It’s the detail that brings the scheme together. So once you have your basic kitchen shape and style sorted, it’s time to choose the components. WORK SURFACES
How Will Your Worktop Be Used?
Looks may score highly when choosing a kitchen worktop, but think about the type of use it’s going to get and whether the material is up to the job. Ideally, it should be cleanable, durable, reasonably priced and resistant to heat and staining. No one surface will answer all those requirements, so prioritise and then compromise. Below is a list of the most popular materials, which will help you choose.
With its mellow tones and warmth, not to mention it’s eco-credentials, wood is a great choice. It’s available in a variety of grain patterns and tones, ranging from pale beech through to black walnut. It’s very hygienic as it contains natural anti-bacterial properties, and is easy to repair.
Maintain it with by applying a thin coat of oil twice a year to keep the wood moist (you can tell when this is needed as water droplets will lie flat rather than bead on the surface). Remove burn marks by sanding (with the grain) then oiling the affected area. The only down side to wood is that it may be prone to rust staining. Moisture also causes it to blacken – especially if it’s fitted close to the sink.
Granite is incredibly hard wearing. Resistant to heat, stains and water damage it’s usually supplied polished and very glossy, but a honed matt finish is also available.
It has an attractive mottled appearance and comes in a wide range of colours. It’s usually pre-cut to include sink inserts and draining grooves. Granite is easily cleaned with a mild washing up liquid solution but never use abrasive cleaners or acid-bases like lemon or vinegar, as these will cause it to dull rapidly. The only down side is it can scratch easily and stains with things like red wine, tea and coffee.
The chosen material for top chefs and not without good reason as it’s easy to clean, waterproof and heat resistant. In polished, matt and sandblasted finishes, it’s perfect for giving your kitchen a streamlined, industrial look. Better still, it won’t break the bank.
Wash with mild detergent solution and buff to a shine with a soft cloth. Don’t use abrasives or make direct contact with knives as both will scratch it.
Bind natural quartz with resin and this is the result. Also known as engineered stone or quartz, this manufactured material is very strong, heat and stain-resistant. Common brands include Silestone and Zodiaq. Composite stone is non-porous, so doesn’t need sealing. It’s available in many colours and finishes, such as imitation granite and marble. Just wipe clean and enjoy!
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