Kitchen Worktop Materials – Pros and Cons
You will use it for preparing and serving food and potentially dining, and it will need to resist to a regular, intensive cleaning so the kitchen worktop needs to be selected very carefully. Choosing the right kitchen worktop will make a big impact on how your kitchen feels and functions. Furthermore, the kitchen worktop needs to complement the units and the flooring in the kitchen.
Picking the right worktop for your kitchen can be difficult, especially because there are so many options in terms of colour and materials.
This guide should help to an informed decision when choosing the right worktop for your kitchen revamp or when design a new one.
Granite is a natural rock formed from cooled magma.
Its look is stylish, beautiful and often linked with luxurious kitchen schemes. Its colours may have pink, red, brown, grey, black o rarely white and blue shades. So, you can choose which one suits best your kitchen design style.
Pros: hard wearing, heat (you can place a hot pan directly on worktop) and scratch resistant, antibacterial, easy to clean, water resistant (but watch out for wine and citric acids: they must be cleaned up quickly to avoid damaging the stone).
Cons: very heavy, so it needs a good support and a very specialized installation, expensive.
Perfect for who is looking for a long-lasting look with a touch of luxury.
Quartz is a manmade alternative to the traditional worktop. Natural quartz is fortified with resin to create a truly hard wearing and customizable worktop.
Pros: Hard wearing, durable, easy to clean, antibacterial, wide range of colour.
Cons: very heavy, expensive, may crack with thermal shock.
Best for who loves the practicality and versatility.
Hardwood is a natural material and included oak, walnut, and iroko wood worktop. Just be sure to choose a sustainable wood preferably from FSC accredited source. Iroko and teak wood are ideal for using around the sink as they have a high oil content and are water resistant.
Pros: a variety of wood grains and colours, antibacterial if maintained, can be sanded out, age beautifully.
Cons: require sealing oiling to maintain the surface, can become stained, can scratch, can scorch if hot pans are placed directly on it.
Perfect to give to the kitchen a rustic look, not for a low maintenance person.
Laminate is a non-porous material that gives a versatile solution. Because its various cost options Laminate is the most popular option on the market but be careful to choose a good quality.
Pros: antibacterial, less expensive option, can look like more high-priced material such as granite or wood, easy to clean, to maintain and to install, hard wearing, scratch and heat resistant.
Cons: when is a very poor quality option can peel, burn or even melt if in contact with hot pans, scratch and become unhygienic. It won’t create a unique surface like natural materials.
Good for value.
Glass is very stylish, versatile and as reflects the light can make look a small space bigger. It will look contemporary, stylish and sleek.
Pros: easy to clean, hygienic, can be made any size and shape, durable, heat, acid and water resistant, it has a vary wide choices of colours.
Cons: it needs frequent cleaning to remove fingerprint and watermarks, expensive.
Best for adding light in small spaces.
Solid Surface Composite Worktop (Corian, Maia, Encore)
It’s made from stone, mineral dust, acrylic, resin and pigments, wood and many other elements.
Pros: heat, scratches, stain and water resistant, can be molded into any shape, low maintenance.
Good for who looks for durability and cleanliness.
Stainless Steel Worktop
Stainless steel – typical material used in commercial kitchen sector it is becoming more popular in the domestic setting as well, especially thanks to the lovers of industrial style.
Pros: strong and durable, natural antibacterial, easy to clean, waterproof, heat and acid resistant, very light material.
Cons: cold and clinical aspect, can scratch, can become overwhelming in big spaces.
Very good for those who like to cook in a “professional” environment.
Beautiful and elegant natural material has its particularity in its veiny, patchy, patterned look. Its veiny colour range goes from grey and pink to green, brown and black.
Pros: cool to touch (perfect for rolling out pastry), easy to clean.
Cons: scratch, stain with an acid solution, red wine, coffee, tea, oil, and juices if not cleaned immediately.