Choosing a kitchen worktop can be a tricky task. The most important things to bear in mind are practicality, budget, style and durability. Granite might be on top of your list, but your wallet might say laminate.
The perfect worktop can endure hot pans, oil, wine, coffee and acidic food, whilst being low maintenance and scratch proof. Add to it that the worktop also needs to fit in with the style of your kitchen and there are suddenly an absurd amount of boxes to tick.
Choosing a kitchen worktop material
When money isn’t an issue, this is the worktop to go for. It hold heats well and has the 2nd highest hardness rating after diamonds, which means it’s an incredibly durable work surface. Although it doesn’t stain, it can be good to use a stone seal product every 6 months to prevent coffee and wine stains from forming. The cost depends on variables such as colour, finish and source of country, which means it might be possible to score a bargain.
This is not for the clean freak who can’t stand spotless surfaces. Stainless steel is very difficult to maintain immaculate, although it is (of course) stain resistant and easy to clean. The material is perfect for the industrial New York loft look, and works well with a contemporary design too. Since it’s antibacterial it works well in all food preparation areas. Stainless steel does tend to scratch, but on the other hand it’s heat and acid resistant as well as waterproof.
Wood gives off a warm look that is compatible with most kitchen designs, whether it’s traditional or contemporary. Although a wooden worktop looks like a big chopping board, it will last much longer if you don’t cut food on it. Wood needs some maintenance, and oiling regularly is essential. Should any scratches or cracks form; sand, strip and re-seal. Be careful about water damage and hot pots.
It might not be the obvious choice due to a slightly bad reputation, but recent laminates have got an increasingly better scorch and scratch record than in days past. A perk is that you can opt for many different colours and patterns, with patterns being very forgiving on stains. Laminate can also mimic other material, so if you can’t achieve that granite just yet, laminate can get you halfway there. The material is resistant to chemicals, liquids and heat up to 180ºC.
This is another expensive option, but a durable one, stone can last as long as fine wine. Composite is especially to be preferred due to its long lasting features. Stone is largely unaffected by heat, although it’s always advisable to use pot stands. It requires little routine care, is easy to clean and benefits from being scratch resistant. Should the edge chip, it can be restored. Be aware that certain stones can bleach (from acidic food), so it’s not entirely stain proof.
If you need to fit a new kitchen worktop, post your job for free. Up to 3 quality, local kitchen specialists will get in touch to quote. Read their previous customer ratings and see who’s right for the job. When the job’s been finished, don’t forget to quote!