Your guide - kitchen worktops

With such a huge variety of kitchen worktops to choose from, you can make your kitchen look individual as well as practical for your needs. There is an endless choice of colour, style and finish to suit all budgets, so here is our guide to help you pick the best for your kitchen.


1. Wood

Wood is a cost-effective option for your kitchen surface without comprising on style or quality. There is a huge range to choose from that will suit your style of kitchen. Go for an oak surface if you have a traditional country kitchen or a walnut surface if you want a more contemporary look. Wood also looks great mixed with other surfaces, so think about having wood on your island and marble or granite on your other units. 

Expect to pay from £40 per metre, however the cost will vary depending on type and quality of wood.

Pros

  • A cost-effective option
  • A wooden surface always has great character and looks high quality

Cons

  • High maintenance as you have to oil it regularly (every 3-6 months) in order to stop water marks appearing
  • Prone to scratching although can be sanded down

2. Stainless steel

Stainless steel is a great option if you want to achieve the look of an industrial kitchen. Stainless steel can be striking and look great mixed with wooden units, but if you are not brave enough to go for this throughout your kitchen, consider using it on your island unit only. 

Expect to pay around £300 per metre.

Pros

  • Extremely hygienic which is why it's used in commercial kitchens
  • Heat and stain resistant
  • Easy to clean and can be polished with olive or baby oil to look good
  • No joints as stainless steel can be cut from one run of steel

Cons

  • It can look very clinical and commercial
  • Prone to scratching
  • Extremely cold


3. Granite

Granite is one of the most popular choices in a premium kitchen. It comes in so many colours and the best thing about granite is that each slab is completely different, giving you a unique worktop in your kitchen. When sealed properly, it is extremely resistant to heat and staining. 

Expect to pay £200-£300 per metre, however the cost will vary depending on quality and type of granite.

Pros

  • Heat resistant
  • Once sealed granite is resistant to most stains, although be careful of citric acids
  • Low maintenance and can be polished to look really smart
  • Extremely tough and is unlikely to scratch or chip

Cons

  • Porous so it must be sealed to avoid marking

4. Engineered stone

Engineered stone is made from a combination of quartz (normally around 90%) and resin. As it's non-porous, it is an extremely low maintenance and hard-wearing option. It comes in a huge range of colours and finish, so can look great in either modern or traditional kitchens. The colour is more uniform than granite or marble, so your worktop will be the same as the sample you have seen. Expect to pay around £300 per metre.

Pros

  • Non porous
  • Easy to maintain
  • Scratch resistant

Cons

  • Not as heat-resistant as granite
  • The uniform nature means it doesn't look as natural as granite or marble


5. Marble

Marble is an elegant, beautiful and timeless choice for your kitchen surface. It's so bright and it's very difficult to find anything like it, particularly with the same brightness and pattern. 

Expect to pay around £200-£300 per metre.

Pros

  • Classic and elegant finish
  • Naturally cool and doesn't conduct heat, so perfect for keen bakers

Cons

  • Porous and stains easily, so this is not a good option if you like red wine or cooking with spices!
  • Scratches easily


6. Solid surface

A solid surface, such as Corian, is an increasingly popular choice in the UK. This super smooth surface looks great in a contemporary kitchen, particularly finished in white or a pale colour. For a seamless look, the sink can be fitted into your worktop without any joints. 

Expect to pay between £300-£400 per metre.

Pros

  • Loads of colour options available
  • Seamless flow
  • Non porous so it is stain resistant

Cons

  • Although heat-resistant to an extent, high heat will damage the surface
  • Can scratch


7. Laminate

Laminate is a great option if you don't want to spend a fortune. There is so much laminate to choose from and the quality is getting much better. You can mimic most looks including wood and granite, so it's suitable for either a traditional or contemporary kitchen. 

Expect to pay from £30 per metre.

Pros

  • Extremely affordable
  • Low maintenance
  • Lots of colour options

Cons

  • Susceptible to cracking and chipping, particularly around the edges
  • Not particularly durable or heat-resistant
  • Can look cheap if chosen incorrectly


8. Concrete

Polished concrete is a good choice if you want to try something unique in your kitchen. To stop the concrete looking dull, colour can be added to the mix to make your surface brighter and more interesting. Concrete worktops are either made out of a cast off-site or else made in your kitchen directly on your counters. 

Polished concrete surface starts at around £300 per metre.

Pros

  • Once sealed, concrete is heat-resistant and durable
  • Adds character to your kitchen
  • It can be cast in any shape for your kitchen worktop

Cons

  • It needs to be re-sealed every few years otherwise it will stain
  • Can develop hairline cracks


9. Glass

Glass is a good option in a contemporary kitchen and can look really different in your kitchen, particularly in a bright colour. Glass is still a relatively uncommon choice, however toughened glass can take a lot of wear in your kitchen. It comes in large run, so can be cut around your cooker with no joints. 

Expect to pay between £300-£400 per metre.

Pros

  • Heat resistant
  • Non porous
  • Many colour options available
  • Can be made in any size or shape

Cons

  • Difficult to keep clean and finger prints can be visible
  • Can chip easily and cannot be repaired


10. Bamboo

Bamboo is one of the most sustainable options as it grows within 5-6 years and re-harvested regularly. It would look perfect mixed with white units for a relaxed modern look. 

Expect to pay between £150 per metre.

Pros

  • Sustainable
  • Naturally anti-bacterial choice
  • Strong material

Cons

  • Not heat-resistant so you need to be careful with hot pots
  • Can scratch
  • Must be sealed or else can mark, particularly near the sink

We would love to hear your experiences with any of these surfaces!

Published: September 28, 2018

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