An essential component of every home kitchen is a worktop, regardless of material, be it granite, marble or quartz worktops. Why? Because it is where all the action happens.
However, other than that, the kitchen worktop if the foundation of every kitchen décor, especially when you’re doing major kitchen renovations. The kitchen worktop bears the burden of setting the feel and tone of the space.
That is why picking the right material matters a lot. But there are tons of available options in the market today that sometimes, it could become too overwhelming and cumbersome for buyers.
Fortunately, we’ve narrowed down below our top picks for kitchen worktop material, including their pros and cons so that you can make an educated choice.
Granite defines the elegance in a home kitchen and is the top worktop material of choice when you have nothing else to think about, such as money. Now that many homeowners are using granite, the price of this superb material has gone down, yet still contributes to the beauty and luxurious appeal of even the most modest homes.
- Available in more than 3000 unique colours, patterns and textures
- Can hold up to heat, at a certain degree
- Looks substantial and permanent
- Once properly sealed, will last a lifetime
- Brand new sealers are virtually maintenance free
- Boost home’s value
- Expensive, yet becoming more affordable
- Require periodic re-sealing and some maintenance
- Will absorb spilt liquid and food and will stain if not properly sealed
- Can dull if you directly cut on the surface
- When not properly installed, could crack or chip
Marble is another popular worktop made of natural stone. However, due to it being extremely pricey, it is not often seen in many home kitchens. If you want a luxurious appearance for the kitchen, use marble for the kitchen island or the baking centre’s inset.
This natural stone material demands constant maintenance since it stains easily. However, today’s sealers are now capable of retarding staining on the surface.
- Uniquely stunning and gorgeous surface
- Extremely expensive
- Easily stains, unless properly and professionally sealed
- Requires periodic re-sealing, per manufacturer
- Could scratch
As their name implies, scratches solid surface worktops on could be sanded out. These worktops could be custom-made according to your specifications.
- Available in a wide range of patterns and colours
- Stains and hot pans or pots could damage its surface
- Could be moderately expensive
Engineered Stone: Quartz
Primarily composed of 93% to 95% natural quartz crystals, these engineered stones come in a larger array of colours compared with granite. Widely regarded as quartz worktops, it is non-porous, making it ideal for kitchens since spilt food or liquid cannot seep through the surface.
Additionally, its non-porous feature inhibits bacterial growth, as well as mildew and mould. It is highly safe for children and food preparation.
Maintenance is a breeze, and periodic re-sealing isn’t required, unlike natural stone surfaces like granite and marble. Popular brands in the market include LG Viatera®, DuPont Zodiaq®, Silestone® and Cambria Quartz.
- Stain, heat, acid, and scratch resistant
- Virtually maintenance-free
- Could be as expensive as granite and marble
Other than being inexpensive, ceramic tile is easy to clean and durable. It is the ideal choice for worktops for average homes. Since it is often installed a section at a time, resourceful homeowners could do it by themselves.
- Could handle hot pots and pans
- Easy to clean
- Available in a wide range of colours, texture and design
- Worktop surface could be uneven
- Could easily chip or crack
- Grout line could be stained and become breeding ground for bacteria and mould
- Custom-designed tiles could be very expensive
Widely known trademarks for laminates include Formica, Wilsonart and Nevamar. Modern laminates have come a long way from they once were. Now, they come with finished ends and a wide range of colours and design choices, with high-end ones resembling the look of natural stone materials like marble and granite.
- Wide array of designs and colours
- Easy to maintain
- Chips and scratches are impossible to repair
- Visible seams
- End finishing could fetch a high price tag
Butcher Block or Wood
Offering a warm look for any kitchen, these hardwood surfaces are often made of oak and maple. They are available in wide colour choices also.
- Could be sanded and re-sealed as needed
- Over time, could be damaged by stains and water
- Scratches must be sealed or oiled per manufacturer’s instructions
Generally, soapstone is dark grey in colour and has a smooth feeling. Used in both historic and modern homes as a sink and worktop material.
- Rich, deep colour
- Smooth feel
- Somewhat resistant to stain
- Requires consistent maintenance, applying mineral oil
- Could crack
- Over time, could darken
This is the ideal choice for an industrial and contemporary kitchen look. Stainless steel worktops are durable and heat resistant. They can be constructed according to your specifications, thus achieve a seamless worktop surface.
- Easy to clean
- Can handle hot pans and pots
- May dent
- You cannot directly cut on the surface
If you prefer worktops with unusual shapes, concrete is an ideal choice since often they are cast right in the kitchen. However, its high price tag could be more than the budget of most homeowners.
- Scratch and heat resistant
- Can be colour-tinted
- Looks unusual and exotic
- New available treatments could eliminate cracking
- Additives could reduce porosity
- More decorative finishes
- Due to custom work, could range from mid to high price range
- Susceptible to cracking
- Could appear somewhat industrial
- Porous but could be sealed
Since there are tons of options in the market, hopefully, the above comparison has helped you narrow down your options and make an informed decision as to which kitchen worktop material to use for your kitchen renovation. You can choose from expensive ones like marble, granite and quartz worktops to more affordable ones such as laminate, tiles and soapstone.