Thursday, 1 March 2012 10:20 AM
Choosing the right kitchen worktop is not a task that should be considered lightly. As this surface provides you with crucial space for food preparation, cleaning and other tasks, it's vital that the material you select is not only stylish-looking, but also highly practical.
There is a wide range of options available, so while picking one may at first seem a tricky job. It is important the surface you select enables you to use your kitchen appliances safely.
Choose a granite worktop and you will find it helps to make life in the kitchen that little bit easier. Extremely easy to clean - it only needs a simple wipe down with a damp cloth - and water-resistant, once installed a granite surface will last for many years. With such worktops capable of withstanding extreme temperatures, you can take a pan straight off the hob and place it on top of granite, without it causing damage.
While granite is an effective choice for modern kitchens - particularly if you select one in a matt finish - having glass worktops will really give your room that 21st century feel.
The reflective nature of the material means it can dramatically increase the feeling of space in a kitchen, especially those where room is at a premium. To make your worktop stand out, install lights underneath the surface to provide additional luminosity while you're doing jobs like cooking and washing dishes.
Glass worktops are also heat and water-resistant; however, they do need cleaning regularly to stop watermarking occurring. They are also susceptible to scratching, so if you have accident-prone children you should consider other options.
For a kitchen surface capable of withstanding heavy usage, consider investing in stainless steel worktops. Not only is the material highly durable - it's impervious to water and heat, as well as being extremely strong - but it is also easy to keep clean.
These properties are also why it is a popular choice for kitchen sinks. By getting a single bowl undermount sink that is crafted from the metal, you will have a sizeable washing area for cleaning crockery and preparing food, and in teaming it with a steel worktop you will create a minimalistic, stylish look across the entire kitchen.
If you would rather your kitchen takes it cue from the popular design trends of yesteryear, a hardwood worktop is a better option. Especially effective in dining and food preparation areas, these surfaces give your room a sense of period glamour.
You have a wide range of woods to choose from - including ash, bamboo, birch and walnut - meaning finding something that complements the rest of your room shouldn't be too hard. However, while this can be an aesthetically pleasing option, you need to be careful about what kitchen homeware you choose to put on it. Hardwood can scorch, so hot pans and dishes shouldn't be placed on it, while chopping without laying a protective board down can leave marks.
Should you want the look of hardwood but are trying to stick to a tighter budget, choose a laminate worktop. That way you can have a wood effect in your kitchen, for significantly less money. Other options include corian, composite and quartz, so finding a material that looks great, is hardwearing and affordable should be a fairly easy process.