Ask the Experts

Why timber is the perfect alternative for stone in your kitchen

Starting July 1st, 2024, new regulations will come into effect banning the manufacture and import of engineered stone containing high levels of silica. While this is not new news to the big players in the stone industry, who have all by now announced their ‘no’ or ‘low silica’ ranges or alternate solid surface materials (which is very exciting) we aim to pivot the conversation in this interview with Jess Loughlin to another material you might not have considered.


Here is why timber is the perfect alternative for your kitchen design.

What is it about timber that makes it a great material for a kitchen bench top?

Besides its warm & homely aesthetic timber is a natural hypoallergenic. We usually finish our timbers in a clear polyurethane (for longevity in high use or wet areas) however someone very sensitive to chemicals and allergies can opt for an oil-based finish.

What are the must-knows about using it in this way?

I guess it’s important for the customer to understand that timber in a kitchen will change over time, visible marks from everyday life are almost unavoidable and in our opinion should be celebrated. Timber being a natural material will ‘patina’, meaning slightly change colour and age overtime.

How do you best maintain a timber bench top?

Our timber finishes are designed to be maintenance free, the only requirement would be to only use a damp microfiber cloth for cleaning. Other than this, it would be good to consider preventative measures for using the surface like placemats, drink holders, wiping down excess water after use or spills, and not using any chemical based cleaners.

What do you need to look out for?

That it’s made by someone who knows what they’re doing 😉 Timber will want to naturally move seasonally. A good timber craftsman knows how timber behaves and should design and craft that piece to suit its new home.

What are the best types of timber for a kitchen bench top and why? All hardwoods are recommended, Blackbutt, Spotted Gum, American and Tasmanian Oak to name a few. This is because of their hardness, durability, and the versatility of finishes you can create to suit different design aesthetics.

What are the benefits of using this type of material over a more popular finish, like concrete or stone?

Timber, in any room, just invites you in. It has the ability to create a sense of relaxation & warmth. The smell of real timber in your home often never leaves too. It’s these subtle things in a home that are often noted and remembered by guests and visitors (in our experience).

Kitchen featuring timber joinery and timber benchtop
A kitchen bench top in timber and timber stools
Timber benchtop connecting to a concrete bench top

More reasons why timber is the ideal substitute for stone:

Natural beauty and aesthetics

Each piece of solid timber is unique, featuring distinct grains, textures, and colours that change with lighting and angles. This natural variability ensures it’s truly one-of-a-kind.

Durability and longevity

When properly treated and maintained, timber is incredibly durable and can last for decades, making it a long-lasting alternative to stone. It withstands significant wear and tear and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications.


Timber is most definitely a sustainable choice, timber mills and privately owned Australian timber forests must comply with environmental standards set by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Further to this, its production typically has a lower carbon footprint compared to stone.


While high-end timber species can be costly, there are also many affordable options that offer excellent quality. Australian timbers are the most cost effective (in our range) and are really having a moment. NSW Spotted Gum is producing gorgeous deep caramel tones while Tasmanian Oak packs are coming in with those even blonde hues and grain that we so love to work with.

A kitchen bench top with stool seating and open cupboard space | Kitchen timber joinery