When it comes to choosing your kitchen worktop, it is particularly important to consider the material that you would like to have your worktop constructed out of.
Different materials will, of course, produce different appearances and will also require different levels and types of maintenance. It is important that you know as much as possible about each material before making a decision.
Below are several things to consider prior to buying a new kitchen worktop…
What Does It Look Like?
One of the most important things about choosing your kitchen worktop is the appearance. Ultimately, this is what attracts people initially to a particular material, and it will be what people see when they walk into your kitchen.
Worktops generally are the focal point of your kitchen, simply because they occupy so much space and play an important role in the preparation of food, so it is important that you choose a material that you find attractive. It is also worth bearing in mind that natural materials will differ very slightly in appearance and that many synthetic materials now have many positive features to consider.
What About Maintenance?
Before selecting a worktop material it is important to know how to look after it and what precautions you may have to take. If you live a busy lifestyle you may be looking for a low maintenance surface that will need a basic wipe down, such as a solid surface or quartz. Other materials such as marble or wood will require slightly more care and attention than others. For example, marble requires use of specialist cleaners, whereas Corian, Dekton and quartz require simple, every day cleaning with wet cloth – regular cleaning agents may also be used.
There are considerable price differences across the various ranges of worktop materials available. Marble is renowned as a luxury natural stone. Finding a material type and colour, indicated by price bands, to fit your budget can be a rather daunting prospect. Worktops.net have created a quote tool to help you to work out estimates from the comfort of your home. We are always at hand to help with pricing.
The wide array of materials and colours also means there is an opportunity to find what you are looking for that also fits in with your budget. Cost effective materials can often be designed to look like a more expensive material. For example, you can get many granite type materials, which will not possess the genuine features of authentic granite, yet they will hold the same appearance due to the fabrication process. This is a popular way of a achieving a certain desired look on a smaller budget.
It is important to check how durable materials are prior to having them fitted. Granite and quartz are particularly durable and can withstand a lot of kitchen traffic, without becoming scratched or damaged. The important things to consider are whether they can withstand a considerable amount of weight, heat, or whether they will scratch easily should you cut anything with a sharp knife directly on the worktop surface. That being said, it is advisable to always use a protective layer such as a pan stand or chopping board between hot pots and pans, and when engaged in food preparation, just to ensure that your worktop does not become damaged.
It is also worth keeping in mind that certain materials are repairable, to a certain extent – wood can be sanded down, solid surfaces can be buffed, as their colours run through the material. Ultra Compact materials like Dekton and Neolith and incredibly resilient to heat, stains and scratches, and if a section becomes damaged it can be replaced.
Resistance To Stains & Scratches
One of the most important things to consider is the environment of the kitchen. It is likely that, no matter how careful you are, you will at some point spill something on your worktop, or get it wet in some way. You need to be sure how to handle that when it does happen, and to know whether it is likely to stain. Those which are not stain and water resistant – wood, limestone, marble – often requires annual sealing, and this is important to know prior to having it fitted, as the cost of this should be taken into consideration.
It may be worth taking into consideration the longevity of the material you are choosing for your kitchen worktops – factor in its durability, maintenance requirements, possible susceptibility to damage through heavy use, etc. Marble could last for hundreds of years but it will stain quickly if precautions are not taken. Wood can stain and scratch quite easily. However, wood can be protected with sealant and buffed when needed. Ultra Compact and Solid Surfaces, relatively modern materials, offer high levels or resistance to scratches, stains, heat and impact damage.
Not all kitchen worktop materials are heat resistant or can sustain high temperatures. Extra precautions should always be taking when resting any hot pans or pots directly onto a counter. Heat resistance may well be an important factor for you when making a decision over which material to use in your kitchen. Using protective layers, such as chopping boards, a glass worktop saver, or trivets, can go a long way to safekeeping your worktop. Marble is a very tough material yet it can stain, scratch and even suffer burn damage. Whereas whilst granite and quartz offer far more resistance to heat than marble, it is still advised to use protective layers.
If you are in any doubt and need any assistance, please, contact us and we will do our very best to help.
Some materials are more naturally hygienic than others. Whilst this does not mean that you do not have to clean them, it is still useful to know. If you are looking for a very low maintenance material, quartz or ultra compact, might be slightly more appropriate for you than a more absorbent material that will take slightly longer to clean. Materials with a low-to-near zero porosity are very hygienic, as germs, mould and bacteria cannot penetrate the surface.
Given that food preparation is central to the life of a kitchen, it is very important that they are kept clean and free from bacteria. Higher maintenance materials can be kept just as hygienic as other materials if they are cleaned regularly and treated with appropriate sealants on an annual basis.
Fling Or For Keeps?
A kitchen refurbishment is a big project to take on and making sure that your choice of worktop is right for you – not just for now but for the foreseeable future – is really important. Trends and styles do change over time, which is why it makes a lot of sense to consider a wide range of different colours and patterns in advance of making the big decision. A classic appearance may well hold its own and stand the test of time, whereas a contemporary style may become dated in just the next few years.
Ultimately, it comes down to your personal taste, what you feel comfortable with. If you enjoy your kitchen then it really doesn’t matter what is viewed as trendy or fashionable!
Suitable For Young Family Members?
If you have children or a busy household, it is important that you have a worktop that will stand up to that demand. Some materials might be more susceptible to damage, and therefore might not be as suitable for those with a busy, young household.
Natural Wood may not be considered the best material to have if you have little ones, as this material, whilst it is durable, can become scratched fairly easily (particularly when turned into a racing track!)
Direct from the UK’s leading specialists, Worktops.net
Are you looking to add class and value to your home by creating the perfect kitchen or attractive yet functional bathroom? If so we are the ideal people to help you with this. We produce the highest quality premium kitchen worktops, and bathroom vanity tops, all at trade prices. Worktops.net are are proud to make luxury work surfaces truly affordable. To help you from the start we have a dedicated team of sales and technical experts who can talk you through all the options, from material choice to final colour choice, answering any technical questions you may have along the way. We can even organise a home appointment with one of our design team. Our long-time served team of masons will then manufacture your kitchen worktops in our state-of-the-art factory; with their years of expertise they will fabricate the worktops to your exact requirements and with a professional finish. If you want the highest quality kitchen worktops crafted in Britain, choose Worktops.net. Call us now on 0208 935 5337!
What our customers have to say
A fantastic addition to our bar. Great service and we will be recommending you to others. When we get round to doing our own kitchen I will give you guys a shout. [...]
Mr & Mrs Woof
We would like to thank everyone at Worktops.net. We wanted to compliment our hand painted kitchen and decided on having Ecostone which really works well.
Mr & Mrs Jones – Lincoln
Mr and Mrs Jones said their kitchen worktops are “First Class! We are extremely pleased with the product, price and fitting.”
Mr & Mrs Jewitt – Somerset
“We wanted something to set off our hand painted kitchen and the Ubatuba granite from Worktops.net was perfect”
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