If you need to replace or fit new worktops in your kitchen, chances are you’re a little overwhelmed by all the materials on offer! Let us help you by taking you through the main options so you can decide which type of worktop will be best for your kitchen…
Best for: contemporary/luxury kitchens
This is a durable, luxurious material that is well worth the expense if you see your kitchen as an investment for life. You can buy granite worktops in a host of colours (mostly dark ones, though), making it easy to match them to the rest of the room. Both matte and glossy finishes are available, although the latter tend to be more common.
Granite requires gentle cleaning only, and the surface is extremely heat, stain and water-resistant. This type of worktop really will last for an incredibly long time, if properly taken care of, making it perfect for kitchens that are used quite a lot.
Best for: traditional or shaker kitchens
If you want to create a traditional or country-style look in your kitchen, solid wood work surfaces are the way to go. They’re usually cheaper than granite, come in a range of wood types (such as oak, walnut and beech) and colours, and work well with most kitchen design schemes.
Solid wood is also easy to clean, although you will need to remember to oil it a couple of times a year to prevent the material from losing moisture. However, it’s not quite as durable as granite, so it’s likely scratches and other marks will develop on the surface over time if you’re not careful.
Best for: luxury kitchens
This is the material to go for if you really want to give your kitchen the wow factor. Marble’s polished look and delicate patterning makes it ideal for both modern and traditional luxury homes, and it’s available in a range of colours.
Just bear in mind that marble is more expensive than most other worktops, and that you need to keep on top of cleaning and maintenance to ensure it stays in good condition, as it’s more porous than, say, granite. You should keep acidic substances like lemon juice away from the surface and avoid using abrasive or caustic cleaning fluids, for example.
Best for: all kitchen styles
This non-porous, hardwearing material is an excellent choice if you do a lot of work in the kitchen. Made from quartz and resin, composite stone is particularly easy to clean and is highly resistant to stains and heat. You can also have your pick of a wide array of finishes and colours, making it simple to coordinate your cabinets and worktops.
Again, composite stone tends to be at the higher end of the price scale, but it’s certainly worth the investment. One brand to look out for is Silestone, which is worth considering if you want anti-bacterial properties built into your work surfaces.
Things to think about when buying worktops
- How much do/will you use your kitchen? Heavy usage will require sturdy, durable worktops.
- How much maintenance are you willing to put in?
- What does/will the rest of the kitchen look like? Consult a kitchen designer if you’re not sure whether your chosen worktop will go with your cabinets, floor and appliances.
- What’s your budget? Think twice before simply going for the cheapest option, as it’s unlikely a low-cost worktop will last very long – meaning you’ll need to go through the expense and effort of choosing a new one sooner than you’d like.