Choosing a kitchen worktop for your lifestyle is a great place to start when designing your kitchen. We have made the kitchen the heart of the home, and for good reason. Not only are we using our kitchens to cook delicious foods (hopefully), they have become our number one social space in the home. We eat, drink and chat; cook, work and entertain. Sometimes all at the same time! It’s a busy space and getting the right design can truly inspire.
The three main components of any kitchen design are the cabinets, appliances and worktops. The kitchen worktop is visually one of the most significant elements of the kitchen. However, the worktop also has responsibilities for all food preparation. As a result most people are now starting off with choosing the kitchen worktop that works best for their lifestyle.
Use this guide to help you choose the best kitchen worktop for your lifestyle.
What’s your style?
The visual aesthetic is one of the strongest features that drives our decision making when purchasing a kitchen worktop.
Neutral monotone worktop colours can be hugely effective, especially within a minimalist design. Or even as a contrast against a more colourful backdrop. Corian and Gemini Quartz are perhaps the most effective worktop choices for achieving this look. They have neutral pure colours and are resilient to scratches and stains you may get on inferior alternatives.
Are you looking for an extra element of wow factor? Then a number of the Gemini Quartz colours also come with mirror particle that shimmers under the kitchen lights.
Marble has retained a timeless appeal in design. Since ancient civilization we have seen marble as the ultimate luxury surface, and it has lost none of its appeal. The main drawbacks of using marble as a kitchen worktop, however, are staining, chipping and scratching. Fortunately this is completely overcome with the latest generation of Gemini Quartz surfaces. The majestic veining of the most popular marbles is indistinguishable in Gemini Quartz to their natural counterparts.
Recent design trends have created a popularity for industrial materials within the home. Concrete and weathered metal can provide a raw contrast to the volume of plastic we see in today’s world. The Gemini Quartz Industrial Collection hits this trend head on with its incredible textured finishes.
How’s your kitchen worktop space?
Often the biggest regret in any kitchen design? The lack of worktop space.
We need more worktop space than we typically realise. But after you account for the essential hob and sink, we also have to take into consideration other appliances. The microwave, kettle, bread bin, knife set, smoothy maker and coffee machine to name a few. If you like to cook, then plenty of food preparation space is essential.
We don’t speak to many people who aren’t happy about maximising the available space for the worksurface. Think about having deeper worktops by creating a void between the cabinets and wall or extending the worktop beyond the cabinets. You can do this using a cantilever effect or using appropriate structural supports. Our friendly team are on hand to help assist you create the best possible design for your space.
What are the priority uses for your kitchen?
We all use our kitchens in our own unique ways. We can, however, help determine the most suitable kitchen worktop based on the typical needs of what is going on most of the time in the kitchen.
If you enjoy baking, then the cool surface of granite, marble or Gemini Quartz will be the perfect choice.
Do you have a young family? Then you may prioritise practicality and durability such as stain and shock resistance. The very highest levels of hygiene and performance come as standard in Gemini Quartz and Corian. .
If you enjoy a warmer, room ambient worktop then consider Corian or wood. Likewise if you want the practical benefits of a granite or quartz then consider incorporating different materials into the kitchen worktop design. Wood breakfast bars, for example, can make a striking addition to a Gemini Quartz worktop design.
Do you enjoy cleaning?
The right worktop choice typically needs to factor in how much time you enjoy cleaning (seriously!). As well as how prepared you are to see marks and scuffs on the surface.
If you want an easy to maintain kitchen worktop, that remains hygienic, then you shouldn’t consider wood. At least not around the functional areas of the kitchen such as the hob and sink. Wood requires regular oiling to avoid it drying out and cracking. Whilst it is easily susceptible to marks and scratches that need regular anti-bacterial cleansing. Marble is also highly susceptible to staining, marks and chipping due to its highly porous composition. As such marble is regarded as high maintenance and should be avoided in everyday use kitchens.
Also consider the finish of the worktop. Some textured and matte finishes on granite and quartz surfaces can render them porous. As such this will significantly increase the care and maintenance required to keep them looking new and clean. For peace of mind all Gemini Quartz textured colours are protected by Nano Shield. This makes them as hassle free and easy to look after as the standard polished finish.
What’s your kitchen worktop budget?
Last but certainly not least, is taking into account how much you should spend on your worktops.
Typical guidelines suggest spending on worktops is approximately between 20% and 30% of most consumers kitchen budgets. Given that the kitchen worktop is such an important visual and performance element of the kitchen, we recommend that you allocate a sensible budget. This should meet your affordability criteria whilst ensuring you get the right choice for your needs.
There is a worktop choice that meets every budget. From low cost laminates in every variety of colour, to rare and exotic granite and marble. Most solid worktops; granite, quartz and Corian, are in the middle on price. Although within these materials themselves there will be different price points.
The price you pay will also be decided from where you purchase the worktops. At Gemini Worktops we deal with you direct, which ensures we can offer you the most competitive prices for our products. If you purchase from a retailer, then you will also be paying a retail margin which could increase the cost.
Ultimately, if you want your worktops to stand the test of time, as well as looking amazing, then we recommend aiming for the highest quality choice that stays within your budget.