A Short Installation Guide Of Solid Wood Countertops And Kitchen Islands

A Short Installation Guide Of Solid Wood Countertops And Kitchen Islands

Solid wood countertops are natural products made of​ wood from trees approximately 120 years old. Wood is​ a​ living material and the more moisture receives, the more the wood countertop will expand. The wood we used in​ solid wood worktops has been previously kiln dried to​ a​ humidity level of​ 6%, and it​ is​ therefore important that the worktop is​ not exposed to​ a​ constantly high level of​ humidity. Normally the humidity level in​ kitchens is​ approximately 50-70%.

The solid wood top must be attached to​ the cabinet box using only wood screws and washers. it​ is​ not recommended at​ all to​ glue the top on the cabinet box; the top and the box expand and contract at​ different rates, therefore cracks might eventually appear, most probably on the cabinets' surface.

The proper way of​ installing a​ solid wood top is​ using metal fixings along the cabinet box (see our web page).
The metal fixings must be uniformly distributed throughout the length of​ the top, spaced at​ a​ 1' - 1.5' distance from each other. Across the width, the top is​ usually fixed to​ each metal support with three screws, one in​ the middle, one toward the front edge and one toward the rear edge. The supports must be perfectly leveled; otherwise tensions can develop in​ the wood, leading to​ warping, cupping, or​ cracks.
We recommend pre-drilling the screw holes into the wood countertop, in​ order to​ avoid cracks and splits. For the same reason, it​ is​ a​ good idea not to​ over tighten the screws. The finishing will considerably diminish the extent of​ such movements, but will not eliminate them altogether. Due to​ the panel's laminated structure, the lengthwise movements are insignificant, so the installer should pay attention to​ the movements occurring across the panel's width. in​ order to​ prevent the development of​ inner tensions, the holes in​ the metal fixings should be elongated in​ the direction of​ the movements (see our web page ).

When exposed to​ normal humidity levels - i.e. 50-60% - the worktop's width will expand by 1/12”-1/24”, but when exposed to​ a​ level of​ 80-90%, this measurement may expand by up to​ 1/2" or​ even more for some species. Therefore, when the rear edge of​ the counter top is​ installed against a​ wall, the wall might restrict the top's natural movements, leading to​ undesired tensions in​ the wood. to​ avoid this, you can allow a​ 1/4”-1/2” joint between the wall and the countertop edge and caulk it​ with a​ thin bid of​ acid-free silicone.
Additionally, you can firmly fix the rear edge to​ the metal supports underneath and thus, allow the natural movements to​ occur at​ the expense of​ the opposite edge.
In this case, the holes in​ the metal fixings corresponding to​ the rear edge will be no larger than the screws diameter, while the holes corresponding to​ the middle section and the front edge will be elongated.

For additional information regarding the installation of​ wood countertops, bar tops and kitchen islands, please visit our web page.

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