18 December 2018

Kitchen Worktop Materials Guide


Planning a new kitchen, or refurbishing an old one, always leads to the question, “Which material should I use for my new kitchen worktop?” Nowadays, there are a lot of materials to choose from but which one will fit your; style, budget and your actual kitchen needs? This guide aims to give you a comprehensive choice of the most popular surfaces, with their pros and cons.

Granite

One of the most popular surface choices is granite. This tough, resilient natural stone comes in a variety of patterns and colours. Its natural surface is durable but not indestructible, it can chip or break if not treated properly and needs to be sealed to prevent porosity, which can see bacteria seep in. Also, Granite is a heavy material which, as a kitchen worktop, can put a lot of pressure on supporting cabinetry. Granite’s main rival are quartz kitchen worktops.

Quartz

Quartz worktops are some of the most popular in the UK to date. Coming in stunning shades and a wide colour palette, quartz worktops are extremely hygienic and do not have to be sealed. Every quartz worktop is man-made, which makes it more flexible than its granite counterpart and that means it is less likely to crack or chip. Furthermore, quartz kitchen worktops are stain-resistant, making them easy to clean and low maintenance. Seams in quartz worktops are easier to hide with darker shades but they need to be cared for, any long-term exposure to UV rays can cause discolouration over a long period of time.

Hardwood

There are few materials that can compete with the tactile and visual beauty of hardwood. These kitchen surfaces come in a variety of tones and if cared for properly, improve with age. Hardwood is cheaper than its stone counterparts, including quartz worktops, but shares its property of being anti-bacterial and very hygienic. However, for all its beauty, it’s a high maintenance material, needing to be free from long-term exposure to liquids. Wood is also easy to scratch and stain, and can be damaged from intense heat. Hardwood can be hard work.

Laminate

This material is the most cost effective of any worktop surface on offer today. Like hardwood and quartz worktops, laminate is antibacterial and very hygienic, and is easy to maintain and clean. Laminate is surprisingly hard-wearing, is very hard to scratch or damage with exposure to hot pots and pans. Laminate is a chameleonic material, able to fit into any kitchen style, and can be fashioned into looking like an expensive material. However, sometimes ‘cheap is expensive’, as laminate can peel over time and if it does burn, melt or scratch, it looks very unsightly and is hard to replace.

A Material Choice

If looked at objectively, a quartz worktop is a strong candidate in almost every measurable way. Quartz worktops are a little bit more expensive than their contemporaries but; can fit almost every kitchen, come in a variety of textures, tones and colours; are easy to maintain; are amongst the most hygienic of materials and is hard to damage, stain or even chip. An all-round perfect pick.

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