Choosing the Right Kitchen Worktop
The kitchen is the hub of the house and often, the room that we choose to invest in first. We want to create a space where friends and family can come together and relax after a busy day. A room where we can build memories throughout the year. On average, kitchen renovations cost anywhere between £5,000 and £15,000. And, because of this significant budget, you want to ensure you’ve chosen the best options for the entire household.
In this guide, we’ll delve into kitchen worktops and how this vital addition can help you cook, serve and entertain to perfection.
Things To Consider When Choosing a Kitchen Worktop
With any large-scale investment in your home, it pays to consider the practicality of your choice. Yes – you could go with the prettiest option on the market. Or, the one that makes your home look as Instagram-worthy as possible. But, if it cannot stand up to repeated impact or cleaning (or even just the day-to-day activities of your kids), it’s likely going to become more of a chore than something to enjoy. This is why it pays to do your research and make sure you choose the best option for your home. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What Is Your Budget?
There will be options on the market for every budget – make sure you don’t go over!
- Do You Regularly Prepare And Cook Food From Scratch?
You will likely need a kitchen worktop that is more durable and can withstand cutting, slicing and grinding without damage.
- How Much Time Do You Have For Maintenance?
If you’re constantly busy, you want a surface that won’t stain easily or absorb food liquids. And, one that can be wiped clean with most standard cleaning chemicals.
- How Big Will Your Kitchen Worktop Need To Be?
Depending on the material you choose, some worktops can only be manufactured up to a certain length. If you’re ok with having joints, this won’t be an issue. But, if you’re looking for a more seamless, premium look, you’ll need to know these max dimensions before ordering.
- Do You Need Additional Heat Resistance?
Some cooks prefer to place their cooking pots directly on the surface for a solid surface when creating certain meals. In this case, you’ll need to choose one that is resistant to heat.
From the points above, it’s easy to note that one of the most important considerations to make with a kitchen worktop is the material. And, they can come in a whole host of different types to suit your needs – both practically and aesthetically. Some of the most popular include:
- Solid wood
- Stainless steel
Let’s take a look at each one to help you decide the right choice for you.
Granite Kitchen Worktops
Commonly associated with luxury room designs, granite worktops are a highly popular option. As one of the hardest materials known to man, it is ideally suited to this role. No two pieces are the same, meaning you get a unique look to your home and the smooth surfaces make them incredibly easy to clean too. However, granite worktops are generally at the top end of most people’s budgets and are used when there is more money to play with.
- Extremely hard-wearing and not prone to scratches
- Unique beauty with natural grain
- Slows down wear-and-tear
- Highly resistant to heat
- Resistant to stains
- When properly sealed, it won’t absorb liquids
- If not sealed properly, they are porous
- Expensive investment
- Heavy and should be installed professionally
If you’re looking for an alternative to granite, you may wish to consider quartz. This man-made stone has an equally high durability with good chip resistance and resilience to scratches. Because it is man-made, the patterns you receive can be more consistent than granite which is ideal if there is a specific organised look you’re going for. And, you have more flexibility with colour and texture because of this too.
- Very durable and hardwearing
- Flexibility with design and appearance
- Highly scratch-resistant
- Antimicrobial with no gaps or spaces reduces the ability of organisms to grow
- Can be expensive, depending on style and supplier
- Protective resins and polymer fillings have low heat-resistance
- Heavy and requires professional installation
Ceramic Kitchen Worktops
For kitchens that need to abide by a certain colour theme or style, ceramic kitchen worktops offer more versatility and personalisation. They are highly popular in contemporary homes, giving you a stylish option that perfectly matches the style you want to achieve. In addition, because they are much thinner than granite or quartz, they are easier to fit and make the space look more refined as a result.
- Easy to choose the different colours and patterns
- More cost-effective
- Good durability
- Both heat and moisture resistant
- Stain-proof due to being non-porous
- Some designs will have an uneven surface which increases the surface area for bacteria to breed
- If not installed professionally, they can crack when dropped
Glass Kitchen Worktops
Creating the perfect modern and contemporary kitchen is easy with a glass worktop. These sleek and glossy options are unlike anything else, transforming the room into something undeniably timeless. Because of the versatility with colour and style, you can truly personalise the room and have the glass cut to any unique corners or shapes needed.
- Good durability
- Resistant to both heat and water
- Can be cut to size
- Colours don’t fade over time
- A smooth surface reduces the build-up of dirt
- Can shatter if dropped during installation
- If excessive weight is placed on the corners, you may see additional damage
- Don’t stand up well to exposure to acidic foods
Solid Wood Kitchen Worktop
For a classic and timeless look, opt for a solid wood kitchen worktop. A beautiful and warm addition to any kitchen, these worktops have a country-chic beauty to them that other materials don’t. They are warm to the touch, have their own unique natural grain and can be cut to the exact size you need. Plus you have the wide variation that comes from different woods that you aren’t restricted to style in any way.
- Wood ages well and your kitchen top will likely look better after a few years than it does when first installed
- Long-lasting when properly maintained
- Can be sanded away to remove damage
- Naturally resistant to germs and bacteria
- Can be an eco-friendly option
- Due to the porous material, you do need to seal wooden worktops regularly to prevent damage
- Wood is soft so can be dented or scratched easily
- It does not have great heat resistance and will scorch if exposed to excessive temperatures
Laminate Kitchen Worktop
If you’re looking for a more affordable option with a host of styles, choose a laminate kitchen worktop. These are manufactured using a dense sheet of chipboard that is coated in the colour, style and pattern laminate of your choice. They are one of the most popular options here in the UK, working well in rental properties as well as for those under a stricter budget. You can even use laminate worktops to emulate the look of more expensive options, like granite or quartz.
- More affordable than most other options on this list
- Highly waterproof and resistant to spills
- Easy to install without professional help
- Good resistance to scratches
- Can be manufactured in a host of colours and styles to suit your needs
- Low maintenance
- Prone to water ingress
- Not heat resistant
- If joints aren’t properly sealed, the laminate can blow
Choosing the right kitchen worktop for your new space comes down to personal choice. Here at Castle Home Improvements, we have a wealth of experience helping customers like you. If you would like support designing and installing your new kitchen space, get in contact with us here today.