You have a great choice of surfaces. From solid wood to laminate. These both have their pros and cons and the choice you make should consider several factors. These include the frequency that the surface will be used and the amount of time you have available for the correct maintenance of your kitchen worktop.
Iroko is a type of wood. Please see our article about the types of solid wood worktops for more information. Obviously, there are worktops that are made from staves (slats of wood) of real iroko, but there are also laminate worktops that closely resemble the natural product.
Solid Wood vs Iroko Laminate Worktops
The real iroko worktops tend to be more expensive than many laminate versions. This is due to the costs of obtaining a natural resource, the costs of machining the pieces of wood and the processes needed to bond the staves of iroko together. Laminate is often more cost-effective, widely available and can be purchased in many lengths with splashbacks, breakfast bars and upstands in exactly the same finish from the same manufacturer.
We think that there is nothing that looks better than real wood. However, this is down to individual taste. Wood is a natural resource and we feel that forestry which is not sustainable should not be supported, especially when there is detriment to wildlife. However, many companies actively use wood that is grown responsibly in areas designated for timber production with a close eye on nature. Also, many pieces of furniture are made from reclaimed wood. Reclaimed wood is wood that has served a purpose in the past and no longer needed. This is gaining popularity not only for the rustic appeal, but also a consideration to environmental impact.
Iroko laminate worktops once fitted need very little maintenance. Laminate worktops if sealed correctly are not significantly porous and will withstand a relatively high amount of surface water. Wood on the other hand is naturally more porous and will require drying after it has been wet. Solid wood worktops also require a finishing oil. This should be reapplied when necessary, determined by the amount of use and the appearance.
We mentioned the use of worktops earlier. Of course most are used in a standard domestic setting where both wood and laminate are fine. However, if the fittings are to be used in a commercial premise or a home that is rented frequently to different people e.g. a holiday let, different considerations need to be made. Having a surface that is as water tight as possible, requiring minimal maintenance and can be easily replaced if damaged may be more important factors to some people than just the overall appearance.
We hope that you have found this article useful. Take a look at the Buy Online section to view some great products at what we believe will be competitive prices. Most companies deliver throughout the mainland UK. Many will supply samples and when purchasing through eBay with PayPal you may have additional support from these companies if you are unhappy with your purchase.