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Beech worktops

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Anonymous

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I fitted a couple of beech worktops for a customer yesterday and he said he would like to give them a couple of coats of clear polyurethane.

As I never get involved in the finishing , I was unable to advise him and to be honest was unsure.

It is a utility room so will be humid, and he will only be able to do the top and edges, nothing underneath.

I can see this causing problems, am I right?

dan
 

Scott

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Our place has beech kitchen worktops (IKEA I think) fitted by the previous owners. They are only ever oiled and then just on the tops and edges and the outer/accessable parts of the undersides.

They look great from not too close up but if you run your hand over them they are actually like a ploughed field where all the bits have moved and swollen/shrunk at different rates.

IMHO, if the tops are those things made up of glue-jointed little bits, they're going to move regardless so it might be better not to use a sealed finish on one side

Scott
 

Aragorn

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Oil is the way to go in my experience.
When you fit the worktops are you oiling all the inaccessible parts before installing?
IIRC the underside needs at least a couple of coats and the edges as well as any cut edges e.g. hob, sink cutouts. Some people seal all these edges with cascamite or suck like. Not bad practice I reckon.
If you do a google search for wooden worktops there are quite a few sites that give detailed advice on the best finishing, like this one.
 
A

Anonymous

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I never have anything to do with the finishing.

When I go to give a quote, I let the customer know this and most are happy to finish the inaccessible parts before I install.

I did the same with this customer, who in the meantime decided to go the polyurethane route, which I did not know until I got there. He can by getting himself into some interesting positions get to 90% of the underside.

I have only done a dozen or so tops, I try and avoid them, they are in my opinion not a good earner, heavy on tools and time consuming, with a lot of issues which the customer is not made aware of by the suppliers eg not maintanence free, movement etc.

Thanks for advice

dan
 

Aragorn

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Just going to risk sticking my neck out here Dan, so apologies in advance if this appears rude.
I would have thought that oiling is an essential part of installing a solid wooden worktop - not a separate job for a separate tradesman or indeed the customer.
The reason I mention it is this: who is the customer going to come back to when the worktops bow, swell, and otherwise deform through lack of suitable sealing? I'd guess it'd be you - not so good for business, even if you cover yourself at the time of installation by saying the finishing isn't your area. What about reputation?
Just my humble opinion.
 
A

Anonymous

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Aragon, no offense taken.

All I do is fit worktops, most of my customers have fitted the units themselves, they call me to do the tops, fit sinks etc.

The main reason for the self fit is financial, any money that can be saved is top of the list and my jobs are priced as such, nobody has insisted that I do the finishing and if they can put in the units, it's well within their capabilities to do the finishing.

If I was doing a full install I would expect to do the finishing, which would be built into the price.

At the time of quoting I tell them what to do with the worktops in readiness for me, which always includes coating surfaces that can't be got to after fitting.

I like to think that I install solid tops the right way, making allowances for any movement etc.

To date I have had no comebacks and some go back 3 years
 
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Anonymous

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Sorry didn't have time to finish, my machine is up the creek and informed me it was about to shut down. :oops:


As I said no offence taken, I retire in 5 months, so nothing can upset me :lol: . they can all take their worktops finished or otherwise and I think you know where I'm heading.

dan
 
A

Anonymous

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He can by getting himself into some interesting positions get to 90% of the underside
How about using spray varnish? Projekt do a few decent ones in satin and gloss for a few quid. Pricey for large areas, but for sealing those hard to get at places a spray can is difficult to beat!

Currently in the US buying a big project - a Victorian house, just like Norm works on in 'This Old House'.........
 
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