Picking the right kitchen worktop is a big decision and one you definitely want to get right.
Perhaps you’ve already chosen your cupboard doors, picked a wall colour and have a complete vision in mind of how you want your new kitchen to look? Or maybe you’re working with what you’ve already got and are simply replacing your worktops? Either way, a worksurface is the crowning glory of your kitchen, and can make or break the room – but which type should you go for?
The market is saturated with choice, laminate, wood, granite, marble, quartz – even concrete makes an appearance! And not only does each material provide a different look, it also offers different qualities, so it really is worth taking time to consider your options.
Here at The Marble Store we recognise the importance of kitchen worktops and understand the demands placed on them both in terms of style and substance. We firmly believe you shouldn’t have to choose between these two qualities – it’s just a case of identifying the right worktop for your needs.
To help, here we take a closer look at some of the key points to consider in your decision-making process…
How to pick a kitchen worktop
• How will you use the space?
First things first. Take time to think about how you use your kitchen. Are you rarely there – is it more of a show kitchen to impress guests? Or quite the opposite, do you see yourself as the next top TV chef and love spending time concocting elaborate dishes and meals? Maybe you’re part of a busy family household, and the kitchen needs to work for all of you, be hardwearing and not highlight sticky fingers or food stains?
The key point here is that we all use our kitchens in different ways. If you are using the space primarily for cooking, then what’s your food preparation style? Military precision, with constant cleaning and wiping or does it look like a bomb has gone off by the time you’re finished, with all manner of ingredients and hot pans littering the surfaces? Carefully considering your answers to all these points will help to steer your choice of worktop material and discover the surface that will best match your needs.
• The look you want to achieve
If you want to be really on-trend, then an industrial look might be what you’re after – stainless steel and concrete are popular ways to achieve this.
Wood gives you more of a middle ground, helping to transcend the gap between contemporary and traditional kitchens, but you need to be prepared to put in the work to maintain its good looks. Regular treating is required, and you must take care not to chop anything directly on the surface or to catch it with a hot pan as it will scorch easily.
Classic finishes such as granite and marble are more durable yet ooze style. Always a popular choice they have weathered the highs and lows of kitchen trends for many years, remaining a firm favourite.
• Your budget
This is a big consideration and it’s important to make a rational assessment. Of course, don’t overstretch what you can afford but consider the cost-effectiveness long-term.
Will opting for a cheaper laminate mean you save money now but that you will have to replace it sooner as it won’t be able to live up to the rigours of your use? If so, choosing a more hard-wearing natural stone like marble or granite could actually cost less in the long run. Yes, they involve more initial outlay but there are plenty of affordable options out there too, with the Marble Store offering extremely competitive prices on a wide range of marble, granite and quartz worksurfaces.
• Ease of maintenance
Are you happy to spend time buffing? Will ring marks drive you mad? All worksurfaces require some degree of care to ensure they look their best but, without question, some demand more than others, so you need to balance out all the factors and make an informed choice.
Wood will require regular maintenance and will easily scratch and stain but does age well. A surface like quartz is pretty easy to clean – only needing a cloth and warm soapy water. Natural stone like granite is very low maintenance but does need buffing with a microfibre cloth to keep it at its polished best.
• Colour choice
To control the light levels in your kitchen it’s important to pick your worktop colour wisely. A light or white surface will instantly lift and brighten a room, often helping to make the space feel bigger.
If you’re replacing your worktop rather than your whole kitchen you’ll probably be looking to match your surface in with existing fixtures and fittings, having plenty of colour options to choose from can make this easier – which again influences your choice of worktop material. For example, you’re not going to get any alternatives when it comes to concrete or stainless steel, wood will offer minimal variations of the same shade, but materials like laminate or granite have multiple colour options available.
Talk to the experts
As you can see there is much to consider when it comes to picking a worktop. Feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all? Then why not speak to the experts? Here at the Marble Store, we specialise in worktops and will take the time to understand exactly what you need from your worksurface to help guide and advise you on the right material for you.