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kitchen worktop ideas from terrazzo to copper and reclaimed timber

15 kitchen worktop ideas

From eco options to hi-tech wonders, find the right worksurface solution for your project

By Paula Woods | 5 January 2022

There are three main factors to consider when choosing your kitchen worktops. Can the practical benefits of a surface’s material suit your needs? Will it look great as part of the project? Will the design you like fit within your budget? Keep reading for expert advice and plenty of kitchen worktop ideas from the top retailers.

1. Reuse and revamp

Scour salvage yards for stone, marble or timber that can be made into characterful kitchen worktops. Look out for school laboratory workbenches, which are often made from quality hardwood, as well as reclaimed floorboards and cost-effective scaffolding planks. Extension project with bespoke kitchen painted in Black Blue from Farrow & Ball, and island worksurface made from reclaimed parquet flooring, sealed with raw oil. Design and project management by All & Nxthing.

Kitchen worktops in navy blue with wooden worktop in modern kitchen

Photo: All & Nxthing

2. Slim or chunky?

Surface depth is a factor to consider – options range from super-shallow 4mm to a standard 20-30mm up to more than 50mm, depending on the type of material. Malton kitchen in Seal Grey with Cosentino Eternal Calacatta Gold quartz worksurface, available in thicknesses of 20mm or 30mm, from Kitchen Makers.

White kitchen worktop with panelled walls in contemporary kitchen

Photo: Kitchen Makers

3. Chips off the old block

Resin-based terrazzo is durable and can include recycled waste stone or glass chippings. The random pattern of the embedded material makes each piece unique. TE081 resin terrazzo worksurface from Diespieker & Co.

Terrazzo stone wall and worktop in kitchen

Photo: Diespieker & Co

4. Go for a greener option

Eco-friendly solid surface and quartz composites include the carbon-offset Sunlit Day quartz range from Silestone, and Durat, which is made with recycled post-industrial plastic waste. Durat worksurface with integrated Block II sinks from Surface Matter.

Eco friendly solid surface in stripped back kitchen space

Photo: Surface Matter

5. Practically perfect

Sintered stone, also known as porcelain, is made from natural minerals bonded together under extreme heat and pressure. Durable and resistant to stains and chipping, it can be used to clad cabinets, walls and floors, or to wrap around an island. Calacatta Light Ceramic SapienStone worksurface from Cullifords.

Porcelain kitchen worksurface with gold built-in tap

Photo: Cullifords

6. Pick a finish

The appearance of a natural stone will be affected by the finish. Polished is bright and glossy, honed is more matt, and brushed is smooth, matt, and looks slightly paler than a polished treatment. Antique Anorthosite stone kitchen worktops from Lundhs.

Natural stone worksurface with grey slate flooring and big white windows

Photo: Lundhs

There are three main factors to consider when choosing your kitchen worktops. Can the practical benefits of a surface’s material suit your needs? Will it look great as part of the project? Will the design you like fit within your budget? Keep reading for expert advice and plenty of kitchen worktop ideas from the top retailers.

1. Reuse and revamp

Scour salvage yards for stone, marble or timber that can be made into characterful kitchen worktops. Look out for school laboratory workbenches, which are often made from quality hardwood, as well as reclaimed floorboards and cost-effective scaffolding planks. Extension project with bespoke kitchen painted in Black Blue from Farrow & Ball, and island worksurface made from reclaimed parquet flooring, sealed with raw oil. Design and project management by All & Nxthing.

Kitchen worktops in navy blue with wooden worktop in modern kitchen

Photo: All & Nxthing

2. Slim or chunky?

Surface depth is a factor to consider – options range from super-shallow 4mm to a standard 20-30mm up to more than 50mm, depending on the type of material. Malton kitchen in Seal Grey with Cosentino Eternal Calacatta Gold quartz worksurface, available in thicknesses of 20mm or 30mm, from Kitchen Makers.

White kitchen worktop with panelled walls in contemporary kitchen

Photo: Kitchen Makers

3. Chips off the old block

Resin-based terrazzo is durable and can include recycled waste stone or glass chippings. The random pattern of the embedded material makes each piece unique. TE081 resin terrazzo worksurface from Diespieker & Co.

Terrazzo stone wall and worktop in kitchen

Photo: Diespieker & Co

4. Go for a greener option

Eco-friendly solid surface and quartz composites include the carbon-offset Sunlit Day quartz range from Silestone, and Durat, which is made with recycled post-industrial plastic waste. Durat worksurface with integrated Block II sinks from Surface Matter.

Eco friendly solid surface in stripped back kitchen space

Photo: Surface Matter

5. Practically perfect

Sintered stone, also known as porcelain, is made from natural minerals bonded together under extreme heat and pressure. Durable and resistant to stains and chipping, it can be used to clad cabinets, walls and floors, or to wrap around an island. Calacatta Light Ceramic SapienStone worksurface from Cullifords.

Porcelain kitchen worksurface with gold built-in tap

Photo: Cullifords

6. Pick a finish

The appearance of a natural stone will be affected by the finish. Polished is bright and glossy, honed is more matt, and brushed is smooth, matt, and looks slightly paler than a polished treatment. Antique Anorthosite stone kitchen worktops from Lundhs.

