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best worktops

What is the best worktops material?

When it comes to choosing your kitchen worktops one thing is guaranteed. That is, you won’t find yourself limited by options! So, how do you know what is the best worktops material from the millions of options to choose from?

We want to make this difficult choice a little bit easier for you. So we have compiled a summary of the major material contenders. Including the main advantages and disadvantages of each material. There is no one worktops material that is universal. So, it is best to understand the main features you require. For example, “looks like marble” or “must be durable”. Then choose the exact colour and texture that fits your design.

Quartz 

Quartz is a man-made surface manufactured using mostly natural quartz aggregate. A typical colour is composed of approximately 90-94% inorganic components. Namely quartz and silicone. Moreover, modern production designs have enabled quartz surfaces to replicate natural counterparts such as marble and granite. Whilst decors can also come in all trends and styles. Add to this, quartz has outstanding durability and is easy to maintain. No wonder it is easy to see why quartz has become the number one choice for so many kitchen worktops.

Advantages
  • Wide variety of colours and patterns
  • High gloss and textured finishes available
  • Full bodied: colours
  • Patterns run through the worktop edges
  • Good durability: scratch, stain and chip resistant
  • Easy maintenance
Disadvantages
  • Specialist installation required
  • Some brands are expensive

Granite 

Granite is an igneous rock generally quarried directly from the mountainside. Where it has formed slowly over millions of years. As a result, colour and veining changes for each granite. This is due to the geographical characteristics and mineral composition of each area. This ensures worktops in granite will be unique. Whilst there is a natural limitation on the number of granite colours that are available due to its natural origins.

Advantages
  • High gloss and textured finishes available
  • Good durability: scratch, stain and chip resistant
  • Full bodied: patterns run through the worktop edges
  • Easy maintenance
Disadvantages
  • Specialist installation required
  • Some brands are expensive
  • Porous unless treated with nano sealants
  • Natural flaws in the material are common

Wood 

Wood worktops come in variety of different species. Typically they are manufactured from 40mm staves that are finger jointed together. This prevents significant movement of the wood as it goes through production and acclimatizes to the kitchen environment once installed. The beauty of natural timber means it is an ever popular worktops surface. However, wood does require a lot of maintenance to keep looking right. Whilst it is often best incorporated into new kitchens designs as a feature such as a breakfast bar or island.

Advantages
  • Variety of natural species
  • Broad range of price points
  • Takes on ambient room temperature
Disadvantages
  • Poor durability
  • Sink areas can become discoloured
  • Requires regular maintenance

Laminate 

The most popular kitchen worktops choice. Laminate worktops have the lowest price point. This is because laminates are made from a plastic coating adhered to a chipboard subframe. Another advantage is a huge variety of colours and finishes. Albeit some of the latest advanced laminate decors now approaching the same price point as solid wood or quartz.

Advantages
  • Low price point
  • Standard installation
  • Large variety of colours and finishes
  • Easy maintenance
Disadvantages
  • Poor durability
  • Surface can de-laminate
  • Inferior appearance to solid surfaces

Marble 

Marble is a metamorphic rock. It has maintained its popularity since the ancient civilizations. Perhaps more than anything luxury and elegance define marble. Although marble is not as dense as its natural counterpart, granite. In fact, it is a lot more porous and brittle. As a result it is generally not considered the best worktops material. However, the natural formation of marble does provide a vast collection of dramatic patterns. As well as vivid colours. From this, many other worktops derive their inspiration.

Advantages
  • Dramatic and unique colours
  • Good for food preparation
Disadvantages
  • Poor durability
  • Specialist installation required
  • Expensive

Ceramic 

Ceramic is a recent addition to the worktops market. Whilst ceramic has been around a long time in tiles. The technology to develop large format slabs that are suitable for kitchen worktops has only recently been developed. A digitally printed layer is added to the ceramic material to provide a range of colours and patterns.

Advantages
  • Good durability: scratch, stain and heat resistant
  • Wide variety of colours and patterns
  • Easy maintenance
Disadvantages
  • High tension in material can lead to chipping and cracking
  • Not full bodied: colours and patterns only on the top surface
  • Polished finishes can scratch easily
  • Expensive
  • Specialist installation required

Steel 

Steel worktops are extremely durable. They are able to take knocks and bangs. And they hardly ever crack or chip. This has made them one of the best worktops for commercial kitchens. Steel can, however, look a bit clinical in a domestic kitchen. Albeit, industrial designs can work well with a steel worktop. Especially as a food preparation area, or even as a feature piece.

Advantages
  • Good durability: heat, stain and chip resistant
  • Easy maintenance
Disadvantages
  • Poor scratch resistance
  • Show bumps and dents
  • Can look clinical
  • Specialist installation required
  • Expensive
best worktops

Acrylic 

Originally created by DuPont, acrylic worktops have unique characteristics. Acrylic worktops are made from acrylic polymer and alumina trihydrate. Corian is the original brand of acrylic kitchen worktops created by DuPont. And whilst Corian still retains its lead in the market today, other brands have entered the market. Above all, seamless joints and integrated sinks are the most popular design features.

Advantages
  • Seamless appearance
  • Homogenous integrated sinks
  • Good durability: stain resistant and scratches can be repaired
  • Wide variety of colours and patterns
Disadvantages
  • Gloss finish will show scratches
  • Specialist installation required
  • Expensive