Buyers’ Guide: Kitchen Worktops
Choosing the right worktop for your kitchen can be a difficult process. You need to select the right material to complement the look of your kitchen, to suit your lifestyle and to fit your budget. Whether you have a busy family kitchen or use the space for hosting dinner parties, the worktop you choose should be both stylish and hard wearing.
Worktops come in a wide range of finishes, each with its own unique properties. At Price Kitchens, we have a broad selection of different worktops available for every style of kitchen, along with plenty of professional advice to help you choose the best solution for your kitchen.
Solid timber worktops are a natural choice for a classic wood kitchen and they come in a wide variety of colours and finishes including Oak, Beech, Birch, Walnut, Iroko, Ash, Cherry, Maple, Birch, Wenge and even Bamboo. Wooden worktops are hard wearing and provide a practical and inviting surface for your kitchen. Pricewise, they typically offer better value than natural stone or composite worktops.
Wooden worktops require regular oiling (every 3-6 month) to keep in top condition, particularly around the sink area. The material can stain if it is not properly protected, however any accidental damage can be sanded back and repaired.
Good quality laminate is easy to find, quick to fit and incredibly durable – making it a sensible and budget friendly option for today’s kitchens. Laminate worktops are scratch resistant, heat proof and very easy to look after. Just wipe over with a damp cloth on a regular basis to preserve their good looks.
The choice of colours and designs available is virtually limitless, able to complement any kitchen style and design. Choose from various finishes including semi-gloss, gloss and matt but be careful of inferior quality laminate – they can peel or burn under a hot pan.
Granite is a natural rock which is cut in its natural state before being polished for use in the home. A natural and truly luxurious material, granite makes a fabulous kitchen worktop. Granite is very heavy, incredibly robust and heat resistant, making it ideal for withstanding heavy wear and tear in the kitchen. The natural graining and natural stone colouring means that no two pieces of granite are ever the same. Another bonus is that granite requires minimal maintenance – cleaning with warm soapy water is all that’s needed.
Ordering and fitting a granite worktop requires a longer lead time since the stone must be cut to the exact size using a template. This is a specialist job likely to take 1-2 weeks to complete.
Quartz worktops are made from natural quartz, one of the hardest minerals on the planet, fortified with resin for extra strength. It’s heat resistant, very durable and highly resistant to chipping and scratching. It’s also very easy to keep clean. The non-porous material is stain and bacteria resistant, providing a very hygienic surface for your kitchen. No sealing is required.
Quartz is available in a myriad of eye catching colours in uniform and very modern finishes that lends a unique designer style to a contemporary kitchen. As with granite, a quartz worktop needs pre-cutting, and the resultant delay will need to be built into your kitchen design timescale.
Corian is the original solid surface material for kitchen worktops. It can be cut to fit virtually any shape to create a kitchen solution for any design brief, including continuous worktops and integrated sinks for true luxury and sophistication.
Corian is available in a vast choice of 70+ colourways, while the non-porous material has excellent stain and water resistance. The material is extremely hard wearing and very easy to maintain, providing a beautiful long-term solution for your kitchen.
For the ultimate in minimalist design, coloured glass kitchen worktops are hard to beat. Back painted in a vast range of colours, cut to any size and shape from a single piece of toughened glass, this materials offers exquisite style and easy-to-clean simplicity.
Glass offers a wealth of kitchen perfect properties: it’s waterproof and hygienic, heat resistant up to 250C, perfectly flat and very low maintenance.
If you want to achieve a professional look in your kitchen, choose a stainless steel worktop, the ‘go to’ material in commercial kitchens. It has everything you could possibly wish for: durability, water, heat and stain resistance, and naturally antibacterial properties that create a hygienic kitchen environment.
Stainless steel is very light, and it’s easy to clean too. The cool, almost clinical look is perfect for contemporary handleless kitchens or high gloss kitchens.
Key decision making factors
When selecting the best worktop for your kitchen, these are the key considerations that you should take into account.
A key factor in the decision making process, your budget will dictate whether to go for a cost effective laminate worktop, or a more expensive natural wood or stone worktop. While laminate surfaces are perfectly practical, they may lack the solidity and aspirational aesthetic of a granite or quartz kitchen worktop.
Stone worktops that need templating will require extra lead time before they are ready to install. The weight of the material means that several operatives are required for installation. Both of these issues will drive the cost up, which is additional to the cost of the product itself. Laminate and lighter composite worktops can be fitted on site and installed by a single person – a quicker and cheaper process.
• Colour and Finish
Most worktops come in a wide choice of colours and a range of finishes that can be used to make a real style statement in your kitchen. Whether you match or contrast your colour scheme, choose a smooth or rugged finish for your worktop, it’s essential that the end result is not just pleasing to the eye, but hygienic and easy to look after.
A kitchen worktop is above all a practical surface for food preparation. Caring for your worktop should be easy. Look out for durability, water, heat and stain resistance and hygienic properties. Make sure that you know what sort of maintenance will be required to look after your worktop and that you are prepared to carry it out on a regular basis.
Price Kitchens are a family run business with over 35 years’ experience in the kitchen industry. Our experienced and knowledgeable team members know a thing or two about kitchen worktops and are happy to talk you through all the options. For professional advice and assistance on choosing the right worktop for your kitchen, please contact us on 020 8686 9006 or visit our spacious showroom in Croydon, South London.