- What are the main types of materials?
- What is the most durable kitchen worktop?
- Which kitchen worktop requires the least amount of maintenance?
- Which kitchen worktop is the most stain-resistant?
- What is the best scratch-resistant kitchen worktop?
- Which worktop is most heat resistant?
- What is the most hygienic kitchen worktop?
- What is the most attractive kitchen worktop?
- How does kitchen worktop cost compare?
- Which worktops have integrated sinks and accessories?
- What Colour worktop is best?
To decide what is the best kitchen worktop, determine how you will be using your kitchen, so you know what matters most for you when choosing the worktop.
The first thing to consider is the type of worktop material and the practical benefits and functional qualities you are looking for.
Next will be the aesthetic appearance, texture, colour and design options of the worktops.
Then you will probably consider how much value it adds to the resale of your property.
If you are on a tight budget, the price of the worktops and value for money will become an important factor.
To help you decide what the best kitchen worktop is for you, carefully think about each of the considerations explained in this article and contact us for further advice.
What are the main types of materials?
The main types of kitchen worktop materials are
- Ultra Compact (sintered stone)
- Solid Surface
- Granite, Marble, and Limestone
- Stainless Steel
Each of these types offers a different set of benefits in terms of aesthetic appearance, design options, style, functionality, durability, hygiene, maintenance, heat resistance, scratch resistance, versatility and long-term value.
Finding the right balance of beauty, functionality, and price, to suit your aspirations and requirements will determine which kitchen worktop is best for you.
What is the most durable kitchen worktop?
It goes without saying that you want your kitchen worktops to be aesthetically appealing, but it won’t help much if you have to replace them within a few years.
If you entertain a lot, or your daily cooking requires lots of chopping, cutting, rubbing, and cleaning, a delicate surface will not suit you and you will need a worktop material that can endure a lot of wear and tear.
At the top of the list will be quartz worktops, followed by sintered stone, solid surface, natural stone, solid wood, and stainless steel.
Quartz kitchen worktops are made of the hardest material, topped only by diamonds and sapphires. It is made of pulverised quartz, marble and granite, mixed with polymers and resin, resembling natural stone. It will last forever, even with minimal maintenance and no treatment necessary.
Ultra Compact (Sintered Stone) worktops
Sintered Stone (ultra compact) worktops are made of a revolutionary new material; composed of granite, quartz, feldspar, silica, glass, and porcelain; that is extremely hard and durable, with no treatment and only minimal maintenance. In most kitchens, it will be almost indestructible, with no treatment or special maintenance required.
Natural stone worktops
Natural stone (Granite, Marble, and Limestone) is exceptionally hardwearing and will last for centuries if properly sealed and maintained.
Solid wood worktops
Solid Wood of a large variety of species is fabricated into extremely durable kitchen worktops and will last for generations if regularly sealed and properly maintained.
Solid surface worktops
Solid surface kitchen worktops are created to last a lifetime. Scratches and minor damage can easily be sanded out by professionals and even skilful DIY enthusiasts.
Stainless steel worktops
Stainless Steel kitchen worktops of the best grade will outlast many of the other types of materials, with proper maintenance.
Concrete kitchen worktops will last for a very long time if properly maintained.
Laminates have been improved with new technology, but great care needs to be taken to avoid damage.
Which kitchen worktop requires the least amount of maintenance?
Unless you are prepared to spend a lot of time cleaning up and doing upkeep, you will want a countertop material that is easy to clean and requires little or no maintenance.
Sintered stone and solid wood worktops
Fuss-free options are quartz, sintered stone, and solid surface kitchen worktops. They are all very easy to clean and require no special treatment or maintenance.
Natural stone and solid wood kitchen worktops have to be sealed regularly but are easy to clean if maintained properly.
Scratches and minor damage on solid wood and solid-surface kitchen worktops are easy to repair.
Glass and stainless steel worktops
Toughened glass and stainless steel kitchen worktops do not require sealing and are easy to clean, but care needs to be taken to avoid scratches or damage.
Which kitchen worktop is the most stain-resistant?
Ultra-compact, quartz, and solid stone worktops
No material is 100% stainproof but engineered stone like quartz, sintered stone, and solid surface is completely non-porous and will not absorb any liquids. Surface stains are easily removed.
Toughened glass worktops are non-porous and highly stain resistant.
Stainless steel worktops
Stainless steel is non-porous and impervious to liquids but can be stained by chemicals, solvents and household cleaners. Iron cookware, especially if wet, left on a stainless steel worktop can also lead to surface rust and stains.
Dirt and moisture cannot penetrate the surface of good quality laminate worktops, but surface stains are more difficult to remove.
Natural stone and solid wooden worktops
Natural stone and solid wood kitchen worktops are porous and can absorb liquids which stain the material. Marble kitchen worktops and limestone in particular are vulnerable to acidic liquids and need to be sealed properly and regularly.
What is the best scratch-resistant kitchen worktop?
Quartz, ultra-compact, and granite kitchen worktops
Quartz and Sintered stone are extremely hard and highly resistant to scratches.
Granite worktops do not scratch easily.
Which worktop is most heat resistant?
Stainless steel worktop
Stainless steel kitchen worktops are highly heat resistant and hot pots, hot pans and other cookware will not cause damage.
Quartz, sintered stone, solid-surface, and natural stone are heat resistant and can withstand very high temperatures but can be damaged by thermal shocks when the temperature radically and instantaneously changes. Hot pans should rather be placed on heat trivets.
