Worktops Review

When considering your kitchen countertop you want to be sure you’re making the right choice, especially as it’s not something you will be looking to change again anytime soon.


Corian 


A subtle blend of natural minerals and clear acrylic, Corian can be moulded and bent to give a seamless finish.

Corian is a non-porous solid surface material that is stain-resistant. Corian is constructed using approx. 70% crushed stone mixed with acrylic resin and colour pigments. Due to the higher levels of acrylic resin Corian has a warmer feel to it than Granite or Quartz and can be moulded and formed into curved shapes including fully integrated sinks.

Easy to maintain and repair if necessary as stains and scratches can be sanded out. Seamless joins make a smooth, hygienic and tactile surface. Corian can be moulded to create contemporary designs and can incorporate fully integrated sinks and drainers. Worktops are lighter in weight than stone as the solid surface is 13mm thick and moulded over an MDF subframe. Scratches can be polished out with the supplied care kit and bigger chips can equally be readily and invisibly repaired.

Unfortunately it is a higher cost bracket - Corian is the Rolls Royce of kitchen worktops and it therefore one of the more expensive solid surface materials available. Template and installation is carried out by DuPont certified installers.

Laminate 


A durable, all round and affordable worktop that's easy to clean. Available in a large range of attractive colours and finishes.

The biggest advantage of Laminate Kitchen Worktops is low cost. Using modern techniques in photography, laminate kitchen worktops can now mimic almost any and other surface type, including slate, granite, quartz and wood. Whilst reasonably robust and waterproof, laminates cannot really to be compared in terms of durability against Corian, Granite, Quartz and other composite surfaces.

Concrete


While concrete isn't the only option for kitchen countertops, it offers a number of advantages that other materials can't match, particularly when it comes to versatility. 

Large concrete countertops will have seams, but the appearance can be minimised with the use of a colour-matched filler. In its natural state, concrete is porous and may stain. Applying a surface sealer will make the concrete water and stain resistant. Colour options with concrete are nearly endless with integral colour, staining, or both. This gives you the ability to coordinate or match the countertop with other colours in a room.

 Concrete can be cast in any shape and practically any size. Concrete countertops can be even personalised with unique embedded items such as pebbles, recycled glass and seashells.

Quartz


A hardwearing and easy maintenance quartz composite. Quartz worktops are made from minimum 90% crushed stone mixed with acrylic resin and colour pigments. In some cases crushed mirror particles are added to give a sparkle effect.

With a little specialist care needed, quartz is easy to maintain. Durable and hard-wearing (rated 7 on the 'Moh's Hardness Scale'). Heat, scratch and stain resistant. Ideal for kitchen worktops combines natural, durable quality with luxury and style. Moreover, quartz can be used in any area of the kitchen. Non-porous, hygienic and long lasting are perfect qualities around sink units and food preparation areas. Material is stain and scratch resistant. Although heat resistant to 2500C, we strongly recommend the use of pan rests/hob bars. Clean using a damp cloth and a mild detergent.

Quartz worktops are heavy (30mm worktop weighs approx. 72kg per square metre) and can have similar transport/install access issues as Granite. Unobtrusive, but visible joints. Uniform colour/design cannot be guaranteed due to the natural stone element of the material - However, this can also be the attraction of the material as each worktop will be slightly individual!

Available in an extensive range of colours and designs, there is a Quartz worktop to match every colour scheme. Choose from a standard high gloss finish or if you prefer a matt look check out our Zodiaq Quartz Concrete Range. This is the product to choose if you are looking for that 'sparkle effect' as some designs incorporate crushed mirror particles which catch the light and 'sparkle' as seen in many showrooms and high street retailers.

Quartz worktops can be cut into a number of different shapes and sizes, including curves and radius corners, using the latest in modern technology and is available in a finished thickness of 20-100mm. Like granite, however, it cannot be moulded to form integrated sinks or coved upstands due to the high percentage of natural stone content.

Quite probably the best value for money solid surface stone tops available.

