Kitchen worktops have been the focal point of every house build or renovation. Its beauty and functionality compel designers and owners alike to make careful choices before deciding on one.
So let’s take a look at the current crop of kitchen worktop materials and what they have to offer, from natural stones to granite worktops.
Natural Stone Worktops
Granite, marble, soapstone and slate fall into this category. These have been the classic favourites for kitchen worktops.
The only drawback when using natural stones is the price as they can be quite expensive. But they offer a great variety of colours and textures that is hard to match with alternative choices.
Granite and marble seem to be the popular choice among the natural stones. However, due to their natural characteristics, granite and marble need to be sealed and treated to make them stain-resistant.
If cared for properly, they can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years, offering a hard, durable working surface that can stand daily kitchen duties.
Soapstone and slate are limited in terms of colour choices with slate being the softer of the two. However, scratches can be easily buffed out form slate, while soapstone needs to be sealed to rid it of its porous surface, which is prone to staining.
All natural stone worktops are durable enough and offer a degree of heat resistance. However, they are easily chipped or cracked.
Quartz surfaces are gaining in popularity. This is not a surprise since they offer a durable surface that is resistant to scratches and is non-porous.
This property alone makes it desirable since it will not stain and offers easy to zero maintenance. It also has anti-microbial properties that make it at home in any kitchen.
Visual impact is sometimes not that intense compared to natural stones. One drawback is the price since it can rival natural stone worktops in this area.
Laminates may very well be the kitchen worktop material that can rival natural stones in terms of popularity.
The reason? Price.
Of all available worktop materials, laminates are the most affordable. Known by its other name, Formica, this plastic-based surface can be had in thousands of colour choices and textures and can be made to mimic the appearance of natural stone, wood or metal.
They are offered in varying thickness depending on the application. The thicker ones are used for worktops, while the thinner ones for backsplashes and drawer applications.
They’re not as durable as their stone counterparts, and they are prone to scratching and are not heat-resistant. Once damaged, they cannot be repaired. You will end up replacing the whole thing.
Concrete worktops offer a natural stone like a flat surface that is easy to work on and easily manipulated to suit all shapes and sizes. Usually coming in slabs 1.5 inches thick and 10 feet long, concrete worktops are deemed prone to cracking, the reason it is not as popular as natural stones. It also needs regular sealing to maintain its heat and stain resistance.
Ceramic tile worktops have been popular over the last decade. But with the introduction of alternative materials, we see fewer of them in modern kitchens.
They still offer an attractive look, especially when used as a backsplash or on kitchen islands. Installed in different combinations and patterns, they can be a very attractive part of any kitchen construction.
Ceramic tile worktops offer a durable, scratch, stain and heat resistant surface that is easily repaired should it be cracked during use.
If your budget allows you, natural stone surfaces like marble and granite are the most desirable, while quartz worktops feature a hygienic and hard-wearing surface. Ultimately, you need to consider your needs and the existing style of your kitchen.