Choosing the right kitchen worktop is a big decision – and one you want to be sure you get right!
A work surface can make or break the look you’re trying to achieve. And that’s before you even start on the importance of making sure it can live up to the demands of how you intend to use it.
The market is swamped with ideas and suggestions for the ‘perfect’ kitchen worktop, but the truth is, there’s no one size fits all. The right choice for one kitchen may not work for another, which is why it’s so crucial to take your time and pick carefully.
Sounds a bit daunting, doesn’t it? But don’t panic. The Marble Store is here to help.
We firmly believe there’s an ideal worktop for every kitchen. And to help you find yours, we’ve put together this informative guide highlighting everything you need to know. Including what to think about before you start, the different options out there, and what to do once you find your perfect match.
First things first
Choosing the right kitchen worktop takes time and research. To focus your search, ask yourself a number of questions before you get started:
#1 -What’s your budget?
As the hub of the home, it’s worth spending money on getting your kitchen worktop right. That said, you need to be clear about how much you’re willing to spend. There’s no point wasting time and energy looking at worktops that are out of your price range.
#2 – Who will use it?
A high gloss surface can be a great idea for a modern executive pad, but less so for a busy family kitchen – unless you’re happy to spend time frequently wiping away sticky finger marks. Think carefully about who will be using your kitchen to make sure it works for everyone.
#3 – How will you use it?
How you intend to use your worktop will affect what you need from it. Consider your needs and be clear about your priorities.
Are you a wannabe master chef? Do you need a practical worktop that can withstand cooking chaos? If so, then a surface able to handle heat and stains is going to be a must. Less crucial if you’re not a big cook and your worktop will be more of a showpiece.
#4 – What style are you looking for?
Practicality is all well and good, but you want your kitchen worktop to look the part too.
Marbled whites, glittering blacks, reds, blues, greens – there’s a whole rainbow of possibilities out there, so be sure to look around and consider all your options. Whether you’re aiming for farmhouse chic, traditional, coastal, or ultra-modern, there’s sure to be a worktop to suit. And thanks to the fact that most worktop materials are available in a wide range of colours, you can combine the useability you need, with the look you want.
#5 – What’s your timescale?
There’s nothing more frustrating than being kept waiting. Do you need your worktop ASAP, or has the old one not even been ripped out yet? If time is of the essence, be sure to look for a supplier who won’t hold up progress and can offer a quick turnaround. At The Marble Store, we promise to fit within 7-10 days of templating.
Once you’ve considered the points above, you’ll have a better idea of what it is you want and need from a kitchen worktop.
Next stop? Finding it!
Here we take a closer look at the different worktop options on the market highlighting the pros (and those all-important cons), so you can make the right choice for your kitchen.
A firm favourite in the kitchen world, marble worktops are great for those who like to be more unique with their style. No two pieces are ever the same, so you can be confident your kitchen work surface is exclusive to you.
Pros of a marble worktop:
– Marble worktops can increase the value of your home.
– They are unique.
– Softer than other natural stones, marble is easier to work with, so if you’ve got an elaborate design in mind, it’s a great choice.
– Famed for a cool surface temperature, marble worktops are a favourite among bakers.
Cons of a marble worktop:
– It can be expensive.
– It’s very heavy. If you plan to fit the worktops yourself, you’re going to need backup. You also need to be mindful of the strength in your cupboards and be sure they can take the weight.
– Marble is naturally porous which can make it susceptible to staining. To avoid problems, you’ll need to reseal annually and stay on top of spillages to prevent fluids from being absorbed.
Average price for marble worktops: typically one of the more pricey materials for kitchen worktops, you can still find options starting from £200, although the top end of the scale is closer to £1000 per square metre.
Stylish and beautiful, granite worktops are synonymous with luxury kitchen design.
Pros of a granite worktop:
– Always in fashion, granite worktops hold their value and can last a lifetime.
– Tough and durable, granite worktops can withstand hot pots and pans being place directly on their surface and are one of the most scratch-resistant worktop options available. So if you’re guilty of not always using a chopping board, this could be the worktop for you.
– Hygienic and easy to clean.
Cons of a granite worktop:
– Whilst granite won’t damage easily, if it does, repairs can be difficult.
– Like marble, granite worktops are another kitchen heavyweight, so DIY fitting isn’t recommended. And again, you need to be confident you’ve got enough support in your base units to take the load.
– To retain its non-porous quality and prevent staining, granite worktops require regular resealing.
Average price for granite worktops: between £220 and £500 per square metre.
Combining the beauty of natural stone with the advantages of a man-made material, quartz worktops have taken the kitchen world by storm.
Pros of a quartz worktop:
– Highly stain resistant.
– Huge variety of colours to choose from.
– Hard-wearing and durable.
– Quartz surfaces are non-porous, which not only means there’s no need for the annual resealing treatment required with natural stone, but they also provide an excellent barrier against bacteria and stains.
Cons of a quartz worktop:
– Sensitive to heat, quartz worktops will damage if caught by a hot pan.
– Quartz can be expensive.
– Whilst extremely customisable with thickness choices and endless colour options, quartz will never be able to offer you the truly unique patterns found in natural stone.
