Selecting kitchen worktops is one of the most significant decisions when creating your dream kitchen. There are various options available and making an informed decision can have a tremendous effect on how the room appears.
Natural stone works are gorgeous yet expensive, while quartz (a mixture of natural minerals and resin) provides a more contemporary option that is scratch-, stain-, and heat-resistant.
Quartz is an extremely hard-wearing natural stone alternative, reinforced with resin that makes it highly stain-, scratch-, and heat-resistant for contemporary kitchen designs. Many brands provide a selection of colours—even some concrete-look finishes—for you to choose from when selecting quartz as their natural stone alternative.
Granite is a natural worktop material with an attractive, long-term finish. You can choose between high-polished or matte finishes for a modern or traditional shaker-style kitchen look. Cleanup with warm water and mild detergent should be straightforward, while its porous surface requires annual sealing to maintain its beauty and protect it against staining and spills.
Marble is another gorgeous worktop material that exudes classic charm. However, its soft nature means it is vulnerable to scratches and stains and should therefore be used with care, using a chopping board and heat trivet as protection from potential damage.
Soapstone may seem like an unusual choice for a worktop material, but its unique beauty can add character and create a striking, lived-in aesthetic in any kitchen. While hardwearing and heat resistant, soapstone can still scratch or stain without proper care; its inherent uniqueness warrants such an investment; however, at PS150 per metre, the costs could add up quickly.
Solid-surface worktops like corian and quartz can add modern aesthetics. Their non-porous nature makes them non-hygienic, dirt-resistant, and easy to keep clean, plus their combination of acrylic polymer and natural minerals makes them colorfast! Easy-care cleaning makes this material appealing, although any acidic liquid spilled onto it may stain the surface permanently.
Wood provides warmth and softens the sound in your kitchen environment. Not only is it natural and antibacterial, but its soft surface also protects China better than harder materials. Choose FSC-certified timber to ensure longevity.
Granite is an eye-catching material, boasting a luxurious aesthetic. With a range of soothing colours to suit any kitchen design scheme, its luxurious appearance stands out. Furthermore, granite is heat-resistant yet highly durable, though occasional drops may result in chipped pieces. Furthermore, regular sealing must also be performed to avoid staining.
An easier alternative is a quartz worktop, made with coloured quartz crystals mixed with resin and binders to produce an extremely durable surface that resists scratches, stains, impact damage, and heat damage, plus being non-porous and easy to maintain. Furthermore, quartz tends to chip less often than granite does while performing equally well with regards to heat control.
Concrete is another current trend that works well with industrial-style designs. Though heavy, this material is extremely hardwearing and can even be cut to any shape you desire, making it perfect for islands or focal-point breakfast bars.
Marble is one of the most desirable kitchen worktop materials available, as its luxurious surface feels cool to the touch and can complement a variety of styles and colour schemes. If real marble is out of reach for you, try cultured marble, which offers less costly alternatives while still looking stunning.
Quartz, a synthetic alternative to natural stone that’s often more cost-effective than marble, is another popular option. Hardwearing yet contemporary in appearance, this hard-wearing material comes in various colours with matte finishes popular among designers, making it great for small kitchens where space may be at a premium. But for an added punch, try mixing in wood or laminate worktops instead for an eye-catching contrast.
5. Solid Surface
Ceramic worktops boast an elegant and contemporary appearance, are available in an array of colours to match any kitchen theme and are customised with decorative tiles to add character. Ceramic is highly resistant to heat (up to 180 °C) and stain (stains and marks can last for an extended period) but may scratch under pressure.
Stainless steel is another extremely resilient material. It resists heat and scratches without encouraging bacteria growth, plus it’s relatively expensive but easy to keep clean and hygienic.
Man-made composite materials like corian and quartz are engineered to replicate the look and durability of natural stone while offering modern conveniences such as seamless integration into designs. Furthermore, they’re highly scratch-, stain-, and heat-resistant—an essential combination in today’s fast-paced lifestyles.
Solid wood worktops add a natural charm and elegance to any kitchen and come in various colours, textures, and finishes that suit a range of styles. Being non-porous, they don’t promote bacteria growth while being heat-resistant, scratch-proof, and durable; however, they will need regular sanding and oiling to stay looking their best.
Laminate worktops offer budget-minded consumers an economical option in terms of aesthetics. Available in an array of colours, textures, and patterns, laminate is easy to keep clean while providing excellent heat and tain resistance; however, if improperly sealed, it could become vulnerable to water damage.
Due to all of the different materials on offer, selecting a kitchen worktop can be both time-consuming and costly.
Laminate worktops are the least expensive option available while still offering good heat, stain, and scratch resistance. Available in an array of colours and designs—even patterns that mimic stone—laminate can be an affordable upgrade that still meets modern demands.
Quartz is an artificial alternative to granite that’s durable and stylish. Stain, heat, and scratch resistance come together with various finishes, from shiny to matte leather-like surfaces, for optimal use in modern homes.
Visit showrooms offering an assortment of surfaces, as the possibilities can be endless. It might turn out that certain materials work better in certain rooms of the home than others; marble may not suit bathrooms, while wood may not stand up well against frequent kitchen usage.
8. Marble Tiles
Marble tiles are an elegant choice for kitchen worktops, providing a luxurious aesthetic. Unfortunately, however, they may stain easily with certain foods and need regular sealing for protection.
Stainless steel is a timeless material with excellent properties: nonporous to prevent bacteria growth, heat-resistant, scratchproof, and durable.
Concrete has quickly become one of the go-to materials for creating modern industrial-style kitchens, whether cast on site or bought as precast panels. You can have concrete cast onsite or purchase pre-cast panels. Pigmented concrete can also be mixed with wood to create unique designs or sealed using polyurethane or impregnating sealer to increase durability.
9. Granite Tiles
An investment like a new worktop should not be taken lightly, so taking time and visiting showrooms to feel out the materials available to ensure it fits both aesthetically and practically is key to finding a product that’s best suited to you.
Dekton and Neolith compact surface worktops utilise cutting-edge Sinterized Particle Technology, making them five times stronger than granite while nonporous. Offering impact resistance and heat tolerance as well as various designs such as stone-look, wood, or concrete textures—ideal for kitchens with curves as they can be seamlessly shaped—prices for these worktops begin at PS150 per metre; other nonporous options, such as stainless steel, are less susceptible to bacteria growth.
10. Quartz Tiles
Quartz tiles are one of the newest countertop options available and make an excellent addition to a contemporary kitchen. Their non-porous surface doesn’t support bacterial growth while still offering outstanding resistance to heat, scratches, stains, and mould.
Quartz worktops differ from natural stone in that they are produced using a composite of quartz minerals and resin; unlike natural stone, which must be cut down into large slabs for fabrication on-site, quartz worktops are produced using this durable, long-wearing material that comes in various colours and hues.
Stainless steel is a popular choice, especially in commercial kitchens. It is tough and durable, as well as heat and stain-resistant; however, some interior designers might find its clinical appearance unattractive. Consider using laminates or nonporous antibacterial resurfacing materials such as Lapitec or Dekton, which employ sinterized particle technology instead.