Guide to Buying Reclaimed Iroko Worktops


If you’re considering reclaimed Iroko worktops, the Retrouvius team is here to guide you through the process. Our expertise and wide selection of iroko stock ensures that we can help you find the perfect reclaimed timber for your project.

Since reclaimed materials vary greatly in shape and size, it’s essential to understand that our stock isn’t an ‘off the shelf’ product. We will provide you with ‘as close as possible’ dimensions, whilst working to minimise wastage. Please be aware that it can take time to search through our stock to select options for you to consider.

Consider Your Cutting Plan

Before diving in, it’s crucial to have a clear cutting plan, especially if you’re using Iroko for your kitchen. A detailed kitchen plan with sink and oven placements will greatly assist us in finding the right pieces from our stock. Many of our Iroko worktops already have existing holes for taps and sinks, so aligning these with your fixtures can help reduce waste. A joiner will be able to plug any holes that aren’t required – an aesthetic that adds to your worktop’s story. Remember, every cut diminishes the timber’s potential for future re-use!

Reclaimed Iroko Finish

We sometimes stock worktops that have already been reconditioned, but the majority of our stock is patinated, graffitied and often, with chewing gum.

Much of our timber is sourced from schools so the condition is very varied. Some will have sanded and refinished their worktops every year…. others applied thick, heavy varnish and left them untouched for decades!

The overall finish of your Iroko is down to personal preference. Some love a raw look, opting to keep patina and graffiti – profanities and all. Others covet a rich, smooth finish.

Once you’ve chosen your Iroko, you’ll need to decide on the finishing approach: professional or DIY.

The Professional Approach

For a highly finished result, especially in high-humidity areas like kitchens and bathrooms, working with a professional is recommended. They’ll strip away old varnish, sand the wood to reveal its grain, and precisely cut it to fit your requirements.

If you would like to maintain some of the patina of your timber, make sure you discuss this with before work commences!

The DIY Approach

If you’re looking for a more rustic finish and aren’t dealing with water exposure, DIY is a suitable option. Hand sanding can remove old varnish, while products like Timber Tect, Bison Wax or Osmo Top Oil can provide a protective finish. Remember to wear a high-quality face mask, particularly when dealing with potentially toxic chemicals from old varnishes.

Delivery & Overseas Shipping

We work with several trusted contacts for shipping and delivery can be across the UK. 

We do ship overseas, but recommend first considering a local supplier for environmental reasons.

Book an Appointment

To ensure a smooth experience, please book an appointment before visiting our shop so we can make sure a member of the team is available to help. If you can’t make it in person, we’re happy to assist remotely by providing photos of available options. And if your project requires more Iroko midway through, don’t worry—we can help you source additional timber.

Email or give us a call on 020 8960 6060. We are open Mon-Fri, 10am – 6pm.

Key Points

  • For inspiration of how we’ve used reclaimed iroko in kitchens, take a look at this blog post.
  • We don’t provide cutting services; enlist a professional for precise cuts.
  • Accurate measurements are crucial.
  • Viewing in person or sending a builder/joiner is ideal.
  • Select timber that closely matches your required dimensions to avoid waste