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Kitchen worktops

Kitchen worktops – A guide

kitchen worktops
There was once a time when kitchen worktops and kitchen flooring came in only one variety – laminate. Not only that, the laminate kitchen worktop came in only a limited number of colours. When hired as kitchen worktop fitters we found that we could go from house to house in London and see the near identical worktop in each one!

Kitchen worktop varieties are vast

Fortunately, those days are now banished to past. In recent times the range and variety of worktops available has multiplied exponentially. These days there is so much choice that it can be hard to decide on the right worktop for you! Of course you want a worktop which meets the needs of everybody in your household. You also want a worktop which is durable and long lasting. Additionally you also want a worktop which is stylish and doesn’t compromise your overall kitchen aesthetics.

The truth is that once you know a little about worktops and the materials they are made from; it’s perfectly possible to achieve the 3 objectives of function, durability and design.

Whilst we don’t believe that there is any substitute for personalised face to face advice as provided in our free design visits, we understand that you may simply want to gain a rudimentary understanding of worktop materials. With that in mind the below is an overview on the most commonly used kitchen worktops types which is written to help you make the right worktop choice for your home.

Laminate kitchen worktops

laminate kitchen worktops
As reference above, laminate kitchen worktops have been the mainstay of kitchens since the formalisation of the modern kitchen. These days however their dominance has waned somewhat in favour of natural stones and woods.

Having said the above it’s still one of the most cost effective and durable kitchen worktops materials around. Whilst in previous times laminate worktops came in a limited range, now you can choose from a range of customisations including lots of different finishes and edges. Further, laminate is great at imitating the appearance of other materials. All of this means that laminate offers the flexibility of matching the aesthetics of a range of kitchens.

Pros and Cons

Pros
• Easy to maintain and care for
• Produced in an abundance of styles and colours including varieties designed to imitate the look of wood and granite etc. This means you’re sure to find a type that supports your kitchen design aims.
• Cost effective and long lasting.

Cons:
• Very difficult to repair any damage such as cuts and scratches so a chopping is needed when cooking.

Granite kitchen worktops

granite kitchen worktop
Kitchen worktops made from granite nearly always produce the wow factor. In fact in any room, the addition of granite can really enhance the sophistication of the surroundings. There’s very little that can compete with the elegance and splendour of granite with its veined and speckled appearance. It’s no surprise therefore that granite remains as the number one choice for kitchen renovators seeking a very high end feel to their kitchens.

Granite may not be affordable for you if you’re on a tight budget, but a granite worktop will never become outdated and it’s almost indestructible! One tip if you are on a budget is to purchase granite tiles, they are less expensive than granite slabs and if combined with very dark coloured grout can achieve a high end feel similar to that of full granite slabs.

Granite comes in a variety of finishes including polished, honed, flamed and more, so take your time and consider what would work in your kitchen. And although granite is typically more expensive than other worktop materials it’s true to say that cost will still vary in accordance with quality.

Pros and Cons

Pros:
• Stunning to look at and adds a real wow factor to a kitchen.
• Very hard wearing and durable.
• Very difficult to damage, you can chop vegetables and place hot pots and pans directly on granite without damaging it.

Cons:
• Can be unaffordable if you are on a budget compared when to other worktop options.
• Is susceptible to staining particularly from liquids as granite is porous stone.

Wooden kitchen worktops

wooden kitchen worktops
Whilst granite may give you the wow factor, a wooden worktop will give you the functional factor. That’s not to say that worktops made from wood can’t wow you however, far from it. In fact these days wooden worktops do come in a multitude of varieties from very pale to very dark and there are also some exotic ranges. Choose a wooden worktop if you are going for a kitchen style similar to traditional or country.

Wooden kitchen worktops bring warmth to a kitchen and as mentioned are also very functional. They can handle lots of bashing from food preparation and are not harmed or damaged when placing hot pots directly on the surface.

Pros and Cons

Pros:
• If factored into the kitchen design you can have yourself a dedicated and convenient food preparation and chopping area.
• Knife blades remain sharper for longer as wood doesn’t blunt the blade in any significant way.
• Scuffs and marks can be combated by sanding and oiling.

Cons:
• Not as easy to maintain as other worktop options and requires sealants and scheduled oiling.
• Prone to water damage.

Stainless steel kitchen worktops

stainless steel kitchen worktop
It’s true that you will most often come across stainless steel worktops in the kitchens of professional restaurants. The reason for this is because stainless steel is resistant to heat, easy to clean and as its name suggests, is non-staining. In recent times this steel alloy has become more and more popular as a worktop surface in domestic homes for the exact same reasons that it’s so popular in professional kitchens.

In addition to the above, stainless steel does provide a very unique look and can enhance your kitchen design aims if you’re seeking a contemporary or modern aesthetic. If you choose a stainless steel worktop it will likely be installed on top of plywood to provide fortification.

Generally priced at a little below natural stone materials such as granite, stainless steel can give you the same longevity as such materials as long as you opt for high grade steel.

Pros and Cons

Pros:
• Very easy to maintain and clean.
• Does not stain.
• Gives a distinctive look to your kitchen.
• Robust and durable.

Cons:
• is susceptible to scratches and shows fingerprints.
• Will blunt knife blades over time
• If not installed over plywood or similar then can be noisy and a little flimsy.

There are lots of other kitchen worktop surfaces available such as marble, glass and concrete. We’ve chosen to give you a good grounding on some of the most frequently used worktop surfaces.

If you live in the London area and are looking for high quality kitchen specialists then get in touch with us today and book your consultation visit. We love kitchens and we’d love to help you attain a kitchen you can be proud of.

Contact us now to book your free design visit.