Monday, 18 December 2017

How to Choose a Luxury Kitchen Worktop

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 25 April 2017 08:41

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Granite? Marble? Quartz? When it comes to choosing a bespoke worktop the choice can be bewildering. Whatever you ultimately choose will effect both the style and functionality of your kitchen, so it’s important to consider all of the factors involved.

 

FACTORS TO CONSIDER

Before you even start looking at specific materials for your worktop, consider the following:

• Do you prefer a smooth or textured finish?
• What type of cook are you? Organised? Messy?
• How important is heat resistance to the way you operate in the kitchen?
• Do you prefer a ‘lived in’ characterful look, or is scratch resistance important?
• Do you have a busy family and enjoy entertaining?
• Do you need a robust worktop?
• How important are hygiene and anti-bacterial materials?
• Would you consider mixing materials, such as marble and stainless steel?

 

GRANITE

One of the most popular choices for worktops, granite both looks and feels luxurious. Each piece is unique, which adds to its allure. The vast range of colours and shades makes it easy to find a piece that complements your colour scheme. Hardwearing, it makes an excellent choice for a worktop that will last a lifetime.

Granite can withstand high temperatures and is mould, scratch and stain resistant. However, wine and citric acid stains must be cleaned up at once. Aside from that, it is low maintenance once it has been sealed and can be cleaned using a damp cloth and mild detergent. This video shows you how.

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ENGINEERED STONE - QUARTZ COMPOSITE

Composite stone is tougher and more durable than many natural stones and is usually made up of 96% quartz and 4% resin. Non-porous and resistant to mould, bacteria and mildew, there is no need to seal a quartz worktop. What’s more, it is stain, scratch and heat resistant, making it both low maintenance and highly sought after.

It is available in over 100 colours and finishes include glossy, matt, plain and sparkly. The colour is more uniform than granite, making it more suitable for long stretches of worktop. Brands include Silestone, Cimstone and Caesarstone.

 

MARBLE

Like granite, each piece of marble is unique and screams luxury. But unlike granite, marble has more of an open grain, making it susceptible to red wine and citrus juice stains. It can also be easily scratched.

On the plus side, as a cold surface it is useful for those who make a lot of pastry, as it prevents it from sticking to the worktop. Owing to this, it might be an idea to just use marble as a section within a worktop to be used specifically for food preparation.

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SOLID SURFACE

Solid surface worktops are manmade, usually from a mixture of acrylic and mineral fillers, which create a smooth, non-porous worktop with a unique texture. These worktops are highly durable, have a soft satin sheen and are available in a huge range of colours and tones.

This material allows for inconspicuous seamless joints and can be moulded into any shape, including integrated sinks, upstands and draining boards. It’s robust, hygienic and if it gets scratched, it is easy to polish it up, making it incredibly low maintenance. The most popular brand is Corian.

 

STAINLESS STEEL

Stainless steel worktops will give your kitchen an industrial, contemporary feel and is the top choice for commercial kitchens, owing to its hygienic properties. It is easy to keep clean with a stainless steel cleaner, but the occasional wipe over with baby oil will keep it looking its gleaming best.

These worktops are highly durable, as well as heat and acid resistant. While they do scratch, this does not affect its anti-bacterial properties. It can be formed into most shapes and sizes to include integrated sinks and splashbacks if desired.

 

CHOOSING AN EDGE PROFILE

Once you’ve chosen the best worktop material for your kitchen, you will then need to choose an edge profile (unless you’ve opted for stainless steel). The edge detail can completely change the appearance of your worktop, so again it’s worth spending some time thinking it over. Are you aiming for a sleek contemporary look? Does your kitchen have curves? Have you chosen a traditional Shaker style kitchen?

While the Ogee Edge, Full and Half Bull Nose work well in more traditionally styled kitchens, one of the most popular worktop edges is the Double Chamfer, which has a small bevelled edge on both the top and bottom of the worktop, which eases the sharp corners in an angular way which suits most kitchen styles. And if a more sleek look appeals, a Sharks Nose edge might be the best for you.

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