Quartz (Engineered Stone Surfaces)
Quartz surfaces are the fastest growing sector in the worktops market worldwide. Engineered Stone as it is also known, is made up of 93% quartz and 7% resin binders and pigments. The surface is durable and, unlike granite, non-porous. Like granite it has a sheen finish but does not require sealing.
Engineered quartz offers a uniform pattern so what you see in a showroom will be very close to what will be installed in your kitchen. This is one of our most popular worktops due to the variety of colours available from natural colours such as whites, blacks and browns to other colours such as golds or blues.
Granite is the surface that offers exceptional durability and a classic sheen finish. Natural granite does not have a uniform pattern or colour. The appearance can vary widely between slabs, or even within a single slab and it is the preferred option of a huge number of buyers looking for a unique finish. Colour choices are limited to the natural stone available and your kitchen would need to be planned around the slab that is chosen.
As with quartz, the seams in granite are visible. Even though this material is extremely durable care needs to be taken when cleaning as some products can harm the natural surface.
Solid Surface (E.g. Corian)
Corian offers limitless design possibilities because it can be thermoformed to any shape. Seamless joints, sinks and backsplashes, can be perfectly integrated to create the sleek appearance of a single solid surface and because Corian is nonporous, stains do not penetrate the surface. With proper cleaning, it also resists the growth of mould, mildew, and bacteria. Perfect for a young family kitchen that is likely to get intense use. Perhaps its most attractive quality to buyers is it can be restored to its former glory if it was ever damaged.
If you prefer an industrial look or want the look of a professional kitchen a Stainless steel could be a perfect choice of surface for you.
Stainless Steel is a timeless classic material, with excellent antibacterial properties hence its popularity with the professionals. Stainless Steel will develop scratches over time which is the attraction for many buyers but something to bare in mind if you are not a fan of the 'lived in' look. Again this option is perfect for a family with young children as the surface is easy to clean and can withstand a multitude of bumps and dents as long as it is installed correctly. For some, however, the look can be quite cold and clinical so you would need to think about the other colours and materials that you are using in your kitchen.
As with Quartz, sintered stone such as Dekton and Neolith is a manufactured product. Minerals are fused together under extremely high pressure. The result is 100% mineral material that is extraordinarily strong with almost zero porosity. Sintered stone is highly resistant to damage; hot pans will not leave any marks and acid won’t penetrate it. It is also full-bodied, meaning it has a consistent look throughout the material and can be cut to form perfect work surfaces of any shape and design including sink surrounds, splash backs and drainers all with beautifully formed edges. Sintered stone will keep its sleek, clean lines for many years. Currently available in a range of natural colours and finishes this product is likely to become increasingly popular due to its versatility as it is made entirely from natural materials, Sintered Stone has a lower environmental impact the quartz, as it contains no resin and is completely recyclable!
For some nothing beats the natural warmth and feel of a real wood worktop, however, the aesthetic this worktop delivers usually is a rustic, country feel rather than sleek and modern. Therefore, this choice does usually suit a traditional or shaker kitchen. Of course, there are always exceptions and if you really want a wooden worktop then it can look fantastic when combined with the right contemporary, handleless kitchen. Wooden worktops need to be looked after to ensure they remain at their best, they are prone to scratches, stains and heat damage, so protection is key but if you are willing to put the work in its maintenance you'll be more than happy with this option.