Which Worktop Will Work for You?
When it comes to choosing a worktop for your new bespoke kitchen you are pretty much spoiled for choice these days. A whole range of materials are available to suit every design preference, look and budget.
Here at Classic Kitchens Direct we have outlined some of the more contemporary and popular options, but they’re not by any means the end of the road; there are still plenty of other preferences out there. This includes, not just the materials on offer, but how deep you want your worktops to be as well. Worktops can range from 10mm for a thin profile worktop to 50mm for wide, for instance. The standard is in between that, at around 30mm.
Before choosing a handmade kitchen worktop though, it’s worth considering how much use it’s going to get. If you and your family love cooking, for instance, go for the most durable worktop materials you can find and finance. Stone worktops, made from granite, quartz or concrete are fabulous in this instance. Composites – a mixture of stone and resin (perhaps with blocks of quartz or glass) – work well too.
If your kitchen is more somewhere for sitting down and socialising with family and friends rather than prepping and cooking, then you might want to consider marble, Corian or concrete.
If your budget isn’t that large but you love the look of granite then go for a combination of worktops. You could, for instance, have stone at the prepping area and near the sink, then use wood for the remaining worktop surfaces. Other budget options include stainless steel and solid wood.
To help you choose your ideal worktop here is our guide to your various options, outlining the benefits and suitability of each:
A guide to worktop types (part 1)
Oak and walnut come under this category. Hard-wearing (when properly sealed) and capable of giving your handmade kitchen a warm, country feel, these worktops are flexible and not too expensive.
The downside is you won’t be able to put hot pots or trays on them for fear of scorching the surface. Don’t allow the surface to become repeatedly soaked either.
The sealing process, using linseed oil, takes place over a year ie once a day, once a week then once a month for up to one full year. After that there is a certain amount of upkeep. Clean with warm water, washing-up liquid and a soft cloth.
A natural stone, each piece having its own individual veining, granite is a luxury worktop material which suits any area of the kitchen – including near the sink and hob. As such, it is both heat and water-resistant. It comes in honed (matt) or glossy polished forms and needs to be sealed initially and then a decade later.
The downside is that granite can stain, especially with wine or citric juice, unless the spill is wiped up quickly afterwards. Clean regularly using a mild detergent and damp cloth.
Non-porous, easy-to-maintain and available in a fabulous selection of colours, laminate worktops are a popular budget item choice. They’re fine with water (but not heat) and difficult to scratch easily. They are also incredibly simply to maintain – just a wipe with a cloth and hot soapy water does the trick.
A big plus with laminate is that it can be produced to replicate some of the more expensive stone options such as marble and wood. This means it can fit in with any bespoke kitchen design scheme.
The downside is that laminate is vulnerable to heat (including steam). Like hardwood, it’s not a good surface to cut on either.
A contemporary choice, concrete worktops fit in well with an industrial design look – one which is very on-trend for bespoke kitchens these days. As you would imagine, this type of worktop is incredibly tough and durable.
It’s is available in various colours (not just grey) and can also have various pigments mixed in to provide an unusual and attractive finish. It comes in polished and matt versions.
The downside is that concrete is porous; it’s also vulnerable to staining. It should never be used for prepping on and does have quite a bit of upkeep in the form of sealer or finishing wax to keep out water and food stains. Can be scratched easily.
Get in touch!
If, having read the above guide, you are still feeling a tad confused over which particular worktop material to choose for your bespoke kitchen, then do feel free to ring our expert kitchen design team. Simply call us on 01202 481177 or email email@example.com.
Someone will always be on-hand to respond to your call – either directly or by calling back. See part two of the guide next week, as well as some of our own worktop designs at the Gallery page on Classic Kitchens Direct.