Using Timber in your Kitchen or Bathroom

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Solid timber flooring looking stunning against the otherwise largely white palette in this kitchen makeover by Ultimate Kitchens & Bathrooms

 

It seems that, for good reason, the incorporation of timber in our homes never goes out of style. Wood is naturally beautiful and its warm tones provide a lovely, soft balance to the more sleek lines of stone, polyurethane and laminate often used for benchtops and cabinetry. As timber is a natural material, each piece has a unique grain pattern and texture, and can therefore add a bespoke element to your space. Even imperfections in wood grain add lovely character. With the large range of timber species available, it can be a valuable addition to any style of kitchen or bathroom, and there is a colour tone to suit every space.

From a practical viewpoint, timber is a natural insulator and can reduce energy needs, especially when it is used in windows and doors and on floors. It is also structurally very strong, durable, and fast and efficient to work with. And let’s not forget its environmental benefits include the fact it’s reusable and recyclable.

On the downside, solid timber is relatively soft and prone to scratching, denting, water and other staining, and heat impact, so if you are thinking of using it as a benchtop you need to be prepared to look after it and to regularly seal it with a specialised polyurethane or oil product. It can also usually be sanded back and re-finished to bring it back to life.

This gorgeous kitchen with crown cut American Oak contrasting against white cabinetry and a stunning black glass splashback, cleverly incorporates a structural wall into a design feature, also opening up the room for more light and space. Designed by Ultimate Kitchens & Bathrooms, Hawthorn East, Melbourne.

Another option, of course, is the use of timber veneer (although not for flooring) as shown in the photo above of a kitchen designed and built by Ultimate Kitchens & Bathrooms and using crown cut American Oak.

With a wide variety of colours and grains to choose from, this man-made product (comprising thin slices of timber glued onto a substrate of plywood, craft-wood or particle board) is stained to get a particular appearance and can, like solid wood, use either crown cut (giving a swirled effect) or quarter cut (giving a striped effect) timber for the desired effect.

Timber veneer is more economical and environmentally friendly than solid timber, and less prone to warping or cracking, but can’t be shaped or routed into without revealing the underlying plywood, and needs banding on its edges to hide the substrate. Any deep scratches are difficult to repair so due care should always be taken.

 

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Gorgeous timber veneer contrasting beautifully with white cabinetry and charcoal grey tiles in this family bathroom designed by Ultimate Kitchens & Bathrooms, East Hawthorn

 

If you like the look that timber provides but need help deciding if timber is right for your new kitchen or bathroom, come and talk with us at Ultimate Kitchens & Bathrooms on (03) 9882 4103.