The kitchen worktop that you choose is likely to have a big impact on both the finished look and functionality of your kitchen.
So rather than head into the process blind, you should make some careful considerations and ask yourself the following questions;
- What look do you want to achieve; smooth and sleek, high tech or country?
- What kind of cook are you? Do you need a lot of counter space to get messy or do you tidy up as you go?
- Do you entertain or prepare meals for more than 2 people regularly?
In answering these question, you will ascertain just how robust and extensive your new kitchen worktop will need to be.
While the normal choice is to opt for one material to be used as a worktop throughout the entire room, there is nothing to say that you can’t use more!
Different materials offer different culinary purposes and can visually add order to the space. Of course, there are pros and cons for each material and ultimately, your choice should reflect how robust it needs to be, how much you are prepared to look after it and the look that you have opted for the room in general.
We have listed some of the popular choices this year to help you decide!
With a legacy of being an exclusively industrial material, concrete is now making its way into more domestic settings. Concrete has proved to be a very popular trend in 2015 and 2016 and are very tactile; they certainly make a talking point in a home.
Although it is inherently witnessed in its classic grey state, it is actually available in a wide range of colour and effects, it can also be highly polished. It can be easily shaped to accommodate pillars and form sinks.
Pros: It is an extremely flexible material, and it gets tougher as it ages. If it encounters stains it is easily repaired to stripped back.
Cons: It takes a few weeks to harden so your kitchen will be off limits as it poured in situ. It also requires a penetrative sealant treatment every 6 month and stains easily.
Image Source – By Richard Leeney For Mclaren.Excell
Copper is a unique and stunning choice of surface, and is certainly high impact when used in large quantities. It’s a versatile trend and suits a modern, monochrome style kitchen whilst also lending itself to a more traditional look.
‘Copper worktops have mostly been used in restaurants in the UK, but they’re starting to appear in homes, too, says Alice Paice of Tipfords.
Like wood, copper brings an element of warmth with it and can be a far more practical option as hot pans and trays can be placed directly onto it with the fear of it scorching.
It does oxidise from contact with water, this can be easily dealt with using a damp cloth. Copper is a ‘living’ material, naturally reacting to substances and can mottle over time.
Pros: Like wood, its naturally antibacterial, it’s also very easy to keep clean! Alice recommends, ‘a wipe with soapy water and a buff with baby oil to make it glisten’. For an extra deep clean, you can use lemon juice, although over time this wears away the antibacterial properties.
Cons: The bright copper finish is difficult to maintain long term. Copper is a soft metal and can be dented and scratched easily, although plywood substrate does limit the damage. Currently, you are unable to buy copper sheets deeper than 95cm.
A beautiful and timeless offering; from maple to walnut, ash to mahogany – there is a wood option out there for everyone. The material is understandably popular too, it brings warmth and texture into any room.
For kitchen worktops, Iroko wood is commonly advised – it has a closed grain and is dark enough to be forgiving when it comes to the unavoidable marks.
In theory, any marks within a wood counter can be sanded out, this isn’t recommended unless the wood is brand new. It’s better to use a cabinet scraper to refresh the entire surface.
Pros: A little known fact is that timber is naturally antibacterial! It’s also easy to repair and fairly simple to install. It’s a robust and handsome material – when oiled regularly.
Cons: It’s quite labour intensive and needs regular oiling, at least a couple of times a year. It’s also fairly vulnerable when it comes to being scorched, stained and scratched.
A completely solid surface; cut through a Corian counter and its middle it’s exactly the same as its top.
Relatively unknown within the domestic setting, Corian is incredibly versatile and can be dyed to virtually any colour you desire or any effect such as granite or marble, meaning that it is able to fit any style that you have chosen for your kitchen.
Roz Fairbank from Superior Surfaces explains, “Corian has been around for a long time but I think people are only just beginning to understand its numerous applications. There seems to be a couple of colour trends at the moment which have proven to be popular. One is for very plain, light colours like pale greys, or even shades similar to the Pantone colour of the year; Rose Quarts and Serenity. The other is for colours which have lots of veins running throughout in marble effect.”
For those who are particularly concerned about hygiene and cleanliness, fear not – this material can be manufactured as one seamless unit, meaning there no joins – excellent from an aesthetic point of view, but also means that there are no seams to harbour germs.
Pros: Incredibly hygienic, thanks to it non porous composition. You are also guaranteed to be left with a kitchen of an incredibly high quality, DuPont, the creator of the surface authorise all of their retailers and all fabricators/installers must be trained by DuPont; it is impossible for businesses to obtain the material.
Cons: Due to the manufacturing process and its associated costs and exclusivity of the product itself you are looking at a higher cost than most other kitchen counter surfaces. However, when you look at the fact that the material is one of the strongest, most hygienic and robust materials used, it will last for far longer than its less expensive counterparts.