What is the best type of kitchen worktop?

When you’re looking for the best type of kitchen worktop, chances are you are also looking for a full kitchen overhaul so you want to make sure you’re making the right choice. You don’t want to be lumbered with an expensive mistake if you choose the wrong type of worktop for your needs!

Your Kitchen Requirements

Before you even start looking at materials and colour schemes, you need to think about what function your kitchen serves in your house. Is it the heart of your home where the family gathers every day? Do you love to cook and need plenty of space and functionality for this? Do you have small children and want a kitchen that is as easy to clean as it is visually appealing?

All of these factors will influence which material is best for your kitchen worktops.

Popular types of worktops:

  • Granite
  • Wood
  • Quartz
  • Laminate
  • Ceramic
  • Glass
  • Stainless Steel

Your Time and Money

Knowing your budget from the start will help steer you in the right direction, but bear in mind that your kitchen worktops are a large focal point for your kitchen and so you want to make sure you choose the right look. Cutting corners might save you pennies in the short term, but long term you could be left with something that doesn’t meet your needs.

Hiring a professional fitter will save you the hassle of doing the work yourself, but also costs more. You also need to be honest about your skill level – can you do the job to the level of quality you would require, or do you need skilled help?

Additionally, think about how much time you can realistically live with your kitchen in disarray. In order to have beautiful new worktops, you need to have the old ones removed, so you’ll need to allow time for a bit of chaos before the calm.

Kitchen Worktop Functionality

Different materials have different functions, depending on your needs – it’s not just all about looks!

Some materials are more heat resistant than others. For busy people with busy lives, you might not want to have to be worrying about putting hot pans on your worktops, so something with full heat resistance is key.

There are also materials that require more aftercare than a simple wipe down. They may need proper treatment with wood stainers and preserves to stop marks showing. Ask yourself how much time you want to invest in keeping the quality of your worktops shipshape.

There’s also a space vs material ratio to consider – how much flat worktop space do you want? And do you want no visible seams or joins showing? If so, you’ll need to think about the side of the materials you are using and how they fit into your new kitchen.

Colour Schemes and Styles

Now you can start thinking about the fun stuff – colours and styles!

There are literally thousands of images on Instagram and Pinterest of gorgeous kitchen styles to browse through, and you can find some really stunning selection right here of Handsons kitchens as well.

Take your time and start compiling ideas on how you want your finished kitchen to look. Think about how much space you have to play with, whether you need additional lighting, and what colours you like best.

Once you know the look and style of your chosen kitchen, the worktop material will soon become obvious as the right one will fit in perfectly with your vision.

Best Type of Kitchen Worktops

1. Granite

If you’re looking for a stone worktop, then granite could be a perfect choice. It has a luxurious look, is extremely durable, and gives a high-quality look to a kitchen.

Advantages of Granite Worktops:

  • Excellent heat resistance – no worries about placing hot pans on this
  • Available in natural variations and shades to fit your look
  • Really easy to clean – a simple wipe down with warm water and a mild detergent is all that’s required
  • Suitable for both traditional and modern style kitchens

Disadvantages of Granite Worktops:

  • If you accidentally damage them, it’s not a simple repair job – you might need to replace the whole thing
  • Very heavy so this will factor into where they are placed if they are on top of cupboards or used as a breakfast bar
  • They do require some maintenance and will need to be resealed every few years to prevent damp from getting in

2. Wood

Solid wood worktops have a very distinctive look and can totally transform your kitchen, especially if you are aiming for a traditional cottage style or something with a rustic feel.

But don’t let that put you off if you want a modern look – wood is adaptable and can also fit in very well with contemporary styles.

There are different types of wood you can use oak, ash, maple, teak, beech – the list is varied and each type brings something different to your kitchen.

