The worktop in a kitchen is a focal point which can influence the style and feel of the whole room. Not only is this feature aesthetically important, it is one of the most regularly used parts of a kitchen, needing to withstand all forms of food preparation and tough cleaning. When choosing a new kitchen worktop, it is, therefore, crucial you choose a material that you really love and that will meet all your culinary requirements. To help you better understand some of the different types of kitchen worktops and materials available, we have put together some useful information about popular types of worktop.
Granite is a very popular and desirable choice for a kitchen worktop. The material looks classic and cool, and is often a go-to choice for a luxurious kitchen. This natural stone is formed when magma crystallises and, with different cooling conditions, different crystal sizes and colours are made.
Pros of natural granite kitchen worktops:
- Hard-wearing and strong
- Highly heat resistant
- Each piece is individual
Cons of natural granite kitchen worktops:
- Can stain
Quartz worktops tend to be composed from natural quartz combined with flecks of metal, glass or colourful pigment for interest; this is bound together with resin. Quartz worktops are a popular alternative to granite, providing a similar attractive, smooth and polished finish but with more leeway for personalisation.
Pros of quartz kitchen worktops:
- Durable and strong
- Stain resistant and antibacterial due to non-porous structure
- Low maintenance and easy to clean
- Large range of colours and finishes
Cons of quartz kitchen worktops:
- Less heat-resistant – only up to around 160℃ – than alternatives
Timber & Hardwood
Hardwood is a worktop material which can create a warmer and more natural feel than stone. There are many different hardwood species available, each with their own tone and texture, which are suitable for use as kitchen surfaces. However, this is a high maintenance material, needing regular upkeep.
Pros of timber & hardwood kitchen worktops:
- Many woods available, varying in colour and grain
- Cheaper, and generally more sustainable, than stone
- Ages well
Cons of timber & hardwood kitchen worktops:
- Needs regular maintenance – should be oiled twice a year
- Easily marked, stained or scratched
Laminate surfaces are a budget alternative to classics such as granite. Laminate worktops come in a huge range of styles, some of which are affordable imitations of pricier, luxury materials. Ensure you choose a high quality, high pressure option though, otherwise you will find your surface is quite easily damaged and worn.
Pros of laminate kitchen worktops:
- Wide range of finishes
- Easy to clean and maintain
Cons of laminate kitchen worktops:
- Not as long-lasting as some alternatives
- Cheap options can scratch, chip, burn and peel
Solid Surface Acrylic
Solid surface acrylics are a stylish, modern surface choice. The material can come in many colours and effects, granting high levels of personalisation. Solid surface acrylics are also easily moulded, which allows unusual shapes and features like moulded sinks to be created. This material can give a truly seamless finish.
Pros of solid surface acrylic kitchen worktops:
- Easily shaped
- Easy to clean and hygienic
- Stain and heat resistant
Cons of solid surface acrylic kitchen worktops:
- Can look commercial
Regardless of which type of kitchen worktop you’ll be going for be sure it’s right for you. Make sure that it’s functional to your needs and matches your own personal taste and style.