that are caused by poor installation, or by using the wrong fittings and materials, or by installation in adverse site conditions.
When you buy a wooden bar, worktop or island from us, you can choose to have it installed by our own specially trained fitters, who are familiar with the characteristics of our products, and have experience installing them. Alternatively, of course, you can have the installation carried out by your own fitter. In this case we strongly recommend seeking advice from a competent trade person who has the appropriate knowledge and skill in fitting wooden surfaces. Please bear in mind that if any problem arises resulting from inappropriate installation and we are called out to site, a minimum charge of £180+vat plus cost of travel.
Please note that incorrect installation invalidates the warranty on our products.
You can choose to collect your furniture and/or work tops from Earthy Timber’s workshop or use our signed for delivery service. Delivery dates are given in good faith but are not guaranteed and no liability will be accepted for any loss whatsoever suffered or caused through late delivery or non-delivery. The date of delivery shall not be of the essence.
When your surface is collected/delivered it is essential to ensure you are completely satisfied with the wooden worktops, solid wood bar, wooden shelves, solid wood island by checking for any damage or defects. Please ensure that a competent person is present at the delivery to examine the wood surface and sign for it (over 18 years old). We will assume that the product has been accepted unless any problems are reported on the collection/delivery note.
Bespoke bars, bespoke worktops, bespoke shelves, bespoke breakfast bar, bespoke island which have been delivered and signed for by the customer or their representative will be considered as having been accepted. In the unlikely event that visible product defects become evident at a later date, no liability for the removal of the worktops, shelves, bars, island or the installation of a replacement will be accepted. If you feel you need to return the worksurface, please refer to our terms and conditions.
In the unlikely event there is nobody to receive and sign for the delivery, or lack of suitable helpers, we reserve the right to charge for the re-delivery of the goods at the initial fee.
We would like to emphasize that it is the customer’s responsibility to provide the sufficient number of suitably fit people (over 18 years old) to carry the goods from the van to the designated area. As our deliveries are handled ‘driver only’, our responsibility is to deliver to the kerb only.
The goods are the customer’s responsibility once they leave the van, and it is not part of the contract for the driver to carry the goods, therefore we are unable to accept any liability for any damage or injuries incurred after safely exiting the van. Neither Timberdeal nor the delivery driver have any legal responsibility whatsoever in their attempt to help the customer.
Please ensure in advance that a suitable unloading area is prepared and a space made ready for storage.
Our solid wood worktops, wooden shelves, solid wood floating shelves, solid wood bars, solid wood window sills, solid wood islands, solid wood breakfast bars leave the workshop acclimatised and in a level state. When you have received the wooden surfaces store them horizontally and flat on bearers, so that air can circulate between them. A solid wood surface should never be stored vertically against a wall. Wooden tops which have not been finished (oiled) in our wood workshop should be oiled immediately after the protective wrapping has been removed, and it is advisable to install the solid wood top as soon as possible after it has been delivered.
Temperature and humidity As with all solid wood products, before you install them they should be stored in a dry place, away from all sources of heat and moisture. Please ensure that any plaster in a room in which the wood is stored or installed is completely dry and that the timber is kept away from direct sources of heat.
Because timber is a living material which expands and contracts according to the surrounding humidity levels, if the worksurface is exposed to different moisture levels on the top and underside, it will start ‘bowing’ or warping. Consequently, avoid any significant changes in temperature or humidity during storage and installation.
Our wooden islands, wooden worktops, wooden breakfast bars, wooden table top, wooden bars, wooden shelves are designed to be used in standard heated domestic or office interiors. Timber is a natural material and is affected by changes in temperature and humidity, which means, it expands and contracts naturally across the grain. It is essential to follow the correct storage and installation procedure to allow for this movement and to ensure you get the most from your product for generations to come.
A and B sides
Our timber worktops, timber bars, timber shelves, timber breakfast bars, timber floating shelves, timber islands have an A and a B side. The A side should be used as the visible top surface. You may find minor imperfections on the B side but this will not affect the surface’s structural performance and does not mean the worktop, bar, island, shelf should be rejected. Inspect the top carefully before installation to establish which is the A side.
Wooden surfaces need to be treated on both sides prior to installation. First of all, give them a final finish sanding (although they come to you sanded, they still need a final going over with a finer paper). Start with a 150 grit paper and sand down the whole surface and exposed edges, then repeat with 180 grit. Always work the sand paper along the grain, otherwise scratches will show.
Different treatments can be applied to solid wood tops. Since we prefer a natural finish, we use and recommend oil. Whatever finish you choose, please seek professional advice if you want to combine different treatments.
