When planning and designing your new kitchen, picking the right worktops will not only compliment your colour scheme and style, but also ensure that your kitchen remains effective and efficient for its purpose. There will be many factors affecting which material you choose, like budget, style, layout, maintenance and the kind of activities you are likely to perform in your kitchen.
We’ve compiled a quick guide to help you choose the best worktop material for your kitchen.
Granite, probably the most popular choice of kitchen worktop, is a natural stone that when sealed is heat and scratch resistant, making it both durable and highly functional. There are many shades and patterns to choose from to match your chosen colour scheme, and will remain versatile for both modern and traditional kitchens. Though the price tag may be more expensive, if maintained properly, granite worktops will last for a lifetime. They’re also heavy and can’t be repaired if damaged.
Quartz is a man-made alternative to stones like granite or marble, fortified with resin to create a truly durable and customisable work surface. Ever increasing in popularity over the years, it is naturally resistant to staining and scratching making it very low maintenance, however it is much less heat resistant than granite. They are an expensive option, but they do contain waste materials making it a bit more environmentally friendly.
Woods like oak and walnut are traditional favourites due to their natural warmth and character that comes as they age, as well as being more budget friendly. Hardwood worktops will last for a long time as long as they are properly maintained and not used as chopping boards or to rest hot pans. Spills will need to be cleaned up straight away to avoid stains, though the beauty of this material is that scratches and stains can be sanded away in time to keep the surface looking new, something that can’t be done with other worktops.
Considered to be the best budget option, laminates are non-porous, offer easy maintenance and are available in a variety of designs and colours. Easy to cut and fit by yourself if needed, they can resemble other worktop materials like granite or wood to suit both modern and traditional kitchen styles. Not resistant to heat, steam or scratches.
Glass worktops are a very stylish and modern addition to your kitchen, though they won’t work as well with certain traditional styles like farmhouse. They are also at the higher end of the budget scale, but the toughened glass makes these surfaces very durable, stain resistant, heat resistant, and super easy to maintain. They can be cut to fit precise measurements, are hygienic, and can be lit from below to create an ambient atmosphere. Can be prone to scratches, but these can be polished smooth.
Marble makes such an elegant and luxurious statement in any kitchen, it will look great and it is highly durable. Another high budget option, marble offers slightly more style than it does substance. It’s main problem is that it’s high maintenance, vulnerable to stains, scratches and acidic chemicals, meaning you have to be careful what kind of cleaning products you use or that any food like lemons or tomatoes aren’t left out on it for too long.
Solid Surface Composite
Composite worktops are made from a blend of acrylic resins, minerals and colourings, which makes them somewhat heat and scratch resistant but not to the extent of its stone counterparts like granite or quartz. They’re easy to clean and non-porous, making them stain and bacteria resistant. Though on the more expensive side, its flexibility means it can be incorporated well into any kitchen design and be constructed as seamless one piece surfaces.
With the industrial look being very on trend this year, many people are opting for concrete worktops to compliment the aesthetic. While concrete is incredibly durable, it is also heavy and will require maintenance. A good food-grade sealer or finishing wax will be necessary to prevent water and stain absorption.