Kitchen worktops are an attractive and functional option for any kitchen. Individuals thinking about installing, or those maintaining kitchen worktops, need to be aware of several specific considerations that are involved with their upkeep. Without proper care, worktops can warp and their shape can distort. Below are some easy ways to prevent warping from occurring.

Regulate Temperature

One of the major causes of warping in kitchen worktops made of wood is changes in atmospheric conditions. Changes in temperature can cause the wood to expand and contract, causing cracking to the surface area and other distortions. One of the easiest ways to prevent such warping is to maintain a constant atmosphere within the environment. That includes regulating the temperature of the kitchen to prevent any warm or cold spurts, as well as the humidity levels. Using a dehumidifier will help to make sure those conditions are properly regulated.

Aluminum Barriers

Another way to prevent warping is to fit an aluminum barrier along the back edge of the worktop. This will prevent it from absorbing moisture and distorting. An aluminum foil or sheet should also be glued to the underside of worktops that are placed above appliances that emit heat, such as a dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, built-in refrigerator, or boiler. This will help to reduce or eliminate distortions caused by heat and temperature increases during colder months.

Lacquer or Oil

Choosing to regularly lacquer or oil a worktop will help to prevent damage and warping. If using oil, it should be applied one time per month, and mineral oil should be used over vegetable or animal oils. Wooden worktops that are oiled are more durable, and they are less likely to be damaged due to heat, gouges, and general wear and tear. Wood that is oiled regularly will enhance the look of the worktop, as the sheen will become deeper and richer as time goes by.

Even if wood is previously treated to be water resistant, it is still recommended applying oil periodically. Over time, cleaning and general use of the worktop counter will cause the sealant to wear away and become less effective. The oil can easily be applied on a clean surface by gently wiping the oil into the grain of the wood. It is recommended that this step is done in the evening so that the oil is allowed to dry and soak into the wood. This creates a protective layer that will prevent the worktop from warping.

If lacquering, it is only necessary to coat the worktop once a year. This makes it less time consuming than the oil option. This will also help to prevent against warping of the wood top.

Proper Installation

Most materials, specifically wood, tend to bow and twist throughout their life, but proper installation can help to reduce the affects. During the installation of a worktop counter, it is necessary to apply a line of silicone sealant at the connecting edges of the table. This will help to provide a waterproof seal at the joint. Formica LifeSeal worktop tables should also be installed with a laminate backing in order to prevent bowing, and the seal also protects from insects and against moisture.

Additional Information

There are several sites that provide additional resources for maintaining kitchen worktop stations and preventing them from warping. Information on solid wood worktop care and maintenance can be found at the Real Wood Flooring website (Real Wood Flooring). Information on the care of other types of worktops, such as those made out granite, can be found at the Craftsman LTD website (Craftsman Ltd. UK).

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