Posted in Kitchen Tips on September 16, 2011
There’s a wide range of superb kitchen worktop materials available, each with its unique character, features and qualities. Kitchens have become more than just a place to prepare food. Often during house parties the kitchen can be one of the main social hubs, as food and drink are consumed and conversation and laughter are exchanged.
Every home owner wants a kitchen worktop that’s both practical and aesthetically pleasing. But which is the right one for you? It’s a matter of personal taste and matching decor, but here’s a guide to the most popular and appealing kitchen worktop materials available.
Easily moulded to contemporary kitchen designs, Corian is a composite made from acrylic resin, pigments and 70% crushed stone. Lighter than quartz and granite, Corian shares their water resistance, but can sometimes stain and scratch. Fortunately, Corian can be sanded down and polished to look as new. Hot utensils should not be placed directly on the surface.
There are a huge number of different colours, shades and contrasts available, so a perfect match between Corian worktop and kitchen decor can easily be found. The only possible negative is the relatively high cost, but given Corian’s quality and versatility it’s a worthy investment.
Stunning to the eye and wonderful to touch, a natural hardwood kitchen worktop blends in beautifully with wood kitchen fittings, creating a warm homely look. For optimum water resistance hardwood worktops must be oiled regularly, but this is a small inconvenience for such elegance.
Hardwood is quite durable, however serious markings can be sanded and the surface re-oiled. Common types of hardwood to choose from include oak, cherry, maple, walnut and iroko. Each has its own particular colour and texture. For a kitchen worktop that will be admired by house guests, hardwood is a fine choice.
Suitable for traditional or contemporary design kitchens, granite is incredibly durable and resilient and almost impossible to scratch or mark. Available in various light and dark colours, granite worktops are usually given a honed matte or high gloss finish.
One major consideration is the sheer weight of granite worktops, which are very heavy indeed. If being applied to existing kitchen fittings it’s essential that the fixtures are able to properly bear the weight without causing structural damage. However, for low maintenance and maximum performance and style, granite is a great option.
Of course, sometimes there are budget restrictions. If so, laminate can closely mimic more costly worktop materials, providing a kitchen surface that’s simple to keep clean and has a good level of resistance to most liquids and chemicals kept and used in the kitchen.
While lacking the same level of robustness as granite, quartz or Corian, high quality laminate can give a lovely look to your kitchen. It also gives kitchen owners a huge range of choice regarding the colour, texture and edge types of their laminate worktop surfaces.
Dazzling to behold, crystalline quartz worktops often sparkle with mirrored light. The non porous quartz stone is very hard wearing and completely resistant to stains, scratches and heat damage. An extremely classy stone available in many different colours, quartz worktops look wonderful in traditional or modern design kitchens, providing true practical beauty.
As with granite, quartz is a heavyweight stone, meaning kitchen fittings should be checked to make sure they are structurally strong enough to carry the worktop. Any home owner wishing to add a little shine to their house parties should consider a quartz kitchen worktop. They’re sure to become a talking point.