Monday, 16 November 2009

Kitchen Worktop Options

Kitchen worktops have come a long way since the days when laminate was king. By combining form with function, they determine ambiance and practicality. Whether it's the classic elegance of granite or wood, a colorful solid surface or laminate, or the sleek feel of stainless steel, worktop options are many and varied.

Worktops are priced by linear or square metre, with template, delivery, and installation quoted in the total price of the worktop. Prices vary depending on texture, color, pattern, intricacy of edging, number of holes, sink type, and seams. Seams affect look and durability, and can lead to water seepage that warps wood and causes laminate to pull away from its substrate. A qualified, certified kitchen designer can help reduce joins and advise on the best solution for you. At Kitchen Solutions Kent you can visit our fabricators and granite suppliers to personally select the material to be used in your worktops and see how they will be manufactured.

Heavy countertops, like cement, natural, and engineered stones, are held in place with gravity and fixative, while other counters are screwed and glued. Since worktop pricing ranges from the economical to the astronomical, it's important to consider longevity, durability, maintenance, and price.

Concrete is one of the more dynamic products to grace the kitchen. It boasts texture and detailing unlike any solid product. It is porous in nature, absorbs stains easily, and must be sealed regularly. At an inch-and-a-half thick, concrete weighs the same as a granite countertop. But, since concrete must be poured and cured prior to installation, it's important to get it right. The worktop fabricator should first template then create the countertop from a pre-cast mold in a controlled factory setting. On-site casting might result in a one-piece installation, but will require major demolition should the countertop need to be removed.

Engineered Stone
Engineered stone is a quartz-composite product mixed with colored pebbles, polymers, and epoxy. It has an even pattern and more color options than natural stone. So, if a kitchen calls for more worktop space, it's easy to order the same pattern and shade. Quartz worktops are an extremely durable product that takes the heat, resists stains and costs about the same as granite.

Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is chic, contemporary, and noted for its association with professional kitchens. It is stain resistant, and the only surface that can be safely bleached. Newer applications include brushed or textured finishes that help camouflage scratches. Welded stainless-steel sinks create an integrated look, while splashbacks with corrugated patterns create dimension. Stainless steel, when attached to a wood substrate, becomes more sound resistant. Regular rolled edges, bullnose, or Marine edges (no drip), are standard. Stainless steel worktops cost between £250 to £400 per linear metre dependent on specification

Natural stone needs to be seamed, is typically sealed to protect it from damage and stains.. Granite is quarried worldwide, with colors and patterns that reveal the region and the geological conditions that created it. With granite worktops, each slab is unique, with random and inconsistent patterns. Customers may visit our fabricator to select their own slabs. Granite is graded for a host of variables including density, strength, water absorption, and acid resistance. Granite tiles are less costly but have more seams, while a 3/4-inch granite sheet can also be purchased and applied to a wood substrate for the same look at less cost and weight. Typical cost is around £200 per linear metre.

Wood has a warm and luminous appeal for worktops and kitchens. Oak, maple, cherry, red beech, walnut, teak, and mahogany are all hardwoods favored for worktop applications. Some wooden countertops are built with finger-jointed construction and installed with miter-bolted seams for added durability. Wood is one of the more sanitary products for the kitchen, with inherent properties in to protect it from bacteria build-up. Maintenance is required, however, starting with regular mineral oil treatments, particularly near the sink, and extra caution with extremely hot cookware. Prices for solid wood worktops range between £1oo to £200 per linear metre installed.

Solid Surfacing
Solid surface worktops, commonly known as corian worktops offer seamless acrylic faces with seams that are only visible from the underside. With solid surfacing, sink and counter materials can be integrated to create a fluid, graceful line. Solid surfaces come in a rainbow of colors, patterns, and styles, including stone and glass look-alikes. They are stain and heat resistant, with more edging and border options than natural stone. Scratches are easily softened with a non-abrasive scrubbing pad.

Laminate worktops are economical and come in a host of colors and patterns. Laminate is not usually scratch or heat resistant, but at Kitchen Solutions Kent our laminate worktops have twice the number of layers than normal and are much more heat and scratch resistant than most. Laminate is highly stain resistant and provides a good balance between cost and practicality.

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  1. granite kitchen countertop make an excellent surface for rolling out dough, chopping and other kitchen work. The polished surface of granite does not wear off easily and is resistant to heat, stains and other external forces.

  2. Excellent read. I like your style...have a good one!/Nice blog! Keep it up!
    kitchen laminate

  3. I'd always recommend getting a professional to fit a worktop, even for laminate and real wood that can be cut and shaped relatively easily.

    A small mistake can be very expensive, and specialist tool are required.

    Kitchen Worktops.