When it comes to choosing your worktops there is a bewildering range of options to choose from – worktops can help you achieve your overall look and bring together the different components of your overall design so it’s important to get it right. They will make up a significant part of your budget so it’s always wise to take your time, do the research and get as much advice from your kitchen designer who will know the pros and cons of each type to help make your decision easier.
Have a look at our useful guide to help you choose the right worktop.
Consider your original design objectives – if you want a country kitchen it would be unsuitable to opt for gleaming black worktops. Think about your cabinetry and make sure your choice will complement your cupboards and shelving to achieve a seamless and integrated look. Budget – always choose the best quality you can afford and ask your kitchen designer to recommend the most cost-effective options in your price bracket.
Granite is by far the most popular of the natural stone options but other finishes include marble and limestone and they will all add unique character to your kitchen, exuding warmth, texture and a high-end finish. Each surface has subtle differences in pattern and colour so this is a great option if you are looking for something really individual with a bespoke feel.
The obvious benefit of stone worktops is their great durability and toughness and they will give your kitchen a high-end look with luxurious texture.
Granite worktops do require sealing but otherwise are very easy to care for and look good for a long time. Never use harsh abrasive cleaners on stone worktops, just clean with a mild detergent.
Sometimes known as Composite, engineered stone is a popular option for worktops and the range of brands, finishes and colours is large so do your research thoroughly to ensure you get the look and feel you want for your kitchen. They are composed of manmade stone-like material and come in a vast range of colours so they are a highly versatile option allowing for bold design.
They are also a very practical choice offering a resilient, non-porous finish which is hygienic and great for heavy-duty, busy family kitchens.
Unlike their natural counterpart, there is no sealing required with composite worktops and they are stain and scratch resistant. Don’t use harsh and abrasive cleaning materials – a simple wipe down with a mild detergent will keep them looking good.
The advantages of using wood lies in the inherent beauty of the natural grain and the overall warmth and depth they will bring to your design. The natural qualities of wood make it the essential choice if you are looking for a rustic, country or traditional style but wood is highly versatile and different finishes can look great in more contemporary style kitchens which embrace the modern country look.
Wooden worktops look great with painted furniture and if sealed and well-looked after provide a durable, hard-waring option that can’t be beaten for good looks, warmth and textural design.
Popular choices include maple, oak, beech and walnut and each will add a different warmth and grain pattern so speak to your designer when you’re researching your options.
Wooden worktops need to be cared for to enhance the beauty of the grain. Oil every six months and ensure that the sink area is kept as dry as possible. Scratches and stains can be sanded out as and when they happen. Your kitchen designer can offer lots of after-care advice to help you maintain your worktops.
A great choice for anyone who is looking for a cost-effective option and the good news is that the quality and range has improved over recent years. If you are planning a kitchen on a tight budget, laminate makes an excellent choice. Laminate worktops are very hard-wearing and are highly heat resistant.
Laminate is an excellent budget option but it is a surface that won’t give your kitchen that really high-end quality and finish so if this is important to you think carefully before you choose this option.
As laminate is a robust surface, it is an easy-care option but once installed laminate can’t be repaired so use pan stands and chopping boards when preparing food.
A very contemporary and fashionable option which looks great in city kitchens or for those looking for what is known as modern country where the design is streamlined and takes a nod from the utility chic style that is very on-trend at the moment. As well as giving your kitchen a cool, modern look, stainless steel is hugely practical. The preferred option in restaurant kitchens, it’s a great option for the serious cook.
Stainless steel is a more unusual choice and very on-trend but make sure it is something you can live with in the long-term.
Practical and hygienic, this option is very easy to maintain and keep clean and specific cloths and cleaning products can be used for effortless cleaning.
We have looked at the most popular worktop choices in our guide but of course there are numerous other options like Glass, Corian™ and Maia so make sure you research all the options, look at as many samples as possible and above all enjoy choosing one of the most exciting parts of your new kitchen.