Help! Which worktop do I choose?
In the second of a 2 part article, Lorna Smith-Reeve explores the different types of worktops available, and which one is right for you.
Last time we looked at the higher price tag stone style worktops such as Granite, Corian and Quartz. In this second article, I want to look at some of the more economical options available, that still achieves stunning results.
Pros: Wood is a naturally hygienic as it has antibacterial properties. Each piece is unique in look. Instant warm and homely feel.
Cons: Requires ongoing maintenance. Marks easily.
Price Range: Medium to High
There really is something about a wooden worktop. The classic finish to a country kitchen design, yet it also has the ability to hold its own in a slick German kitchen. Visually a wooden worktop will instantly add warmth to a room and you get a beautiful natural look. Wood won’t suit everyone though; it requires regular maintenance to keep it looking its best. To keep your wooden worktop looking its best you really want to be treating it, in the very least, once a year. There are many woods available, one of the most popular being oak. I particularly love the black oak – it is very similar in look to Wenge but with a slightly friendlier price tag. If you have your heart set on wood but are concerned you won’t have time to keep on top of its upkeep then why not consider using wood as a feature piece in your kitchen, such as a wooden topped island, or a section in the kitchen which is generally away from water.
Pros: Seamless. Hygienic. Easy to repair/maintain. 100% solid surface. Chemical, stain and UV resistant.
Cons: Can scratch. Limited choice of finishes.
Price Range: Medium
Mistral is a solid acrylic based surface designed specifically for kitchen surfaces, and is available in 25mm or 16mm. It is a non-porous material making it hygienic and stain resistant, as well as being strong and adaptable. As with Corian any scratches can be polished away with the provided maintenance kit. It offers seamless joins and undermount sinks options. Installation can be done with standard tooling in a similar way to wooden worktops. It’s a beautiful midrange price option, with the capability to achieve a stunning finish with seamless upstands or drop down ends.
Mistral is a great option for those wanting a solid surface worktop without the pricetag of granite or quartz.
Pros: Cost. Durability. Ease of installation. Vast array of colours and finishes. Can be matched to panels giving a continuous finish.
Cons: Visible joints. Unable to use with an undermount sink. Less versatile. Cheaper laminates on the market could easily peel, scratch or chip so always go for a premium laminate option.
Price range: Low
Laminate is the most affordable of our worktops, but this doesn’t make it the inferior choice. In fact the premium laminates you get with our German kitchens can be so realistic to real wood and stone that it’s almost impossible to tell them apart. You can match the worktops to splashbacks/panels and carcass colours to make the worktop as much a feature of the kitchen as a premium worktop, and at a fraction of the cost. The German worktops come pre-cut to size and edged enabling a curved finish which is often unavailable with laminate worktops. Laminate is highly resistant to scratching, heat and staining.