At the heart of every kitchen lies its worktop material—be it traditional, modern, or somewhere in-between! There are various kinds to choose from, whether wood-effect kitchen worktops like oak and walnut providing hardwearing surfaces with low maintenance needs; or for something even more sustainable, try iroko or teak worktops.
In this article we will share some of our favourite worktops for restaurants and home. We will also look at frequently asked questions like how high are kitchen worktops? and how kitchen worktops can be replaced?
Quartz has become increasingly popular as an option, boasting a stylish stone look while remaining stain-, scratch-, and heat-resistant for easy maintenance and care. Furthermore, its cleanability makes it hygienic as well as hassle-free to maintain.
Wood worktops are both durable and elegant; they work perfectly in traditional kitchen designs but also add character and appeal to more modern kitchen styles. Oak, beech, and maple all provide timeless appeal; darker woods such as iroko or wenge add industrial character. Wood is budget-friendly yet requires regular oiling in order to avoid staining or scratches that occur over time.
Hiring an experienced installer is key for achieving optimal results with wooden worktops, as they can be challenging to cut and install without damaging them further. In case any damages do arise, though, they’re easy to sand back down and re-oil.
Marble worktops appeal to those who appreciate their organic character as it gradually develops with age, developing unique wear and tear that adds a timeless appeal to the space. Unfortunately, however, this porous material cannot withstand heat or stain damage, necessitating regular sealing sessions at least every six months in order to minimise risk.
Corian, a manmade alternative to marble constructed with acrylic resin and natural minerals, is nonporous, warm to the touch, and easily forms organically curved surfaces with seamless results. However, installing it requires professional expertise; otherwise, it could crack when exposed to acids used as cleaners.
Quartz worktops have become one of the most sought-after options in recent years, as this man-made stone comes in various shades with some stunning veining. Quartz can also be very tough and is an ideal material for those seeking luxurious materials with low maintenance requirements.
Quartz surfaces can withstand heat better than granite but should still be protected from hot pans to protect surfaces from overheating. They may also stain more easily than granite, so investing in antibacterial cleaning products might also be worthwhile.
Arctic White quartz pairs perfectly with dark cabinetry, while Babylon Grey provides a more subdued option that complements lighter schemes. Both choices can make excellent additions to open-plan kitchens and pair nicely with natural materials like glass or stainless steel.
Solid surface is ideal for use in kitchen environments due to its ability to withstand high temperatures (though some types can become deformed at temperatures exceeding boiling water’s). Furthermore, DIYers can easily shape and install solid surface countertops with many styles available for restaurants and homes.
Maintenance is easy as maintenance-grade laminate is almost impervious to staining, with spillages easily wipe-able away without leaving lasting stains behind. Regular wiping with mild soap and water is all that’s required to keep it looking new.
Corian, Formica, and Samsung Staron solid surfaces all offer an array of colour choices, including both solid and aggregate blends, to meet any design need. Wilsonart leads in this area by offering various styles suitable for traditional, transitional, and contemporary settings.
Stainless steel is nonporous, meaning that it won’t absorb liquids and harbour bacteria; however, its surface can scratch. As it’s highly heat-resistant and highly hygienic, stainless steel makes an ideal material for sinks and hobs.
Laminate worktops are inexpensive, easy to install, and accurate representations of other materials. Furthermore, their durable surface boasts good resistance against impacts, scratches, and moisture damage.
Quartz and sintered stone kitchen worktops may not be stain-proof, but they’re highly durable. Their nonporous surface resists sudden temperature shifts while also being nonporous for easier maintenance and resealing needs; prices for linear metres begin at PS300 per linear metre! To create a modern, on-trend look, try mixing different worktop materials; mixing stone with laminate or wood worktops may provide the ultimate design solution!
Soapstone countertops add warmth to any kitchen while being stain-resistant, making them ideal for use against acidic foods like lemon juice, tomato sauces, and cocktail mixers that discolour other natural stone surfaces. Quarried steatite soapstone contains chlorite, magnesiasite, and dolomite, as well as some talc to give it its soft, slippery feel.
How High Are Kitchen Worktops?
