There are solid reasons for making the worksurface a priority in your new kitchen. Read our straightforward guide on how to choose the best worktop for you.
There are three main factors to consider when choosing your kitchen worktops. Will the practical benefits of a surface's material suit your needs? Will it look great as part of the project? And is it within your budget? Keep reading to find out more.
What are the different types of material?
For a seamless finish that's easy to maintain, hi-tech materials such as quartz and solid-surface composites look sleek and are non-porous. They are made from stone, minerals and resin mixes, which vary depending on the brand, and cost from around £300-£500 per sqm.
Responsibly-sourced timber is eco-friendly and relatively affordable at around £100 per sqm. There are several species to choose from, such as the blonde-coloured ash, mid-tone oak and beech or dark-hued walnut. The way the wood is cut and finished creates surfaces that have subtle grain patterns or boldy knotty and rustic.
Laminate offers a more affordable faux look. For extra durability, choose versions where the composite layers are fused together under high pressure (HPL). HPL costs from £35 per metre.
For an industrial appearance, stainless steel or copper surfaces are hygienic and cost around £250 per sqm. Matt finishes make scratches and marks less noticeable. Concrete can be cast to order for a durable surface but it needs to be sealed to prevent water absorption. Expect to pay £500 per metre.
How to plan ahead?
Image: Blakes London
Gianluca Dessena, installation manager at Sustainable Kitchens gives his top tips on how and why you should plan ahead when it comes to your worktops...
High or low maintenance?
As well as aesthetics, durability and cost, think about how the surface will look after a few years of use and what maintenance is needed to keep it in great condition. Are you happy to choose something that needs upkeep or would you prefer to have an easy-care option?
Visit a surface supplier
Most bespoke kitchen companies will take care of the design, sourcing of materials, measuring up and the installation. But it's a good idea to visit surface suppliers before making a final decision. Collect a variety of samples so you can see how each one works within the space.
Allow additional fitting time
Worksurfaces are fitted after all of the cabinets are in place. A timber surface will arrive on site slightly oversized to be scribed for a perfect fit and can be installed within days. Stone, quartz and solid composites require templating, and metals, such as stainless steel and copper, are manufactured to specification. Allow an additional one or two weeks prior to fitting. A temporary worksurface can be put into place so the kitchen is usable in the meantime.
Are you in the process of a kitchen renovation? If so, what worksurface are you considering? Let us know by tweeting us @granddesigns or posting a comment on our Facebook page.