Kitchen damage :( Scorch and water marks on bench

How should I charge for this? There were a few minor marks but the last guest has left large rings all around the stove on the wooden benches And they look like there scorch marks

not just water rings.

You’d need some evidence like an estimate and/or a receipt to show how much it cost. So get a quote from a carpenter or whoever would sand and refinish this wood.

What our local bars do with an actual solid wood bar is they coat it in epoxy resin. Apparently thats the way to protect the wood. I paid a local craftsman to make me a wooden coffee table similar to the design you have. He coated it in epoxy resin and it hasn’t gotten any rings yet.

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Get the counters refinished and charge the actual cost, or some portion of it. Then put a marble/granite slab on top of the counter next to your stove, because it’s going to happen again.

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That will work for water and oil and other liquids, but not for heat. Looking at those countertops, they do not appear to have been properly maintained to keep the wood from absorbing surface moisture.

I am not sure you need to put a claim in for damages, @Cocoanouk; you just need to sand down the affected parts of your work surface (low grade sandpaper).

You then need finish it with teak or danish oil or whatever else you use on your work surfaces. It looks like the whole work surface hasn’t been done for a while. I do mine two or three times a year and put at least two coats on each time.

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Yes, sand it down and oil it. Any surface near a cooker is going to have hot pans put on it so get something in place so that it doesn’t happen again.

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Yep. Naked wood is NOT a good kitchen counter material unless it is oiled regularly (weekly) or sealed with Bar Top grade Spar Varnish (extra hard). If all you do is oil it, you need to have at least half a dozen trivets of different sizes on the counter top, with instructions for guests to put hot pans on the trivets, not the counter.

Since you don’t have any dated/time stamped photos showing the counter just before the guests arrived, only ‘after’ pictures, I don’t think Air will reimburse you anything. And good luck getting the guests to pay now that they’ve gone…

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I disagree. I have laminate counter-tops and they would probably have an issue with hot pans but they’ve held up fine because I don’t put a burning hot pan on it. I also have an antique wood dining table my grandmother purchased new in the 1940’s and its in fine shape because we use pot holders. I’ve never sat a hot pan on either of these without an oven mitt between it but if I did, I’m sure it would damage it. If we were talking a commercial grade kitchen, yes, everything is stainless steel. That just isn’t reasonable in a residential single family home kitchen however. For what its worth however, I’m pretty sure if this guest had no problem setting a hot pan on solid wood, they’d have no problem doing it on a laminate counter-top.

Both marble and granite are porous materials. I have granite counter tops in one of my homes and I had to seal it with a specific fluorocarbon alphatic resin sealer. Bedore I did that, a guest put a greasy lid on the counter and it left a ring that took special alcohol to soak out. I still ask that hot pots not be put directly on the counter. Also, acids like lemon juice and vinegar can be problematic.
I would try orange oil on the wood. I would NOT sand it because you could end up with a difference in the surface of the wood.
If you want to create a zone next to the stove that hot pots can be put on, have a metal fabricator make a stainless steel insert for this purpose. Stainless steel is pretty difficult to harm. It would look cool juxtaposed next to the wood. SS is pretty durable and hard to mess up. In all my years of pro Chefing, I have never seen SS seriously damaged. Not for lack of trying by tired dishwashers and careless chefs.
Speaking of cooking, do you have cutting boards or let people cut on the wood? I would have a copious amount of cutting boards. They are pretty cheap. Plastic ones that can be sterilized in the dishwasher. Plastic is horrible for good knives but your average guest does not notice these nuances.
Trivets are good too if people have the wherewithal to use them. Beware of cute ones with feet. They can not be not level and tip causing not only a mess but someone could get burned. A personal injury case would be the most expensive scenario for sure.
I am sorry that your counter was damaged. It is so upsetting when you open your home to someone and they do not exercise the same care you do.
Not sure if AirBnb will pay for damage. It probably is not worth the headache. I had a guest allow their children to ride rusty old trikes intended for the large concrete patio on my parquet walnut floors. The damage took an $800 buffing to get rid of scratches. AirBnb offered $81.
Unfortunately, there is some damage that is “expected” and one has to deal with from time to time.
Again, it sucks that you have to deal with this and have one more thing to worry about.


Cheftanya’s suggestion to have a multitude of cutting boards on hand seems to work for us, too. We supply 6 of them, pretty large and small, both wood and plastic. We have a butcher block island, and an attractive cutting board (even with cut marks) is already on top of it when guests arrive. We haven’t had water or heat damage to the surface of the island, nor any cutting on it directly. I hope that is because seeing the cutting board is a reminder to guests to use common sense.

You don’t @Mexican, I don’t and I imagine that a lot of people reading this are as careful as we are. But we have to make allowances for guests. I’m NOT implying that guests are stupid, or less careful than we are, but sometimes it’s just that they are unfamiliar with a new kitchen layout. For years at home, for example, they’ve been automatically putting hot pans on their own worktop - maybe granite or some heat resistant surface- so they simply react automatically.

Sometimes the person who cooks during the trip doesn’t cook at home. (“You cook for me all year long so it’s going to be my responsibility when we’re away - you just relax”.)

People act differently away from home. I’m not saying it’s right but it happens. How many hosts have looked at a towel covered in makeup and mascara and thought “Do these people behave like this at home?”

We shouldn’t have to, I know, but we can save ourselves time, stress and hassle if we ‘guestproof’ our homes - for our own sakes.

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I think this is all too true. A couple of scenarios: I always bought pans with heat-proof handles. Then I bought a pan with a stainless steel handle which necessitated a pot-holder to pick up when hot. Nothing unusual there. But my son, used to pot handles being heat-proof, reached for this pan and its burning-hot handle. Now, I will only buy pans with heat-proof handles. 2nd scenario: guests from South America put a Pyrex casserole directly on the gas flame of the stove, and the casserole exploded, completely across the room. Amazingly, no one got hurt. They were shocked, of course. And I was stunned that they had put it on the flame. Then they explained to me that in South America, their Pyrex products are stove-top safe. Wow.

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I’m talking about a small piece that’s about 12x18 inches, or whatever shape suits your counter. It can be used for cutting or to set pots on. I got the idea from place I rented in the early 90’s. There was a piece of granite on the counter on the right side of the stove that was caulked in place when I moved in. The caulk came loose after several months and I looked under it and saw, surprise, a scorched counter top. I have done the same in two homes since then. It can be sealed with sealer from any hardware store, but if it gets stained, it’s a simple replacement. The harder part is finding the stone color you want and having it fabricated.

As far as I am aware epoxy resin is not approved for food use (toxic) so shouldn’t be on a worktop. (Different in US like chlorinated chicken, GM food etc?) Danish oil is recommended, which does need redoing every year. Perhaps a hardier material would be better for an Airbnb if guests are not going to look after it.

Yes I agree I do sand down every year and apply a bees wax based oil.

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Sounds tasty. No idea lol.

I think ideally @Cocoanouk you should be looking to do oil the work surfaces two or three times a year to keep them in tip top condition.

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