When choosing a new kitchen, the first decision to be made is the material you will use for your kitchen worktops. Your countertops have the potential to make or break your kitchen design and will work with the other elements of your kitchen to create the overall aesthetic.
Not only from a stylistic point of view, the functionality of your work surface and the material that you choose is very important. The most practical and cost-effective countertop materials tend to be laminate whereas pricier options include solid wood, marble and granite.
How you use your kitchen will have an impact on which work surface you should choose. If you are a frequent cook and regularly cook meals which require a lot of cooking and clean-up, this will differ from if you only use your kitchen occasionally. For example, for frequent chefs, a low-maintenance work surface will save time on the daily clean-up.
Also think about the type of dishes that you cook. If you regularly cook with hot pans, consider whether you typically put these pans straight down on the work surface or whether you will use a mat to protect your surfaces.
For those with young families and / or pets, you might want to choose a work surface which is easier to wipe down.
Granite is a favourite when creating a stylish look for your kitchen and is often used in high-end, luxurious designs. It is loved for its low-maintenance and durability; granite need only be resealed once per decade as it is difficult to scratch or chip and can withstand heat from pans.
Another reason people love granite worktops is because they are very easy to clean, needing only a wipe-down with a cloth and mild soapy water.
On the other hand, it is one of the pricier options on the market. That being said, because you do not need to replace it frequently, it can be a very worthwhile investment.
Hard Wood Countertops
Wooden countertops are aesthetically very nice, helping to achieve a traditional look for your kitchen. Depending on the type of wood chosen, this option can also work out to be fairly budget-friendly. However, it is worth noting that they are not necessarily the most durable option; wood can fade from sun exposure or become stained with frequent use. This makes them a less easy-to-maintain option as they can become easily damaged.
Quartz Work Surfaces
Quartz countertops lend themselves to creating a stunning kitchen. They are also known for being very durable and easy to maintain. Not only are they easy to clean daily, they do not chip easily and do not require regular resealing. That being said, they are not durable when it comes to heat so cannot withstand hot pans or trays.
The biggest downside associated with quartz is the cost, with this material costing around £500 per square metre, before factoring in any installation costs.
For a cheap and cheerful option, there is no better choice than a laminate surface. The most budget-friendly option on the list, this material typically costs as little as £35 per metre. Additionally, they are easy to fit meaning that you might be able to save the installation costs by fitting them yourself. Additionally, they are easy to maintain and fairly resilient to stains. However, they are easily scratched which will leave permanent marks.