advice on beech worktops
Beech is a very difficult wood to get right, particularly in a beech worktop. There are no end of Beech worktops being sold as 'European Beech worktops', which generally means Romania or Bulgaria. Whilst the lumber itself is acceptable (but because it is all from ancient forests it is very knotty as there has been no tree management) there are a number of significant production problems. Firstly, the Beech is usually kiln dried immediately after being felled. Without a long period of air drying, this promotes instability. This problem is then exacerbated by the kiln drying process. Lacking modern drying facilities, the Beech is ‘over forced’. Effectively it is almost cooked. Dry on the outside but still wet on the inside, it is immediately made in to a beech worktop whilst still being very unstable. It is highly unlikely the glues used will be of a decent standard either, and we have seen plenty of worktops which literally just start falling apart. The fact of the matter is that most beech worktops being sold are good only for firewood. On the environmental side, we don’t know of any beech from Romania or Bulgaria which is from sustainable sources.
Beech worktops have a tendency to become unstable in a kitchen environment, and consequently we have decided not to sell any Beech worktops. For a light colour wooden worktop with superior strength and durability we would recommend a Maple worktop, an Oak worktop or an Ash worktop instead.