Worktops need to be tough and practical, as well as super-stylish. The clue is in the name: the worktop is the workhorse of the kitchen. It needs to be able to withstand the rigours of cooking and food preparation. However, your kitchen worktop surface takes up a considerable amount of space in the kitchen. So, it needs to be pleasing on the eye too. There are so many kitchen worktop surfaces on the market these days and this why we have put together The Complete Guide to Kitchen Worktop Surfaces.
Kitchen Worktop Surfaces: The Basics
In many ways, your choice of kitchen worktop is just as important – if not, more so – as your choice of cabinetry. You want a style that looks great and that is fit for the job at the same time. Kitchen worktop surfaces need to be able to cope with the demands of everyday usage and all that comes with it. For example, spills, stains and potential water and heat damage.
The good news is that there is now a vast range of kitchen worktop surfaces to choose from. There is something to suit all budgets. So, what is the best material to choose for your all-important worktop? All materials have different advantages and factors that you should consider carefully, if you want to pick a surface that perfectly suits your needs.
Kitchen Worktop Surfaces: Go natural and traditional with hardwood
Hardwood is a traditional favourite that is particularly on trend and popular right now. Hardwood is preferable to soft wood, such as pine, as a worktop surface because of its strength. It’s important that you always choose a hardwood that is sustainable. Check that you are buying from a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accredited source. Popular hardwoods include oak and walnut.
At approximately £150 per linear metre, hardwood is at the lower end of the budget scale for worktop surfaces. Wooden worktops will last for a long time, as long as they are properly sealed and cared for. Obviously, you should not place hot pans on the surface or use the worktop as chopping board.
Wooden worktops will last for a long time, as long as they are properly sealed and cared for. Obviously, you should not place hot pans on the surface or use the worktop as a chopping board. In addition, you should avoid prolonged soaking too.
A durable option: Why not choose a composite worktop?
If you want versatility, durability and stunning looks, a composite worktop could be just what you are looking for.
A composite worktop is made from 90% natural quartz crystals and 10% of ‘binders’ – known as engineered stone or quartz composite. This material is extremely durable and tough. The material is non-porous, and highly resistant to stains, scratches and heat damage. It provides a consistency of composition too. This means that you don’t get any variation in colouring. Dark and dramatic composites, such as greys and blues look superb in contemporary kitchen designs. However, composite worktop colours like cream are ideal for those with traditional tastes.
Priced at around £300 per linear metre, composite worktops can be used anywhere in the kitchen, including around the sink or hobs. Looking after composite worktops is straightforward too. You just need to wipe up spills promptly to avoid marks forming. The surface can be kept clean with a mild detergent and a soft, damp cloth.
Quartz – a resilient and beautiful choice
Quartz is a perfect choice of kitchen worktop surface. As it is non-porous, its texture doesn’t enable any bacteria to grow. It comes in an extensive range of stunning colours. As well as being less prone to stains, quartz is also easy to clean.
Prices for quartz worktops start at around £200 per square metre. For a super hardwearing option that is easy to clean, quartz worktops are hard to beat overall.
Granite worktops – For a look of luxury
Granite is one luxury kitchen material that never ever falls out of fashion. Of course, granite worktops look equally wonderful with traditional and contemporary kitchen designs. At approximately £200 per square metre, granite is ideal for any area of the kitchen – including around the sink and hob. Of course, granite is go-to choice for many homeowners who have an island worktop fitted in the kitchen.
Granite is tough and resistant to scratches and heat. It is water-resistant but care should be taken if citric acids or wine are spilled on the surface. If these are not cleaned up quickly then the stone will stain. Typically, granite is protected by a sealant. Granite is famously heavy and awkward to manoeuvre. However, due to modern technological advances, granite can now be cut into most shapes and sizes. Overall, granite is a low-maintenance product with a damp cloth and mild detergent all you really need to keep things looking great.
Natural stone – the organic choice
A natural stone kitchen worktop essentially retains its natural state on its journey from the quarry to the kitchen. The material boasts excellent resistance to water, heat, scratches, and stains. Not only that, natural stone is extremely durable and very easy to maintain.
Every piece of natural stone is totally unique. It means the exact piece that becomes your worktop is never 100% the same as it might look in any showroom, brochure, or website page. Of course, that uniqueness is very much part of the appeal for many people.
It can be used round all sources of heat in the kitchen and is an excellent choice for a splashback. At £200 per linear metre, natural stone is also affordably priced. Another bonus is that, as it is completely water resistant, natural stone can even be used as an integrated sink. No initial treatments or sealing are required either – making natural stone the truly organic choice of kitchen worktop surface.
Get a great look on a budget with laminate
With typical prices starting at around £30 per linear metre, there’s no doubt that the best budget option is a laminate worktop. The laminate material is constructed by fusing multiple layers of impregnated paper at high pressure temperature. This material is then bonded to a substrate. Laminate worktops are strong and offer good resistance against scratching and moisture.
Laminate worktops are often designed to mimic the look of other materials, such as wood, slate and granite. This means you can find a laminate worktop to suit all kitchen design styles. Laminate is durable and is resistant to most stains. However, you do need to be careful with heat and steam. Similarly, a laminate worktop should never be used as a cutting surface.
Laminate worktops are low maintenance and don’t require the services of a professional for fitting. A competent and confident DIY enthusiast can do the job. No initial treatments are necessary with laminate worktops.
The Verdict: Kitchen worktop surfaces
So, there you have it – everything you need to know about kitchen worktop surfaces. Now, armed with all this information, you should be able to make an informed choice about which worktop surface is best for your new kitchen design. There is certainly something for everybody out there. If you would like to contact the Kitchen Warehouse team with any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.