Whatever treatment you choose, it is very important to remember that both sides of the top must be treated! Pay particular attention to end grain edges, ends, and concealed edges, cut-outs, fitting notches and slots.
Oiling. You should oil the wooden top at least four times, allowing the oil to dry and giving the solid wood worktop, solid wood table top, solid wood bar, solid wood island, solid wood breakfast bar a light sanding in between coats. Work the oil into the work surface in the direction of the wood grain for best results.
Drying time is dependent on room temperature and air circulation, so the best results can be achieved in warm, well-aired rooms.
It is extremely important to make sure that the installation is done correctly. Any mistakes made during the installation may cause problems with the final appearance and functioning of the wooden top and will invalidate the warranty.
Positioning the wooden surface
Timber worksurfaces must be installed with a clear 4-5mm gap between their edges or ends and adjacent wall surfaces. The gaps serve two purposes: firstly, they prevent a moisture bridge forming when the timber meets the wall surface, and secondly, they allow the timber to move naturally as it expands and contracts across its grain in response to changes in humidity in the room.
For the solid wood tops to function perfectly it is essential that all units, supports have been installed correctly with a spirit level so the upper surfaces are completely level.
The worktops must be fixed down using slotted angle brackets only. It is important to use the slot that runs at right angles to the direction of the grain. The cross grain slots in the brackets with roundhead screws will accommodate the natural movement of the timber whilst holding the worksurface down. Fix the brackets to the base unit side panels only, as the top rails are not strong enough. Similarly, take care not to over-tighten the screws to allow for the expansion and contraction of the timber, as failure to do so may cause stresses and result in splitting the timber.
For units with top panels, first drill an oversized hole (10-12mm) through the top panel, then fix the slotted angle bracket with larger washer and screw directly under the panel. This will allow the wooden top to slide over the washer in case of any timber expansion and contraction. These top panels must be drilled or cut out over at least 60% of their area to allow the underside of the wooden worktop to breathe, and to ensure the same moisture levels on the top and the bottom of the work surface. Failure to do this will cause the surface to bow.
Where the tops span appliances alone or are unsupported into a corner, cut and fix timber wall rails to support the tops and attach the slotted brackets. Tops that span two appliances side by side must be supported by a mid-panel fixed between them.
Do not fix wooden tops directly into masonry. Fit them over timber spacers 5-10mm thick, which are set on a damp proof membrane. This will prevent the transmission of moisture and provides space for air to circulate under the top.
It is essential that the worksurface is adequately supported and secured through its length and width with slotted brackets. The size of the unsupported overhang depends on a combination of different factors and can only be decided on an individual basis.
Cupped or bowed surfaces
The worktop can cup or bow if the top and bottom surfaces are not in balance with each other due to different levels of moisture. This may occur if the top has been stored incorrectly, the top surface is being kept too wet, the surface has been installed over a heater, a moisture barrier has not been fitted on the underside of the worktop to protect it from the heat and steam produced by built-in appliances, moisture is leaking onto it from a pipe or appliance, or if the slotted brackets and screws have not been fitted or are not functioning.
In this case you will need a different installation procedure (or perhaps a re-installation). Please follow these steps:
- Firstly fix the length of the back of the worktop to the supporting cabinets
- Slowly and carefully pull the worktop downwards using clamps and battens
- Pull the worksurface down at the front before fixing it with screws, taking care not to over tighten them
- Remember about the final adjustments of the fittings
It is important to allow time for the worktop to equalise and completely return to its flat shape and settle, otherwise the timber may split. When the moisture levels return to equilibrium the two surfaces will find their natural balance.
These must be butted in order to accommodate the cross grain movement of the timber. Each joint should be held and aligned with at least three worktop bolts and four biscuits.
Mitre joints require different and very careful installation. Only use them if the skills and conditions on site will guarantee that the joints can be correctly installed.
The end grain on wooden kitchen worktop joints must all be edge-sealed during assembly with low modulus silicone. The positioning and number of the fixings is unique to each project. Only a knowledgeable and experienced fitter can carry out the installation. The important points to watch for include, but are not limited to: the positioning of the supports under the wooden surface (such as cabinets, end panels and legs), the dimensions of the worksurface, stave width, grain direction, the size of the overhang, end cups, and the positioning and type of appliances. Remember to always carry out a final tightening and adjustment of the joints to complete the installation.
Cut and fit end caps on wooden kitchen worktops which will be situated next to Range Cookers, Agas, boilers and other hot appliances that run continuously, or for long periods of time. End caps are also necessary on tops next to dropped hobs.
Cut-outs and allowance for expansion and contraction Great care must be taken when installing sinks into timber worksurfaces due to the possibility of water penetrating into the joints and timber if incorrect procedures and materials are used.
