Your choice of worktop will definitely set the tone for your kitchen. Although there are several factors you will want to consider while buying your kitchen worktop: the cost, the time you want to dedicate for care and maintenance and the main usage of the worktop.
The most common worktop materials for kitchens are:
They all have different advantages and disadvantages and thus it will be important to consider both sides of the coin before buying.
Depending on your choice of material, the cost of buying will vary. At the premium side, we have man made surfaces. There are two major types of man-made surface; the composites and the engineered stone.
- The composites are typically 66% natural materials mixed with 33% acrylic resin. On the other hand, the engineered stone is made from a high percentage of crushed quartz (about 96% and mixed with resin).
Both materials are robust, easy to maintain, hygienic and come with a variety of colours. The composite surfaces are easy to engineer into different shapes since they contain large amounts of resin making them ideal for worktops that are curved or long.
Another popular surface is stainless steel. Stainless steel has recently become popular thanks to the interior trends in the industries.
- The biggest advantage of stainless steel is the robustness. It can be easily transformed into any shape and size and integrated with sinks and splashbacks. However, when it comes to maintenance, steel is demanding since it easily shows grease and fingerprints. It can also scratch easily though some light marks can be banished easily.
How does a glass countertop sound? Glass has traditionally been used for Splashbacks but it is now being used as a countertop.
- Glass is an ideal countertop for a contemporary style of kitchen. It is available in different colours (almost all colours). Glass can withstand heat up-to 400 degrees and thus it can be a good cooking surface.
When it comes to stone, granite is the most popular probably because it is hard and a naturally a heat resistant. The second most popular stone is probably marble.
- Like granite, marble come in a variety of stunning shades. Unlike granite, marble is more porous and thus will need to be looked more carefully.
You will have to be careful with stains like red wine and citrus juice since they can easily stain marble surfaces. Just like granite, marble also does well when it comes to handling the heat. It is ideal for people who do lots of cooking, especially pastry (since its surface prevents dough from sticking). Unlike man-made surfaces, stone is a little less costly.
For a less expensive kitchen worktop, timber is a very popular choice for kitchen countertops. Timber has an aesthetic feel and bring warmth into your kitchen. For more durability, you are better off choosing Iroko. Iroko has a closed grain and an underlying oiliness making it better than other timbers. Nonetheless, all timbers need to be oiled several times a year to keep them aesthetically appealing and functioning well.
- Remember, timber is delicate and will tend to scratch easily and susceptible to water damage.
The most cheapest option is probably laminate. Laminate has been widely used for the last two decades. The main advantage of laminates is the ability to mimic other surfaces including granite and timber.
- Laminate is available in several different shapes and colours making it a cheaper alternative to quartz.
And finally, you can experiment with different materials. Try a marble slab integrated into a timber worktop. It will look elegant and stylish. Remember, different countertop materials serve different culinary purposes, so integrating them can be a practical thing to do. When all is said and done, you will find that marble, granite and quartz are the most ideal worktop surface you can have in your kitchen. For starters, they have amazing qualities that can fit in any type of kitchen.
- The three are all hardy and sturdy, withstand intense heat and are known to live for long. In case you want to build a new kitchen or to give your current kitchen a makeover, you are better off using either marble, granite or quartz.
Need help with templating and installing your new kitchen worktops in London?