To help you make up your mind, here’s a brief guide to each of the most popular worktops found in UK kitchens, with the pros, cons and qualities of each…
Wood worktops can add a lovely warmth and natural beauty to a kitchen, but they do come with a few practical issues. They need to be regularly sealed using oil, and spills and water must be wiped up immediately. If you protect the worktop with chopping boards and cork mats for hot pans, you can avoid marking or scratching the surface and it will last a long time, developing an attractive ‘well loved’ look over the years. Wood worktops aren’t always the cheapest, but you can save money with products that have a layer of solid wood over a particleboard centre.
Granite is a material that will stand the test of time, both in terms of fashion trends and its durability. It’s luxurious, tough and able to withstand high temperatures, as well as being very easy to clean and maintain. However, all of these great qualities come with a price tag, and you will need a team of experienced kitchen fitters to work with this very heavy material and get a really great finish.
Stainless steel worktops are a great choice for serious chefs, and they fit well with industrial and contemporary design schemes. Steel is a very practical choice, being very hygienic and easy to keep clean, although you will have to work a bit to maintain that streak-free shine. It does not require sealing and is water, heat and stain resistant, so it’s great for use around sinks and hobs. However, it is not the cheapest or most widely available option on the market.
This is by far the most affordable option, and while laminate may not offer a high-end finish (unless you choose a really good product which mimics another material effectively), it is a practical choice. It’s easy to fit and clean, but it can mark when exposed to heat and steam.
Glass is a popular choice for colourful, contemporary kitchens, and it can be a great design feature when properly lit. It’s hygienic thanks to no seals or joints, but cleaning can be a challenge if you want a streak-free finish. Noise can be an issue, as can price – especially if creating a bespoke worktop – but glass scores highly for practicality thanks to its tough qualities and heat/water resistance.
Whichever option you choose, it is absolutely crucial to ensure your new worktop is fitted properly by a specialist such as A&J Kitchens, who can guarantee a perfect finish.