How to choose wood for a kitchen worktop?

Choosing a new kitchen for your home can be exciting, there is flooring, cabinets and worktops to choose. Wooden worktops such as iroko, have been previously thought of as only suited to traditional farmhouse kitchen, or French-style provincial kitchens, however wooden worktops can look just as good in traditional and contemporary homes alike. Infact, adding a striking wooden worktop can add a stand out feature to any kitchen.

The next decision to make is what type of wood to choose, there are a number of options that work great for a kitchen worktop, the most popular choices being iroko, walnut and oak.


Often referred to as African teak, iroko is a very hard wearing and durable wood making it great for kitchen worktops. Iroko wood has a very distinctive appearance because of its irregular grain and fairly coarse texture. The timber also has a medium to golden appearance meaning it can fit into most types of kitchen decor and colour schemes.


Like iroko, walnut is a suitable wood for kitchen worktops due to its durability. Walnut tends to have a more intense black or white colouration with a recognisable straight grain. For a more modern feel, walnut can also be treated to present a highly polished look.


One of the most well-known hardwoods on the market is oak, it has a natural and appealing grain and is also incredibly hardwearing. Another bonus of choosing oak for a kitchen worktop is that the wood can come in a wide range of colours from very light to moderately dark meaning that it can fit well in a variety of kitchen styles and colours.

What features to consider when choosing a wood for a worktop?

Colour: Color is a key factor that sets these three woods apart. Your home’s interior design and kitchen decor play a big role in deciding which wood to choose. For instance, iroko has a golden neutral tone that can go well with various styles. On the other hand, if you want a super modern look, polished walnut might be a better fit. Once you’ve picked a wood, you can consult experts from top kitchen remodeling companies to share your preferences and the specific design or cut you want. This ensures you get the right color and design of wood that complements the rest of your kitchen.

Grain: Another defining characteristic of the iroko, walnut and oak is their grain. The grain refers to the alignment and texture of the wood fibres within the timber. A straight grain refers to the fibres running parallel to each other whereas an irregular grain has fibres running at varying angles and directions sometimes around knots.

Budget: Eventually it is likely that your budget is going to have a big influence on the overall choice that you make. Typically iroko and oak will be the more budget friendly options and walnut will be more on the pricier end of the spectrum, however lots of factors such as thickness etc. will come into play when calculating the cost of the worktops.

Deciding on the type of wood that you want for your kitchen worktop is a big decision and one that requires a lot of time and deliberation. If you are unsure, speak directly to a wood merchant to find out which could be best for you and your circumstances.

You may also like