Choosing a Worktop for Busy Kitchen Environments

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With the growth of the home improvement industry and the growing demands for better and more personalized interior design, turning the inside of a house into a real home has become a huge business. And among all the rooms a house possesses, it’s the kitchen on which people spend the most.

It’s easy to see why, theoretically – the kitchen is full of appliances, utensils, and expensive lighting installations. But it’s not those that really tack onto the price tag when it comes to interior design (at least not the appliances and utensil) what really costs money and makes up for the entire feel and design of a kitchen is the worktop.

Worktop material is where the cost of a kitchen often gets hefty, and for good reason. A worktop is an important investment. It has to be resilient, clean, and stylish. That’s a difficult criteria to meet when coming into contact with people, food, and cleaning solutions on a daily basis.
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But there are a surprisingly large number of viable materials to choose from in the world of kitchen worktops – even when you only narrow it down by color, to the color white, you end up with many, many materials: from simple and stylish Italian marble to something as exotic as silestone Blanco Zeus.

Before you simply contact your nearest reliable supplier, or an online store like MKW Surfaces and make a purchase off of how much you like a certain material’s shimmer or patina, you need to do some homework.

Wood

Timber and plywood options are nigh-endless in the world of kitchen countertops, and the same goes for laminate wood.

However, aside from laminate wood, most hardwood countertops come with a strong number of pros, and cons. For one, the benefits:

  • To a degree, wood is naturally antibacterial, especially pine and oak, as per Wood Working.
  • Aesthetically, it’s hard to beat wood.
  • Its beauty lasts a long time, and aging wood only grows more beautiful.
  • It’s easy to get rid of years of stains – just scrape a thin layer off the top.

There are, however, cons to consider. Wood is far from perfect as a material for kitchen worktops – especially in busy, even professional kitchens. There are a few reasons for this:

  • Wood isn’t heat resistant.
  • Wood stains.
  • Wood does not like water, even when sealed, as per the Wood and Beyond.
  • You’ll have to maintain it with oiling several times a year.

In the end, while beautiful, wood is not a practical kitchen material.

Stone

Stone is a classic and optimal choice for worktops, but the thing with stone is that it’s a very, very broad subject. There are natural stone types – like granite, which is hardened magma as per Geology.com – and manmade stone – like quartz, and silestone.

Choosing the right mineral countertop is a question of:

  • Price
  • Design
  • Practicality

Good, solid choices include concrete and granite. These are common, relatively easy to get, and inexpensive versus many other options. Concrete in particular is a great choice, due to both its formability and the relatively inexpensive means of setting up a beautiful and creative concrete kitchen top.

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Alternatively, stone choices like silestone work great. Manufactured stone, as it’s called, is typically a type of resin and quartz – not incredibly heat resistant, but otherwise qualitative.

Making the Choice

Marble works, but stains. Granite is porous, but heat resistant. Engineered stone is not typically fire resistant. Neither is wood. Everything has its pros and cons – your eye will be the major factor here, as whatever you choose, it has to look good to you.

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