Cut-outs for lay-on sinks and hobs must have a clearance of 3mm per side, i.e. 6mm overall to allow for cross-grain timber movement.
For accuracy, quality and safety, cut outs for undermounted sinks should be benchcut, using jigs and a router, not a jig saw.
The edges of all concealed cut-outs for lay-on sinks and appliances and tap holes must be smoothed and thoroughly sealed with edge seal. This will prevent damage to the timber from condensation and any leakage.
Flush mounted sinks should not be fitted into wooden worksurfaces.
If you need to bring pipes up through the worktop, you should make a 2-3mm allowance for expansion/contraction around the pipe. The hole for the taps must be at least 3mm larger in diameter than the water pipe. All end grain must be thoroughly sealed with low modulus silicone sealer to prevent moisture damage to the worktop.
Belfast sinks must have an overhang of at least 10mm and the edges must be treated frequently and regularly to prevent the worktop splitting. If you are going to fit a waste disposal unit to an undermounted sink after installation, you will need to provide additional support. Make sure that there is always at least 250mm from the appliance cut-out to the end of the worktop, or between two cut-outs.
Leave min 30mm gaps between the ends of tops and freestanding appliances, cookers etc.
If you are going to install a built-under oven, dishwasher, washing machine or tumble dryer under the worksurface, you should take care to ensure that the protective deflector provided by the appliance manufacturer is fitted correctly to the underside of the worktop to protect it from any intense heat or moisture.
It is important that upstands are fixed to the wall and not to the worktop. There should be a 3mm gap between the worktop and the upstand. The only connection between the upstand and the worktop should be low modulus silicone sealant, allowing natural movement of your worktop.
Aftercare instructions for Earthy Timber ‘s wooden worktops, tables & breakfast bars etc
Ongoing oiling nourishes the timber and enhances its appearance as well as protecting the wood surfaces from wear and tear. New tops should be treated with oil once per month for the first 3 months, and at least once every three months after that. Heavily used oak worktops and walnut worktops, will need re-oiling more frequently. This simple procedure will maintain the colour and lustre of your timber surface and keep it looking beautiful. Just remember to always apply thin layers using a lint-free cloth and remove any excess oil after 10-15 mins. Earthy Timber recommends a blend of high quality, fragrant oils which is ideal for surfaces requiring a hard-wearing and water resistant finish. The protective layer built with the oil is water-, heat-, alcohol- and food acid-resistant. Our customer care kit contains recommended oil, lint-free cotton cloth and aftercare instructions and is available on request.
Your newly oiled oak, walnut, ash or other hardwood surface will have a sheen. Splashes of water will form clear droplets and stand out from the surface. After some use the finish will become worn and water will not form into droplets so easily, but move over the surface. This is the time to re-oil your surface, or if possible even before this condition is fully developed. Obviously some parts of your surface will wear faster than others.
Wooden tops may be more prone to scratching than some other surfaces.
Household appliances which give off heat (coffee makers, toasters, cookers etc.) should never be placed directly onto the wooden surface as the wood may dry out and cracks may appear.
Hot pans, rough-bottomed objects and wet items should not be placed directly onto a wooden work surface – always use granite inserts, hot-rods, trivets, pan stands or heat-resistant mats to protect the worktop from scratch marks. Direct contact from iron, steel or copper vessels can also stain the timber surfaces and should therefore be avoided.
For daily cleaning, use a mild soap and warm (not hot) water on a moistened cloth (do not use concentrated soap/washing up liquid). Never use products which contain ammonia, abrasives, or scouring powder. Never let water or cleaning agents puddle for any period of time on the worktop. Small cracks might occur but they are not damaging to the worktop. Simply treat them with extra oil. All timber surfaces will react to light, and may change their tone over time. To avoid different shades developing on your worktop move any objects you keep on it around from time to time, until the surface is weathered. Hardwood has many unique qualities and with a little care and attention the passage of time can enhance its beauty. In the unfortunate event of your solid wood mantelpiece, shelf or window sill sustaining damage, it can be sanded down and refinished, restoring its original beauty.
Any images and samples we provide should be treated as approximations only. The colour accuracy of the products viewed on our website and in our brochure cannot be guaranteed, due to variances in the image reproduction process. Wood is a natural product and has all manner of colour variations, and we cannot guarantee any replication of colour from piece to piece. The type of construction, stave widths, lengths and thickness may vary from the sample or from piece to piece. There may be occasions where the surface is heavily sanded in order to present the best characteristic of the timber. Please note that Earthy Timber allows a +/- 2 mm scope for error per cut.
To maintain optimum appearance and condition of your worktop surface we advise using our recommend oil which can be purchased from us. Instructions for installation, care & maintenance of worktops are dispatched with each order.