What is the most hygienic kitchen worktop?
Quartz, ultra-compact, and solid surfaces
Quartz worktops, Sintered Stone, and Solid-Surface kitchen worktops are completely non-porous and with almost seamless joints, there is nowhere for bacteria to grow. Some brands of quartz worktops have antimicrobial properties that actively kill germs.
Solid wooden worktops
Solid wood kitchen worktops have natural anti-bacterial properties and if the surface is kept clean, they rank very highly for hygiene.
Glass and stainless steel
Glass and stainless steel countertops are non-porous and no harmful toxins can penetrate the surface. Joints and seams must be sanitised regularly.
Laminate kitchen worktops
Laminate worktop surfaces cannot be penetrated by germs, but joints and seams are vulnerable and if the thin laminate layer is cracked or damaged, they sacrifice hygiene as the bacteria can grow in the cracks and wooden particleboard core.
What is the most attractive kitchen worktop?
Natural stone worktop materials
There is probably nothing that can beat the matchless appeal of natural materials such as granite, marble, limestone and solid wood. Each slab is unique.
Quartz has an incomparable lustre, with a crystal-like 3D effect. A large variety of colours are consistent throughout the thickness of the slab and also across slabs, infinitely enhancing design possibilities.
Sintered stone and solid surface worktops emulate the elegance and beauty of natural stone and have almost endless design possibilities due to the cast array of colours, textures and colour consistency.
With glass kitchen worktops designs that stretch the imagination are possible because of the gleam and colour variety and because glass can be shaped and formed into eye-catching styles.
How does kitchen worktop cost compare?
Laminate and concrete worktops
If you are on a budget, a laminate worktop or concrete kitchen worktop is probably your best choice. Laminates have a thin plastic overlay on man-made boards, with a vast number of designs and colours that can mimic hundreds of finishes.
Concrete can be decorated in many different ways, including mosaics, tiles, glass fragments and even optic lights that can be embedded in the concrete.
Solid wood worktops
Exotic wood will be very expensive but cheaper options are available.
Limestone worktops are generally more expensive than the cheaper wood options.
Granite and marble worktops
It is important to buy only from accredited dealers because cheaper granite worktops do not have the same quality.
Marble is available in a very wide range of colours, patterns, and quality. You are advised to buy only from accredited dealers and fabricators.
Solid surface worktops
Solid surface worktops improve the functional qualities of granite and marble and are therefore more expensive.
Ultra-Compact and Quartz worktops
Manufacturing sintered stone, which is much harder and more durable than natural stone, is an expensive process and specialised equipment is required for fabrication and installation.
Quartz is the hardest of all worktop materials and contains a high percentage of granite. It outperforms most of the other worktop materials and has an exquisite crystal appearance.
Which worktops have integrated sinks and accessories?
Integrated sinks, basins, upstands, and backsplashes in the same material and colour are valued for creating cohesion, uniformity, and symmetry when fused onto the kitchen worktops.
Quartz, ultra-compact, and solid surfaces
Quartz, sintered stone and solid-surface kitchen worktops have a vast range of accessories that can be seamlessly joined to create the illusion that the entire design has been created from a solid block of the material.
What Colour worktop is best?
Clearly, your choice of colour and décor will suit your personal taste and will therefore be the best. From a functional point of view, there are reasons to give preference to certain colours, though.
Creating the illusion of more space
Lighter colours create the illusion of space and will therefore be a better choice in small kitchens, whereas darker colours will be more impressive in large kitchens.
Lighter, neutral, or more conservative colours are less fashion-bound and are more timeless than trendy, bright colours. Surveys have shown that light and neutral colours are a more popular choice for home buyers.
For a more sanitary and uncluttered appearance
White, black, grey and bright colours tend to give off a cleaner vibe and lend themselves to trendy decorative options that can be changed easily and relatively cheaply.
Establishing a welcoming atmosphere
White, grey, blue, red, yellow, and green, shades are warm and welcoming colours, believed to stimulate the appetite.
Creating a feeling of luxury
Black, dark grey, metallic, marble, quartzite, and crystalline colours create a luxurious feel of quality.
Giving visual weight by using different textures
Linked to the choice of colour to create the desired atmosphere and feeling of depth, is also your choice of texture. Quartz, sintered stone, and solid-surface kitchen worktops offer a wide choice of textures, including polished, gloss, suede, leather, rustic, and volcano.
Rough textures can make a space feel more intimate or rustic, while polished and glossy surfaces tend to add a modern, sleek and contemporary tone to your kitchen.
For professional advice, contact one of our design or technical specialists on 0208 935 5337, or get in touch using our contact form.
Other inspiring articles
Five of the Best Kitchen Worktop Materials
Overview To take the strain out of choosing your kitchen worktop, we look at five of the best kitchen worktop materials Choosing the right kitchen worktop is an exciting part of [...]
What is the best kitchen worktop?
Overview To decide what is the best kitchen worktop, determine how you will be using your kitchen, so you know what matters most for you when choosing the worktop. The first thing [...]
New Compac Terrazzo
COMPAC, the leading Spanish company in the manufacture and distribution of quartz surfaces, has recently launched its new Terrazzo HPS designs, a high-performance stone material for both internal and external applications. This versatile material offers [...]
Nina Magon designs new Dekton Onirika colour collection
Transform your design fantasies into a tangible reality with the latest addition to the Dekton family: the Onirika CollectionThis stunning collection offers an innovative and versatile range of Dekton Surfaces that allow designers and architects [...]