How To Choose A Kitchen Worktop
Design and functionality are two key factors to consider when choosing the kitchen worktop. From lavish natural stone to modern stainless steel, there are many materials to consider. Yet, deciding which is the best goes beyond aesthetic considerations and reflects more than a preference.
Kitchen Worktop Materials
Laminate is a versatile material. It is available in a wide range of colours and finishes, it can imitate natural materials, and is a cheaper alternative to wood or natural stone.
Laminate worktops are hard to stain and easy to clean. On the downside, the material has a poor resistance to heat and it gets scratched easily. A textured finish might last longer, but the quality of laminate worktops is rarely better than average.
Both engineered and natural stone is used with success in the kitchen décor. Stone kitchen worktops are fashionable and functional, and there are many options to choose from.
Granite and marble are two of the noblest materials to use in the kitchen.
Granite is a rather generic term. It includes a variety of natural stones of magmatic origins and is available in different colours and patterns. This makes the material a versatile choice easy to match with the other elements of the design. But the real advantage of granite is its functionality.
Granite is resistant to heat, scratches and acidic liquids, three essential qualities for stone kitchen worktops. The main enemies of this material are coffee, oils, and sauces. This is why it is recommended to treat granite with an impregnating sealer at least once a year.
Marble is another popular choice for stone kitchen worktops. Carrara marble is the most famous and its unique elegance complements with success all types of interior design. However, marble is more porous than granite and has a lower resistance to stains and acidic liquids.
An alternative to natural stone is quartz, an engineered stone made of a mixture of natural materials and synthetic resins. Quartz worktops are indestructible while they look similar to natural stone.
Associated with industrial kitchens, stainless steel is another indestructible material to consider. The material has a high resistance to stains and heat, but it gets scratched easily and loses its aesthetic shine.
Stainless steel looks fantastic in a post-industrial style kitchen or in a modern context but is difficult to integrate into other designs.
Wood is perhaps the most unsuitable material for kitchen worktops. Its low resistance to scratches, stains and heat raises the necessity to protect wooden worktops with cutting boards and trivets.
Tempered glass is one of the newest and most impactful materials used in home design. Glass worktops are sophisticated, easy to clean, and available in all imaginable colours and finishes.
A satin finish gives a softer and more welcoming look to the environment, but glass is a cold material suitable to use in contemporary or industrial designs.
Which Is The Ideal Kitchen Worktop?
The ideal kitchen worktop is the one that integrates flawlessly in the design and matches with the other furniture. Some materials only fit in certain contexts. Others complement with success almost all interior styles.
Natural stone is a versatile material that finds its place in both classic and modern interiors. Stone kitchen worktops are sophisticated and elegant. Granite and marble look perfect in a classic or lavish kitchen. Quartz counters fit wonderfully in a contemporary environment or post-industrial style.
Another thing to consider is the durability and resistance of the material. Quartz is certainly less demanding than natural stone but then again, decide if this material can add the desired prestige to your kitchen.
In broad terms, consider the following before deciding which stone kitchen worktops to choose:
- Resistance to scratches
- Resistance to stains
- Resistance to corrosion
- Resistance to heat
- Resistance to moisture
- Cleaning ease.