When you are designing a new kitchen the worktops will take centre stage. They are one of the hardest parts to change in a kitchen, so you should spend some time researching the available options to make sure you get your kitchen worktop right first time.
Laminate worktops are the most popular type of worktop due to being durable, practical and easy to clean. There are endless colours, designs and finishes available for laminate worktops, but if you want it to last, look beyond that and check the overall quality.
The main material – usually chipboard – should be dense, to avoid dents if you accidentally drop something heavy. You should also look for laminates that come with “drip seals” that prevent any spillages from running into the cupboards below the counter.
Laminate worktops are easy to fit and maintain. However, the downsides are that they aren’t resistant to heat and can’t be used as a surface for cutting, as they will scratch. If you like to be able to use the surface to put hot pans down without worrying about putting boards down first, then laminate is not for you. Laminate can also not be used for under-mounted sinks, as it does not have a waterproof edge.
Wood worktops look stylish and make a statement. They can be used in both modern and rustic style kitchens. Wood can be a cost effective option for adding wow-factor and as it is a natural material it can be shaped however you wish. However, wood worktops are labours of love. They need to be cared for, with any spills mopped up immediately, and care taken not to scorch or scratch the surface. The surface should also be oiled at least once a year. That being said, if wood is looked after properly then it will last for many, many years.
Composite worktops are pricier than laminate, but they have many advantages. They come in many different options, from brightly coloured acrylic composite, to hard stone composite. They are very easy to maintain and any damage can be polished out by a professional.
If you like a very clean and seamless look, then composite will be the material for you, as it can be created in any shape you want, without joins and even have draining boards cut directly into them.