Kitchen worktops are such an important part of any kitchen and can even be the most expensive outlay depending on what you go for. They need to be tough, practical, and compliment your kitchen space and cabinet choice. If you get the choice right, it can make your kitchen go from good to great. There are so many different kitchen worktop surfaces on the market and this is why we have put together this helpful article on the complete guide to your kitchen worktop.
In our opinion, the kitchen worktop is as important if not more important than the style and colour of your cabinetry. It's the first thing you see when you enter the kitchen and it can set the trend for the design of your kitchen. Our team of designers usually will confirm the kitchen worktop style, materials and colour straight away so we can start creating your dream space.
There are loads of choices and each choice has a different price tag. Unfortunately, there can be a massive difference in price when comparing worktops, for example, Corian against laminate is going to be a big difference. The good news is there is a worktop to suit every budget and kitchen style.
Let's start at the basics, you want a worktop that looks great but also performs well. You don't want to be replacing it in 5 years and it needs to cope with the demands of everyday usage. Let's dive straight in!
If your kitchen budget looks a bit tight and you want a budget option that will still perform like a pro, laminate could be for you. Typically, we recommend Laminate worktops for utility rooms and kitchens where the budget is limited. Although it's much cheaper than a Granite worktop, for example, it is still a fantastic work surface for any kitchen.
Laminate is extremely durable, perfect for those who use their kitchen on a daily basis. It’s highly resistant to scratches, cracks and stains and if needed it can be replaced cheaply. It's also very easy to clean due to its plastic laminate coating which allows for a full seal.
A big tick for laminate is it's easy to maintain and requires very little upkeep. Want to keep it clean? simply use a standard kitchen cleaner and wipe away unlike some work surfaces.
Another great plus for laminate is the wide range of styles and looks you can choose from, thanks to it being man-made. Often these styles are a take on a quartz or granite worktop.
In summary, laminate is definitely worth considering if you are budget-conscious. We would recommend asking your designer to quote both for laminate and stone worktops and perhaps show you the difference in person at a showroom.
Straight off the bat, there is no denying that solid wood worktops can look awesome in a kitchen, however, from someone who has lived with a solid oak worktop myself for three years, it has a few drawbacks to consider.
Let's start with the main drawback and that's maintenance. Solid oak worktops require a bit more TLC than any other worktop and personally, this did become annoying after a while. It's easily scratched and dented and will show up scorch marks which will make you start to become a little OCD. However, these marks can be removed easily so it wasn't a deal-breaker for me personally. The only thing I would say about any solid wood kitchen worktop is that you need to be ok with regular oiling to keep them in good condition. If you don’t reseal your wooden worktops properly, they can become porous and germs will harbor more easily.
The positives however outway the drawbacks in our opinion as solid wood is classic, timeless and provides warmth to any kitchen. Sometimes having oak or walnut cabinets can be a bit too much wood and can swallow a kitchen space, so the worktop is a great second choice. Another plus is it's eco-friendly and is usually cheaper than a stone worktop like Quartz or Granite.
For those concerned about germs in the kitchen, wood is great for use as a worktop due to its natural ant-bacterial properties, as long as it is sealed properly with non-toxic mineral oil you're good to go.
To summarise, we love wooden kitchen worktops and how unique each piece is, and we would recommend it if you're going for a country and cozy feel to your kitchen, just as long as you know the drawbacks, you'll love this worktop for many years.
Quartz is most popular for our clients, in fact, nearly 60% of the kitchens we supply feature a beautiful Quartz worktop. If you're wanting a high-end look, then Quartz is a strong choice. It's made from natural stone pieces that are bonded together. Unlike Granite, it's part natural and part artificial resin.
There is a lot to shout about Quartz, most of which is the look, it's beautiful. It's polished and refined, making any kitchen look incredible.
Another benefit is that they're very durable. The surface is non-porous meaning that's its less likely to get stained or cracked. This is great if you have a busy household and you think you're going to spill or stain the worktops. You name it, Quartz will resist it, from wine, oil, juice, coffee, and any other stain.
A big plus against granite is Quartz is a lot more scratch resistant as well. In essence, the surface will stand the test of time in any household kitchen.
Granite kitchen worktops are a classic and have a rich beauty that most countertops struggle to match. It's a natural material that can become the centerpiece of the room.
The main plus point to granite other than the beautiful appearance is it's a very hard substance meaning it won't scratch easily. Not only will it take your wear and tear but it's heat resistant. If you have to set down a hot pan fast, granite will take the heat without damage or weakness.
For all their beauty and durability, granite counters do have a few weaknesses. The most concerning problems can occur when the countertops are not sealed correctly or the sealant wears off without the counters being resealed. Granite is porous. This means that unsealed or poorly sealed counters can absorb wine, juice or oil, producing a stain that might be impossible to remove. A poorly-sealed countertop can also harbor bacteria in its pores.
Overall, granite is definitely a strong choice and with over 40 different colours, styles and finishes, you'll find the perfect one for your kitchen.
Corian is an increasingly popular choice for Wharfedale clients. It's not the new kid on the block however, it was first introduced by 'Dupont' company, forty years ago and since then is now one of the most popular countertops in the world. It's manufactured by blending acrylic polymers and stone materials. There are a lot of unique benefits to a Corian surface aginst its competitors but there are a few things you need to know about before deciding.
Firstly, the positives, Corian is the most flexible and adaptable worktop. Corian can be moulded into practically any shape imaginable.
It is also very stain-resistant due to its non-porous properties. This makes it easy to clean as well without any extra effort.
Another big benefit is the ability for it to be fabricated with an integrated Corian sink or backsplash. The absence of visible joints is completely unique to Corian against a stone worktop like Quartz or Granite.
There are a few cons, however, mainly the cost. Corian is not cheap and is usually just under Granite when it comes to the list on this article. Another negative is the worktop doesn't like heat, and can easily mark or cause damage when in contact with heat directly.
We would recommend Corian if you were planning on a unique shape worktop or design.
We hope this helps you in creating your dream kitchen and choosing the right kitchen worktop for you. There are loads of information and options so if you do struggle, please feel free to reach out to one of the team to discuss the choices and our advice.