Average price of quartz worktops: prices for a quality quartz worktop usually start at around the £400 mark, rising to £1000 per square metre depending on the thickness and finish you go for.
A timeless choice, wooden worktops remain a popular option.
Pros of a wooden worktop:
– Damage can be sanded away – keeping them looking as good as new.
– Wooden work surfaces add natural warmth and homeliness to a kitchen.
– Wood looks great with virtually any colour scheme.
– Wooden worktops have natural anti-bacterial qualities.
Cons of a wooden worktop
– They require regular maintenance – wood treatments, oils etc, to remain in good condition.
– Softer than most other options for kitchen worktops, wood can damage easily. Hot pans will scorch the surface, dropped items will easily leave a dent, and cutting directly on the surface will leave scratches.
– Water and liquids are quickly absorbed and will stain, so wooden worktops must be oiled regularly to avoid permanent damage.
Average price for wooden worktops: £50 – £150 per square metre.
Take your cooking seriously? Frequently feed a crowd? Then you might want to consider stainless steel – the worktop favoured by many professional kitchens.
Pros of a stainless steel worktop:
– Highly heat resistant and durable, stainless steel worktops can take whatever your busy kitchen throws at it.
– Non-porous, there’s no risk of stains being absorbed if they’re not dealt with straight away.
– Easy to wipe down and maintain, stainless steel won’t harbour germs or bacteria.
Cons of a stainless steel worktop:
– Whilst extremely durable the ‘new’ glean of stainless steel quickly fades and the surface soon scratches and dulls.
– Without care, they can easily dent.
– There are few customisations with stainless steel – what you see is what you get, and the surface can look a little clinical if you’re not careful.
Average price for stainless steel worktops: typically, a stainless-steel worktop can be found for anywhere between £150 and £300 per square metre.
Modern, sleek and ultra-glossy, glass worktops are a designer’s dream – and they’re not as fragile as you might think!
Pros of a glass worktop:
– Contrary to popular belief, glass worktops are actually very durable, can withstand high temperatures and won’t stain.
– Worried about a surface colour fading over time? Not an issue with glass, which holds its colour beautifully.
– Non-absorbent, glass worksurfaces make a very hygienic option.
Cons of a glass worktop:
– They can crack and chip if care isn’t taken.
– Difficult to repair damage that does occur.
– Glass worktops can be costly.
Average price of glass worktops: usually falls between £250 and £350 per square metre.
Made from high-density chipboard and coated with a plastic laminate, this type of worktop has been a staple in kitchens for many years.
Pros of a laminate worktop:
– Laminate worktops offer an affordable way to get the look you desire. With endless alternatives, you can get the appearance of wood, granite and marble worktops but without the hefty price tag.
– Being lightweight and easy to work with makes laminate a good choice if you’re a DIY fitter.
– A waterproof surface means laminate is easy to clean and won’t absorb stains.
Cons of a laminate worktop:
– Easily damaged, laminate work surfaces don’t offer the durability of natural stone.
– Laminate worktops will scorch and melt if they encounter hot pans.
– Quickly show signs of wear and tear with use.
Average price of laminate worktops: by far one of the cheapest options on the market, laminate worktops start at around £35 per square metre.
Love the industrial look? Then concrete worktops could be the ideal pick for you.
Pros of concrete worktop:
– Perhaps unsurprisingly, concrete worktops are hardwearing and durable.
– Concrete works well with other materials.
– Heat resistant, you can pop your pans down on this worktop without worrying.
Cons of a concrete worktop:
– Concrete can crack.
– The plainness of a concrete work surface shows off stains – although some would argue this adds to the industrial charm.
– Concrete worktops need to be sealed to prevent bacteria from growing.
Average price of concrete worktops: usually start at around £300 per square metre.
Ok, so now you know the basic facts about different surfaces, and you’ve identified the ideal material to suit both your kitchen style and needs. But what’s next?
Source competitive quotes
With a solid understanding of what you’re now looking for, you can search the market for competitive quotes. Be sure to do your research and make sure you’re getting value for money. Check out reviews to see what other customers have to say about the companies and products you’re looking at and be sure to get more than one quote to be able to compare prices properly.
To get an accurate quote you’ll need a rough idea of measurements, so have these to hand when requesting prices. Worried you won’t get it right? Don’t fret, once you decide to go ahead, professional fitters will usually visit your home to ‘template’. This ensures accurate measurements and a perfect fit – and the responsibility lies with them not you.
Fitting your worktops
Once your worktops have been templated, they will be cut to size before they are then ready to be installed. This can take a number of weeks with some companies, so be sure to check lead times if turnaround speed is a concern. At The Marble Store we aim to fit an impressive 7-10 days after templating.
After all your research to find the right kitchen work surface, now it’s time to enjoy it. And – if you’ve followed this guide to picking the best worktop – you can be confident you’ll still be appreciating it, in many years to come.
Talk to the experts
Still a little unsure which worktop to choose? Keen to talk through the different options in more detail with an expert? Then why not get in touch with our team at The Marble Store?
Specialising in marble, granite and quartz worktops we can offer professional advice on the right worktop for you. Call us today on 0800 470 3187, email [email protected] or fill in our enquiry form and we’ll be back in touch soon.