When it comes to designing a dream kitchen, one of the main things to consider is the type of worktops you require.
Over the course of its life the kitchen worktop takes plenty of abuse, be it from knives, plates and cleaning products. Some types of worktop are more suited to hard wear and tear than others, so it is important that both you and your bespoke kitchen designer look at the best options available. In this article we look at some of the best known types of worktop available – hardwood, granite, laminate, quartz, corian and encore. Hardwood worktops have the ability to blend seamlessly into almost any kitchen design, whether it be countryside rustic, contemporary minimalist or urban industrial.
Wood works well on its own or when mixed with other materials such as granite or corian. However if you are looking for maintenance free work surfaces we would advise considering other options, standard hardwood work surfaces do need maintenance and require regular re-oiling particularly around the sink area (as water and wood don't mix very well) and occasionally will need re-sanding.
It has poor heat, scratch and stain resistance, particularly if you do not keep up with the re oiling. As a compromise consider wood as a feature, possibly as a dresser surface or breakfast bar area. Another option is using wood that has been pre-soaked in oil under pressure so that the oil impregnates the wood right to the core. will provide stunning natural beauty in your kitchen for many years.
Laminate worktops have one major advantage over other types: cost. Despite their relatively low cost, laminate worktops are reasonably durable and waterproof, though they do lack the robustness of other types of worktop such as Quartz or Granite. Laminate worktops are available in two formats. The laminate is available in set lengths / widths (called a blank) which will be cut and edged on site, this is available in varying qualities, Axiom, Prima and Duropal work surfaces have a high quality durable surface as well as a denser chipboard core. Fabricated laminate work surfaces are laser cut with all edges factory finished, curves angles and all edges finished at the factory resulting in a finish normally only available in granite or Corian at a fraction of the price. While more expensive than a standard laminate work surface, they offer flexibility in design and are available in a wide range of colours and styles of finish with different edging choices
Granite worktops Stylishly hardwearing, granite remains one of the most popular choices for a kitchen worktop; it suits contemporary, traditional and classic kitchens. Used to add an element of luxury, granite can be polished to a gloss finish or honed or leathered, fo a matt finish.. As granite is a natural material it only comes in pieces of a certain size (variable dependant on choice of granite) you will also have visible joints. No two pieces of granite will look the same, if choosing less uniform granite we would always recommend seeing a photo of the slab or even visiting the fabricators before work commences. Granite is porous, and in recent years has gained a reputation for staining and marking, however and by following a few simple rules is very easy to maintain. Dark granites will not show marks which is why it is traditional to use a dark granite. Finger marks are easily removed with window cleaner, don't use polish as it is the polish that shows the finger marks. Granite is a stunning natural product that varies in price dependant on its origin, availability and ease of extraction. Granite has the deepest shine of all worktop types, you can have it 20mm thick for modern handless kitchens 30mm is the standard thickness and island could be 60mm thick with a magnificent waterfall edge for that luxury look in a traditional style kitchen. Allowing options like under mount sinks and recessed drainers granite is the perfect option for creating the natural wow factor. If you want a light granite and are worried about staining then fully sealed granites are available in a limited but gorgeous range of colours. The Granite is soaked in sealant under controlled conditions until the normally porous surface is sealed.
Corian The original solid surface material, Corian®, was specifically designed as a work surface when it was first introduced in 1967. With its balance of beauty and performance, Corian® worktops lend themselves to imaginative uses, innovative designs and enduring work surface applications. Corian® worktops are warm to the touch, have seamless joints, excellent impact, stain and water resistance. Corian® work surfaces are available in over 70 colours with a 10 year Corian Offer a full range of sinks that can be seamlessly moulded into the worksurfaces, coved upstands moulded to the worksurface are available in any height. Due to the flexibility of Corian, work surfaces can be achieved in any shape, size and thickness, islands can be created seamlessly where other surfaces would have visible joints. Jutvud offers an similar and sometimes more cost effective alternatives.