Natural stone worksurface with grey slate flooring and big white windows

Photo: Lundhs

Image: Blakes London

7. Industrial quality

There are several benefits to choosing a metal-topped surface. Steel is easy to clean and heat resistant. Copper is antimicrobial and eco-friendly, while bronze and brass are low maintenance and create a distinctive design feature. Forge reclaimed timber kitchen with concrete and bronze worksurfaces. The bronze surface has an aged copper patina. From Bert & May.

Kitchen with wooden counter and wooden units with white sloping ceilings

Photo: Bert & May

8. Create an upstand feature

Try coordinating two different materials for impact. This speckled grey quartz composite kitchen worktops is contrasted with a boldly veined stone upstand that highlights the linear layout. Urbo oak river-washed kitchen with Silestone Kensho polished quartz composite worksurface (cosentino.com) and quartzite White Fantasy splashback from Roundhouse.

Grey quartz kitchen worktop contrasted with wooden units and marbled background

Photo: Roundhouse

9. Design flexibility

Versatile solid surface composites from brands such as Hi-Macs and Corian come in a vast number of colours, as well as the latest stone and concrete effects. They are precision-fitted for a join-free finish. Lava Rock worksurface and integrated Sparkling sink with stainless steel base from Corian.

Stone and concrete kitchen worksurface with utensils and sink built-in

Photo: Corian

10. Going all out

Extending a worksurface to create a breakfast bar or tabletop will require additional support if the overhang is more than 300mm. Choose brackets or glazing for hidden reinforcement. Interior design, Boffi Burnished Gold kitchen, ceramic worksurfaces and glazed support from Retrouvius.

Curved worksurface in green room with large windows

Photo: Francesca’s Paints

11. Hi-tech tricks

Some designs incorporate LED lighting and integrated wireless charging ports. TPB Tech has invisible induction cooktops, while Eggersmann and Boffi offer retractable surfaces. Zerox handleless kitchen and worksurface in Fenix Matt Black with smart-ready integrated strip lighting from Rotpunkt.

LED lighting and tech built into dark worktops with plants and wooden wall behind

Photo: Rotopunkt

12. Robust and refined

A concrete surface cast in situ will be tailored to each kitchen, with an infinite number of designs possible. Professional installation ensures a durable and long-lasting finish. Applying a sealant prevents water absorption and staining. Bespoke oak-veneered plywood kitchen cabinetry from Uncommon Projects. Cantilevered concrete island worksurface from White+Reid.

Concrete worksurface in kitchen with pops of yellow and green accessories

Photo: White+Reid

13. Rock solid

All stone requires sealing to protect it from water damage and staining, but granite, travertine and slate are more impervious than marble or limestone. The slabs can be very heavy, so ensure that the cabinets are strong enough to bear the weight. Contemporary Classic matt lacquer kitchen painted in Pitch Black Matt and Down Pipe from Farrow & Ball with Atlantic Stone granite and Nero Assoluto honed granite worksurfaces from Roundhouse.

Granite kitchen worktop with metal range cooker and panelled wall behind

Photo: Roundhouse

14. Natural opulence

Book- or slip-matched marble is where two or more slabs are carefully joined so that the pattern of veining looks continuous. It’s an expensive option, requiring regular sealing and cleaning, but for a luxury look it’s hard to beat. Bespoke timber kitchen in Little Greene’s Basalt with Calacatta marble worksurfaces and island from Blakes London.

Slip matched marble worktop with navy units and brass sinks

Photo: Blakes London

15. Spend or save?

Most bespoke kitchen companies take care of everything, from designing and sourcing materials to measuring up and fitting. A less expensive route is to buy online or direct from suppliers, but don’t forget the cost of installation. Turtle Green quartzite from Cullifords.

Bespoke worktop styled with plants, books and coffee

Photo: Cullifords


Focus on fitting

Advice on installation from Oli Moss, senior designer at Roundhouse:

  • When fitting any kitchen worktops it is vital to ensure that the base units are level and securely fixed so there will be no movement once it’s in place. This will help reduce any stress on surface materials and will prevent potential bowing.
  • Bespoke stone, quartz composite, porcelain, metal and solid surface installations will require templating so they can be precisely and professionally cut or fabricated off site. You will need to allow one to two weeks prior to fitting by a specialist installer, but a temporary surface can be fitted so the kitchen is usable in the meantime.
  • Although it is possible to buy ready-to-fit pre-cast concrete versions, most seamless concrete and terrazzo worksurfaces are cast on site by a specialist installer. Allow time for measuring up, making the mould and pouring the concrete, plus extra for hardening and curing, a process that can take at least 30 days.
  • Most laminate and timber worksurfaces can be cut to fit on site as soon as the base units are in place, saving time and money. I recommend professional installation for the best results, but surfaces can be fitted by anyone who’s competent in DIY.
  • When calculating costs, take into consideration layout as well as material choices. Straight surface runs will inevitably be more cost-effective as they are easier to fit. Expect to pay an additional fee for each extra joint, for hob or sink cut-outs, and for drainer grooves.

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