How to Choose Kitchen Worktops the Easy Way
Choosing kitchen worktops throws up such a variety of options it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the task. The most popular materials for worktops include granite, wood, glass, stainless steel, and laminate and it is important to pick the best material for your needs. Here’s what you need to know about different worktops before you make your decision.
Think About Maintenance Needs
Some kitchen worktop surfaces are easier to keep clean than others. If you want a surface that is quick to look after, keep clean, and maintain, stainless steel is ideal as you can easily wipe up spills. Bear in mind that a material which shows all the marks, like glass, will not be the best material if you have young children. If you do a lot of cooking on the stove, install heat-resistance worktops next to the cooker so that you don’t have to worry about protective mats when you take pots off the heat.
Consider Water Resistance
In the kitchen there is always the risk that the worktops will come into contact with liquids – you spill a drink, or water drips onto the surface, or you mark the surface with water. Many materials for kitchen counters are water resistant, including hardwoods, granite (although wipe up wine and citrus before they stain), laminates, composites, and glass. Stainless steel is water resistant and often used in food preparation areas as it is hygienic.
Think About the Look
Certain materials provide a warm, cosy look while others are more sleek and slick. Wooden countertops are ideal for a country cottage style kitchen, while granite and other natural stones look great in a contemporary setting – an expanse of glossy natural stone is a powerful central point in a modern kitchen; you can see examples at www.jrstone.co for more inspiration. Composites work well in any style of kitchen depending on the colour and finish of the material, and glass is a modern style statement that bounces light around the room.
How Durable is the Surface?
You need the worktops to be strong and long-lasting; after all, they are going to come in for a lot of wear. Make sure the worktops you choose will withstand the attentions of the people using the kitchen. Think about how easily you can chop vegetables, or move pans around. For example, if you have wooden counters, make sure you don’t cut directly onto the counter and you don’t place hot pans on the surface as you can quickly ruin the finish. Composite is a highly tough and durable material, as is granite.
Is the Material Flexible and Easy to Fit?
Wood is easy to cut so can therefore be used in most kitchen designs, even in oddly shaped kitchens. Composite can be fashioned into any shape you desire, which makes it handy for kitchens where you need a single seamless worktop. Granite may be more expensive because it is heavy to move, but you can get granite worktops in a variety of sizes. Laminates, on the other hand, can be fitted as part of a DIY project.
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