Kitchen Worktops - What do you need to know?

Without a doubt, the most common question clients ask me is "What worktop should we get; Quartz, granite, wood or something else?"

My answer as with everything, is that there is no "one size fits all" solution. The way you use your kitchen will determine the best worktop for you. I have laid out in simple terms the pros and cons for each to help you make an informed decision!

 

1. Laminate

What is it?

Laminate worktops are typically comprised of a MDF or chipboard core with a decorative wrap and sealed with a moisture resistant coating

laminate-kitchen-worktop.jpg

Pros:

  • Easy installation, light weight and pliable material
  • Most choice in terms of colour and effects - effects can mimic wood, marble and concrete for example
  • Most economical option
  • Easy maintenance - wipe down surfaces
  • High quality laminates on the market available for example Duropal and Maia which have a longer lifespan than most laminates

Cons:

  • Cheaper laminates have a short life span
  • Not heat resistant - can burn if a hot pan I left on it!
  • Not very easy to repair if there are chips
  • Prone to damage in wet areas

3. Corian

What is it?

A man made compound of acrylic and natural minerals, Corian is the brand name created by Dupont in 1967

corian-worktop-hp.jpg

Pros:

  • The material can be moulded seamlessly over worktops and walls using an epoxy resin, giving a clean designer finish
  • Corian sinks can also be created to make a completely seamless finish
  • Incredibly durable
  • Non porous, water resistant

Cons:

  • Will discolour if exposed to long periods of sunlight, harsh chemicals, bleach
  • Can be prone to scratching
  • Not heat resistant

4. Quartz

quartz calcutta.png

What is it?

One of the most common minerals on earth and is contained within most rock types. Quartz worktops are man made with 93% quartz and 7% resin and pigment. This means there is a fast colour and pattern choice available on the market. 

Pros:

  • Hardest material available in a worktop (only Diamond, Sapphire and Topaz are harder!)
  • Stain resistant
  • Water resistant
  • Mould resistant
  • Heat resistant
  • Scratch resistant
  • Colours are uniform so worktops can have a seamless finish
  • Unlike Granite, Quartz worktops do not need to be sealed

Cons:

  • Expensive compared to laminates and Corian

  • Requires professional installation (remember to factor this into your final costing!)

  • Will discolour if exposed to long periods of sunlight, harsh chemicals, bleach

5. Granite

What is it?

A beautiful naturally occurring rock, which is cut in its natural state and polished to create a worktop

Pros:

granite worktop.jpg
  • As it is naturally occurring, you will be sure to have a worktop that is completely unique to you!
  • Difficult not to love the natural look and feel of natural stone!
  • Fire and heat resistant
  • Scratch resistant
  • Mould resistant

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • Requires professional installation (be sure to factor this into your costing!)
  • Not many colour choices available (just what is available naturally!)
  • Needs to be sealed and maintained regularly
  • Porous so light coloured granite can be prone to staining
  • Can chip - repair is expensive
  • Limited sizing so joins in the worktop are very visible

6. Solid Wood

solid wood worktop dark.png

Pros:

  • Warm, natural, timeless material
  • From a light Ash to a dark Walnut, there are several colour options available
  • Cost effective
  • Imperfections can be sanded
  • Easy to fit

Cons:

  • High maintenance, regular oiling required
  • Prone to mould especially around the sink area
  • Easily stains and scratches
  • Can bow with time, come away from kitchen cabinets - not repairable!

7. Stainless Steel

stainless steel worktop.jpg

Pros:

  • Very easy maintenance
  • Very durable
  • Stain resistant
  • Heat resistant
  • Mould resistant
  • Seamless finish
  • Very cost effective
  • Light weight and easy to install

Cons:

  • Can feel cold, and clinical
  • Scratches easily (but some like this effect!)
  • Can dent 
  • Noisy!
  • Smudges and finger prints are very visible

Did that help you make a decision? If so what did you go for? I wuld love to hear from you!