Granite 


Granite is a 100% solid stone worktop. Natural granite is available in a choice of many colours.
Each work surface is unique with its own individual colours and markings.

Granite is a completely natural product with colour and grain variation found mostly in the medium and lighter colours. Darker granites are more consistent in colour but are not guaranteed to be entirely free from this possibility. Granite worktops are among the heaviest (30mm worktop 2.6m x 600mm weighs up to 145kg/23 stone) of solid surfaces and a fact to be considered if the destination has access issues (e.g. top floor flat or townhouse with kitchen above ground floor level).
It can be used in any area of the kitchen, including around the sink and next to the hob or oven. A large high gloss Granite worktop creates a stunning finish to an island unit or breakfast bar.

Granite is a luxury material that is timeless and complements traditional and contemporary styles alike. Choose from the classic polished high gloss finish or honed matt for a more contemporary look. Honed matt will incur additional cost.

One of the hardest substances on earth, Granite is extremely hard wearing and won't scratch under normal use. Although Granite is naturally porous it is one of the least absorbent stones and cleaning up spillages immediately will reduce permanent damage. Particularly take care with wine and citric acids. Hot pans should not be placed directly on a Granite worktop, use pan rests/hob bars. Using a stone seal product can protect against stains caused by food and drinks such as coffee and tea. If choosing to seal your worktop, do so approx. every 6 months.
Granite needs very low maintenance. Clean using a damp cloth and a mild detergent.

Marble



Marble is available in many colours. Gorgeous natural tones may be found to fit any home. No two pieces of marble are the same. The natural whirls, swirls and markings unique to the marble worktop will contrast with and enhance the look of any kitchen. The organic and subtle timelessness of a marble worktop defines the character of a room and speaks volumes about the owner’s attention to quality, longevity and beauty.

The material is softer and more porous than the nearly indestructible granite, so it can scratch easily, especially when touched for a long period of time by something acidic. A slice of lemon laid down on a polished countertop overnight can leave a mark in the shape of the lemon slice, duller than the surface around it. Marble can also stain; red wine and some fruits are infamous for leaving indelible stains on the marble.

Marble is a durable, stain resistant surface. With proper care, any marble worktop owner can avoid stains or chips and keep their marble surface looking brilliant and beautiful for a lifetime. Customers considering marble, but hesitant because of concerns about durability due to heavy use, children, household pets, may wish to consider granite worktops as an alternative. Marble is wonderful for working with pastry, since it is naturally cool; it doesn't conduct heat very well.


Glass 



Glass work surfaces are very much at the higher spectrum of the market and quite rightly so. Perfect for those seeking a sleek, contemporary feel in a modern kitchen, glass offers limitless design possibilities and can be formed to suit any configuration for counter tops, splash-backs and breakfast bars up to 25mm thick. Available in many colours. As hard-wearing as it is stylish, glass is easy to keep clean as well as being acid, oil and water resistant. 


Hardwood 


Few things compare with the look and feel of natural wood. Hardwood worktops blend into almost any kitchen design. Be it contemporary or old farmhouse, wood can create the wow factor you're looking for. Hardwood worktops are extremely durable and versatile. Consider the very good condition of the Oak built ship the Mary Rose after lying at the bottom of the sea for hundreds of years. If solid hardwood worktops become scratched or water stained, its simple to re-sand, re-oil and restore as good as new.

Bamboo 




Providing a warm-to-the-touch surface, bamboo is ideally suited to most neutral colour schemes and lends itself perfectly to almost every kitchen situation; each worktop bearing its own unique grain pattern.
Low heat resistance - always use trivets

Stainless Steel



Stainless steel combines a hard-wearing surface with stunning visual appeal. Whether used alone or combined with other materials such as timber or composite stone, it is an increasingly popular choice for striking kitchen designs in highly contemporary settings.


Always use a professional fitter. No matter how expensive and luxurious your worktop is, if it’s badly designed, cut and installed, it will end up looking cheap and scruffy. Don’t be in a rush to get it finished, make sure you ask for drainer grooves next to the sink if you want them and always clean with the recommended products.