When it comes to kitchen renovations cabinetry may feel like the main style decision. But worktop choice is just as important – if not more so. Because in addition to looking good a kitchen worktop idea has to be fit for the job. It’s vital to make the right decision so your kitchen idea is able to withstand the elements of everyday usage – from food spills and water marks to heat damage.
Worktop materials have changed quite radically in the last few years, offering a vast choice across all budgets. Technology has given us super tough materials that are virtually indestructible options for the busiest of family homes. Meanwhile, the trend for open-plan kitchen layouts and living room style in kitchens. Has led to the introduction of luxe materials for those able to provide them a little TLC.
What is the best kitchen worktop material?
The most popular materials for kitchen worktops – laminate, granite, solid wood, Quartz, glass, composite stone and stainless steel – have different advantages. So it’s important to look at all the factors involved, to ensure you tailor your worktop to your needs.
‘Investing in your worktop is essential, as it’s one of the most hardwearing areas in your kitchen space. So it can be difficult to choose between style and practicality’ says Wren Kitchens Design Director, Darren Watts.
‘A solid timber worktop looks organic and is durable. However, if you’re looking for something with a bit of sparkle that will stand the test of time, our Xena Quartz worktops are both easy to clean, and stain and scratch resistant.’
Worktops are available at a variety of price points, a major factor. When it comes to decision making for most households. From cheaper laminates to expensive granites, what you choose is often be driven by how much you have to spend.
Many of the made-to-measure worktops – marble, concrete, Corian – are pretty costly and can prove unrealistic if you’re on a budget. Try opting for a quality look-alike instead. Pre-cut laminate worktops still provide gorgeous surface design and durability without the hefty price tag.
1. Add warmth with natural hardwood worktop
What is a hardwood worktop? A traditional favourite for its natural warmth as well as the character that comes as it ages, hardwood is preferred over ‘soft’ woods like pine for its strength. Popular choices of hardwood include oak, walnut as well as iroko. Always choose a sustainable hardwood, preferably from an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) accredited source.
Hardwood worktops suit all kitchen styles. Hardwood can be incorporated into a contemporary scheme using glass or stainless steel to add a warm feel.
2. Go for durability with composite worktops
What is a composite worktop? Made from about 90 per cent natural quartz crystals mixed with a small percentage of binders, and referred to as both ‘quartz composite’ and ‘engineered stone’, this material is very tough, virtually non-porous and resistant to scratches, stains, heat damage and impact, and often comes with a long warranty.
It also offers consistent composition, so unlike natural stone, there won’t be variation in veining and colour shading. Dramatic colours such as dark grey and blue look fabulous in modern and contemporary kitchens. If your kitchen design idea is quite traditional, stick to neutrals such as cream.
3. Choose granite worktops for luxury
What is a granite worktop? For some, nothing beats the beauty of natural stone, its veining and colouring unique to each slab. Marbles are classically beautiful and luxurious, tend to be rarer and therefore more expensive.
Granite worktops are a luxury material that never falls out of fashion and suits traditional and modern styles. Choose from a classic polished finish, or a honed matt for a more contemporary look.
4. Get the look with laminate worktops
What is a laminate worktop? Long-considered the best budget option, laminates are non-porous, offer easy maintenance and come in lots of design and colour choices. Made by fusing multiple layers of impregnated paper under high pressure temperature, bonded to a substrate, they are resistant to impact, scratching and moisture.
Can accurately mimic other worktop materials, including granite, slate and wood, so will suit modern and traditional schemes.
5. Consider quartz for antibacterial qualities
‘Homeowners are increasingly using antimicrobial materials and surfaces such as quartz’ explains Tom Howley, Design Director at Tom Howley bespoke kitchens. ‘Quartz looks fantastic and its resilience makes it a popular choice for a kitchen worktop.’
‘Quartz is perfect for kitchens as its non-porous texture doesn’t allow bacteria to grow. It’s easy to clean, making it less susceptible to staining and as well as being durable, quartz comes in a range of beautiful colours.’
6. Streamline surfaces with glass worktops
What is a glass worktop? Glass has long been a favourite with interior designers for the light touch it brings to a scheme as well as its reflective sheen that really helps boost light levels. Glass is a non-porous material that can withstand moisture and spills and splashes are easily wiped clean, making it a beautiful – and practical – solution for the kitchen.
7. Corian and solid-surface worktops
What is a Corian or solid-surface worktop? Made from a blend of acrylic resins, minerals and colourings, solid surfaces are warm to the touch with a natural lustre; they can be totally seamless too with one- piece, moulded sinks and splashbacks.
Suits most schemes. Available in a variety of colours – choose bright hues for modern kitchens, white for architectural, and any pale shades for traditional rooms.
Designs are often pioneering and the material can be thermoformed into fabulous, organic curves, slick, cantilevered breakfast bars and seamless wrap-around surfaces on islands. The material can be engraved, back-lit with LEDs and even fitted with built-in wireless charging for smart phones.
Corian is a particular brand and make-up of solid surface, meaning not all solid surfaces are Corian. Just like not all vacuum cleaners are Hoovers!
8. Seek a professional surface with Stainless-steel worktops
What is a stainless steel worktop?Durable, heat resistant, hygienic and impervious to water, stainless steel is an alloy of iron. The addition of chromium makes it resistant to rusting. Stainless steel is the restaurant kitchen favourite, ideal for creating the industrial aesthetic in your home. It works best in contemporary schemes, but you can team it with other materials to soften the look.
9. Choose contemporary concrete worktops
What is a concrete worktop? The industrial look of concrete makes it a current choice. It’s also designed to withstand plenty of heavy duty use, and comes in a range of standard concrete mix colours (from white to grey) and can be mixed with pigments for stronger colours. Polished concrete worktops are flat and smooth, but concrete is porous and can stain, and it is heavy so extra reinforcement may be required.
Credit By : idealhome