The Importance of Kitchen Worktops
For your work surfaces all solid surfaces will elevate the value of your kitchen. Irrespective of the style of kitchen the durability and appearance of these surfaces means that objections from prospective purchasers are rare. If you are improving not moving then you get to use the best surface available. In the last 6 years granite and quartz work surfaces have become more accessible and the differential in cost between these surfaces and the more common laminate surfaces has decreased. The Wow factor will always be an influence to prospective buyers, and the durability of stone work surfaces is a huge bonus.
STONE WORKTOPS QUARTZ AND GRANITE
Quartz or composite worktops are made from approx. 90 % natural quartz crystals and are known as Quartz Composite or Engineered Stone. The material is extremely tough and resistant to scratches, stains, normal heat damage with the added benefit of being virtually non-porous. If opting for a traditional kitchen then neutral colours look best, however for a modern kitchen you can be far more dramatic and go for darker colours. This is an excellent choice of worktop which is both beautiful & practical and is consistent in colour, what you see as a sample is what you get as a finished product.
Granite on the other hand is a natural product and so varies in colour and look. The majority of granites available now are darker colours, there are very few light granites and they are very porous and also variable in colour and veining, so if you choose a light granite ask to see at least a picture of the slab.
It is work remembering that all stone composites and granite will need templating by an expert. Every cut-out you have, be it for a hob or undermounted sink will also increase the cost, as will drainer grooves cut into stone next to the sink.
CORIAN & SOLID SURFACE WORKTOPS
Products based round acrylic, e.g. Corian and Encore have the ability to be seamless however be aware of the durability of these products. They are stain and water resistant and heat resistant up to 250 ‘C but I would advise still using a trivet however with it being a solid surface material most scratches can be sanded out. This choice of worktop is usually determined by budget and design requirements and will suit most kitchens and come in a variety of colours. The choice of this type of worktop is normally based on colour and design implications. However you have to take care with these types of worktops.
Timber worktops are beautiful and always look stunning but do require a lot of hard work keeping them finished. Possible not the most practical worktops in a busy kitchen and I would advise that you don’t use as a chopping board or place hot pans directly onto the wood as it will scorch, but they are the marmite of kitchen tops. Wooden worktops suit all kitchen styles and can be incorporated into a modern kitchen by using other materials such as glass & stainless steel which will add warmth.
Laminate worktops have increased their variety and are still quite popular and the quality is excellent if you purchase the high density versions. They are resistant to “most” stains & chemicals, but not suitable for a cutting surface. For greater durability choose a thicker high pressure worktop. Laminate worktops are low maintenance and can be cleaned with a cloth a mild detergent.
A kitchen is as good as its components and spending money on the work surfaces will always be a good investment.