Choosing a material for your kitchen worktops is an important step in the kitchen design process. In fact, it’s just as important as just about any other step, including flooring and cabinet styles. Your kitchen worktops are going to bear the brunt of the work in your kitchen, so you’ll want to make sure that you choose a surface that is durable, within your price range, and also matches the style you’re working to achieve in your kitchen.
If you’re struggling to decide which kitchen worktop material will best suit your kitchen, Kensington Scott is here to help. We’ve pulled together a few of the most popular worktop materials and will walk you through everything you need to know about them.
Starting with the most affordable option – laminate worktops. Laminate is highly versatile, available in just about any colour or design and can imitate the appearance of other, more expensive kitchen worktop options. Laminate is durable, easily capable of living up to the daily demands of the kitchen. However, it’s unlikely to last you a lifetime so it’s quite possible you’ll need to replace it at some stage. Laminate can scratch, so you’ll always want to make sure you use a cutting board when preparing food. Heat can also damage laminate, so you’ll want to avoid placing hot dishes and pans on the surface when taking them straight out of the oven or off the hob.
Because laminate is so versatile, it can suit any kitchen. You can easily find a laminate option that imitates the look of marble, quartz, wood and other styles. Another bonus is that laminate requires little to no maintenance, so as long as you avoid any practices that may cause damage to the surface, you won’t even have to think about taking care of your countertops.
Wood kitchen worktops are another fantastic option that can suit a number of kitchen styles. Most traditionally, you’ll find wood worktops in a country or farm style kitchen, but also in rustic and even modern kitchens. A hardwood worktop will cost you more than laminate, but less than other options like stone or stainless steel.
Wooden worktops add wonderful warmth and atmosphere, but they do require a fair amount of maintenance. You’ll want to make sure the surfaces are not saturated with water or other liquids continually, which can present a challenge in the sink area. Prolonged exposure to water can stain or even warp the worktop – though these may be possible to sand out and restore. Again, you’ll want to avoid placing hot dishes or pans directly onto the wooden worktop, as well as cutting directly on the wood.
Granite, quartz and marble
These are some of the most popular kitchen worktops today. Stone worktops, in general, are very durable, hard-wearing and resistant to damage, and there are ways of working them into your budget. Different colours and styles will mean a varied price tag for these types of worktops. A single slab worktop may have a larger price tag, but you can potentially save money if you are able to source granite, quartz or marble tiles that you can use for your worktop.
Some stones are susceptible to staining, but you shouldn’t have to worry about scratches or heat being an issue, making these all excellent options for a busy family kitchen. You’ll also want to do a little research on the type you choose, because some will require special treatments in order to keep them looking new and to further enhance their durability.
Stainless steel is perfect in a number of kitchen styles, including modern, rustic and even if you’re trying to give a splash of life to a traditional kitchen. Taking inspiration from professional kitchens, many people are opting for stainless steel units these days. They are not only reflective and help to add light to space, but they’re also extremely hygienic as there are no areas for bacteria to cling to.
You won’t have any issues with stains or heat when it comes to stainless steel, but it does scratch – which adds to the overall look. Stainless steel can also be one of the more expensive options for kitchen worktops, but there is no reason they shouldn’t last you a lifetime with little maintenance. They’re also exceptionally easy to keep clean, which for many kitchens is a big bonus.
If you're planning a new kitchen and have questions about kitchen worktops, or any other aspect of the project, feel free to contact us. We'd love to help design the kitchen of your dreams.