According to an article in the Telegraph, no matter how much you spend on your kitchen, if you do not plan it properly, you will have wasted your money. Part of this planning involves the choice of work surfaces, and knowing which is the most suitable, or desirable, is important for you. Here I have listed the main types of work surfaces you could choose, and why they could be a good (or bad) choice to add style to your kitchen.
This is a favourite for many in their kitchens, and there are some beautiful woods to choose from. My personal favourites are Cherry and Walnut, but on a more practical level, a wood like teak would be a better choice because of the high oil content in the wood. Treating the wood yourself is a great way around this, but requires regular maintenance. Wood is a very easy material to use when cutting and fitting your worktop, and is one of the cheaper options for a work surface. You need to be careful of spills and burn marks on the wood, but even a burn can be rubbed out with suitable glass paper and the wood can be re-treated.
Granite is a favourite work surface for those looking for a practical, classy look, and is therefore seen in many high end bespoke kitchens (Visit miketaylorbespokekitchens.co.uk for some beautiful Bespoke Kitchen Designs). Granite is incredibly hard wearing, heat resistant, and waterproof, making it an ideal surface in a kitchen; and it is available in a huge range of colours and patterns. Because it is so hard wearing, granite is difficult to cut and shape for anyone but a professional, so rely on a professional for these things. The only downside of granite is the cost, but then again, it is certainly not the most expensive option.
Not only seen in professional kitchens, stainless steel is a great choice in the home too. If hygiene is high on your list of priorities, then stainless is a great choice, as it is non-porous, meaning no bacteria below the surface.. Scratches may be a problem over time, and fingerprint marks can show up on high polished surfaces; but choosing a matte finish will help minimize these problems, and the worktop itself will last a lifetime. Highly affordable and an easy option to fit and replace; stainless steel is becoming more popular with good reason.
There is no doubt that the marble will add a lot of kudos to your kitchen and will look incredibly beautiful, but the look comes at a cost; and not just expense. Marble really is not the most appropriate stone in a kitchen and you will need to care for your marble work surfaces. Acid from food, sugar, and even alcohol can affect the surface, so you have to make sure any spillages are cleaned up immediately; and that includes water.
Composites are natural stones mixed with resins; which gives you the advantage of having the appearance of some of the most beautiful, natural stones, but with the properties of water resistance and heat resistance built in. Composites come in almost any colour, and are one of the only worktop options where you don’t need to worry about joints as your work surface can be cut from a whole slab. Composites are one of the most expensive work surface options, but prices will vary depending on the natural stone you use.
Choosing one of these surfaces will give you a kitchen that will look good and function as it should. Other choices are available, such as laminate, slate, and even glass; however, in my opinion, these are the best of the bunch.