When choosing a kitchen or any worktop looks may score highly. However, it is very important to think about what use it is going to get and if the chosen type of material is up to the job. In an ideal world you have to plan for heat, scratching, stains and how easy it is to clean. But it is often hard to tick all the boxes.
Wood – most natural and closest to a nature type of material. There are a great choice of finishes along with grain and colour from light beech to dark walnut. Another advantage is that it is easy to repair and very hygienic. Just give it a coat of oil twice a year to prevent drying and to keep out water.
Granite – has an attractive appearance and comes in variety of colours. Incredibly hard wearing, heat resistant, and protected from stains and water damage. Can be pre-cut to include sink hole or water drainage holes. Usually finished to gloss standard but available in mat finish. Easy to clean with soapy water.
Stainless steel – there is no professional chef who does without a stainless steel counter top, with good reason for that. This type of work surface is very resistant and damage proof but also easy to keep in great condition. This material is resistant to corrosion, heat, water, stains and it can last for many hard years to come. You can use mild detergent to give it shiny look. Still not easy to keep free from fingerprints and watermarks. Also these tops are vulnerable to dents and scratches.
Composite stone – manufactured from natural stone and resin. Like stone, it's very strong, heat and stain-resistant. Easy to keep clean but not heat resistant, so avoid putting hot pans directly on it. Available in many colours and cheaper than stone finish. If badly done seams can become visible.
Glass - Super-smooth glass is a great way to add a touch of industrial feel to the kitchen as it can be coated in a wide choice of colors. It is waterproof, hygienic and heat-resistant, and space for sinks and hobs can be cut out for a seam-free work surface.
Corian – DuPont Corian is the perfect example of innovation through beauty, colour and depth. It is strength and purity, reliability and performance. But above all, it is inspiration – a maverick, seamless material that can transform any space, both interiors and exteriors. It offers the freedom to design its long lasting, hygienic, durable and elegant.
Laminate - You get what you pay for with laminate worktops, which range from cheap and nasty through to impressively patterned, wood and granite effect and finishes. It's made of chipboard or MDF topped with plastic laminate, and higher-grade surfaces are hardwearing and stain and moisture-resistant. Clean with mild detergent. Badly secured seams can drink water and can swell up after time.