Advantages of Wood Worktops:

  • As long as you keep them maintained properly, they can last for years and years
  • Even if you do make a small dent or scratch, it can be easily sanded and varnished away
  • Hygienic and resistant to mould

Disadvantages of Wood Worktops:

  • They do need regular maintenance in order to keep them in good condition
  • Will require regular treatment from oils and waxes to prevent stains or marks from forming
  • Not heat resistant so you’ll have to be careful with hot pans and plates

3. Quartz

Unlike granite, quartz is a man-made stone and so comes with advantages over its natural counterparts. It is scratch-resistant, low-maintenance, and is easy to look after, making it perfect for families.

Additionally, for those looking for greener alternatives for their home, quartz is made using some waste materials so it’s a good choice for the environment.

Advantages of Quartz Worktops:

  • Because it is man-made, it can be customised to your needs
  • Low maintenance and don’t require regular sealing for protection
  • Stain-resistant which is handy for spills and those who love to cook
  • Super tough – great for active homeowners!

Disadvantages of Quartz Worktops:

  • Not as heat resistant as natural stone so hot pans may leave marks
  • More expensive than natural stone
  • Better suited for modern styles as they don’t have the ‘natural’ look of real stone

4. Laminate

A cheaper choice for many but highly versatile and easy to maintain, laminate is a very popular option for many looking for a new kitchen worktop.

You can get them in virtually any colour or size so they can fit with any style, and should be suitable for any budget.

You can even get laminate in styles that mimic the looks of other materials, such as stone and wood.

Advantages of Laminate Worktops:

  • Very affordable so suitable for most budgets
  • Water-resistant so great for regular spills!
  • Versatile and don’t require a great amount of maintenance to keep in good condition

Disadvantages of Laminate Worktops:

  • Can be damaged by heavy knocks and scratches
  • Not heat resistant so hot pan will leave marks
  • Doesn’t have the high-quality look of some other materials

5. Ceramic

Ceramic worktops are a very popular choice when it comes to kitchen worktops as they are versatile and hygienic – you can match them to virtually any kitchen style!

It comes in different colours, textures, and be cut in various ways to suit your needs. The biggest advantage it has over other materials is that despite being tougher than most other materials, it can be cut quite thinly, making it more lightweight and stylish.

Advantages of Ceramic Worktops:

  • Customisable so you can get the specific look for your kitchen
  • Less expensive than natural stone or wood and lasts for years
  • Durable, heat-resistant, and protected against damp

Disadvantages of Ceramic Worktops:

  • You won’t get a completely smooth surface and they can get small scratches easily
  • If they take a strong hit, they can crack and you’ll need to replace the whole section

6. Glass

This is the material of choice for the hyper-stylish who want something extremely modern and contemporary.

They are also very adaptable, allowing you to customise them exactly to your needs. You can get creative with colours, textures, and even cracked glass to achieve the look you want.

Advantages of Glass Worktops:

  • Despite what you may think about glass, they are very durable, as well as being heat and water resistant
  • Super customisable – get it cut in any shape or style you need!
  • Very easy to clean and hygienic – resistant to stains and mould

Disadvantages of Glass Worktops:

  • Generally very strong but the edges are prone to chips if hit without excessive force
  • The glass can be damaged if exposed to hard chemicals or acidic spills over long periods
  • Can be quite expensive, especially if you want a lot of customisation

7. Stainless Steel

For those who love to cook and want a kitchen worktop that suits their passion, then stainless steel might be your best choice.

Very easy to keep clean, they are also stain and heat resistant and don’t require much maintenance to keep looking good.

Advantages of Steel Worktops:

  • They don’t stain so regular spills and splashes won’t make a difference
  • Protected against water as well as heat, and don’t need treatment to keep protected
  • Can be custom made to match the look of your kitchen

Disadvantages of Steel Worktops:

  • While they are resistant to heat and water, they can be scratched with utensils and sharp edges
  • Can be dented with sufficient force
  • Because of their material, they don’t muffle the bangs and crashes of a busy chef – they can be quite noisy!

Your Perfect Kitchen Worktop

Choosing the right worktop material for your new kitchen isn’t something you should rush into – take your time and think carefully about what you really need.

If you need some objective, expert advice, you can always call the team at Handsons Interiors to get tips on what would work best for you.

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