Height is an essential aspect of kitchen worktop design for both comfort and functionality. Ideally, its height should correspond with that of your wrist bone when performing kitchen tasks such as chopping and prepping food.
Base unit heights can range up to 1000mm; however, for creating a breakfast bar area, you will require seats between 760mm and 820mm in height.
Height of base units
Height is an integral component of creating an ergonomic kitchen environment, as its height should allow the cook to reach effortlessly without straining his or her back, neck, or shoulders and to allow him or her to work comfortably standing at the workstation.
A typical kitchen worktop height should be around 900mm; however, its actual height will often depend on what appliances will sit atop it and/or on user height and preference. For instance, taller or shorter people may prefer different worktop types at different heights to ensure maximum comfort and accessibility.
Height should be taken into account in relation to both plinth and base unit height, with an 870mm plinth height combined with a 40mm kitchen worktop giving an overall worktop height of 910mm, although many prefer customising their worktop height according to individual needs and preferences.
Height of worktops
Worktop height in kitchens is a critical factor in ergonomics, requiring it to be sufficient to allow good posture without straining your back, neck, and shoulders. Furthermore, its height must also fit with what tasks are done on it; for instance, kneading dough may necessitate a lower worktop than chopping.
Standard worktop height is generally set at around 900mm; this height provides comfort to most individuals; however, depending on who lives in your household and their height preferences, they may prefer a different worktop height.
Adjust the height of your kitchen worktop easily to meet your individual needs by raising or lowering the base units that support it. Once you find your ideal height, add shelves or cabinets underneath it for a more ergonomic workspace.
Height of plinths
Kitchen worktop height that’s too low can increase your risk of backache, while one that’s too high may force you to adopt incorrect posture when working. It is therefore essential that a balance is struck between these two extremes.
Research in ergonomics suggests that various activities, like baking and kneading dough, require different kitchen worktop heights. Finding a comfortable height may be challenging, not just because it depends on your height alone but also because your activities and habits can impact it.
Measure the height of your base cabinets from the floor as a good guideline; typically, 870mm plus the thickness of the worktop equals 910mm, but every kitchen differs and can differ by up to 50mm due to floor levels; plinths may also be lower than expected and could create gaps between the worktop and plinths, which must be addressed with your fitter.
Height of units
Height requirements in kitchens may differ based on individual user requirements. On average, worktops in most kitchens range between 900mm and 1m from floor to top of base units; however, this measurement isn’t always used; some people prefer their worktops higher or lower than this.
Though the final decision on your worktop height lies with you alone, there are certain methods that can assist in finding what will be most comfortable. One such technique involves taking note of where your wrist bone rests when performing tasks such as chopping.
Many homeowners opt to add bar stool seating in their kitchens and require their base cabinets to be slightly taller than standard so as to accommodate seating beneath them. This creates a more social atmosphere in the space; discuss this option during your consultation session with kitchen designers.
How Kitchen Worktops Can Be Replaced
Installing a brand-new kitchen worktop is one of the biggest upgrades you can make to your kitchen, instantly changing its aesthetic while increasing its value as well.
Laminate flooring is cost-effective and long-lasting, with plain or patterned finishes that mimic stone effects. Furthermore, laminate is more gentle on delicate items than hard materials like marble. Kitchen worktops quickly become scratched, battered, and unsightly without proper care from family. Updating them with modern materials will refresh their appearance, increasing their appeal to potential buyers of your home.
Wooden worktops have become an increasingly popular choice for kitchens due to their eco-friendliness, aesthetic appeal, and low maintenance needs. While wood may tarnish over time and be susceptible to moisture damage if left untreated properly, it also requires biannual oilings in order to stay looking its best. Wood and laminate surfaces can be installed yourself if you possess DIY skills; however, stone and quartz require professional installation as these heavy materials require adequate support from existing cabinets that would prevent sagging or collapsing.
Stainless steel is an excellent material choice when it comes to restaurant hygiene, as its non-porous surface does not support bacteria growth. Furthermore, its hardwearing, heat and acid resistance, impact resistance, and wear resistance make it suitable for heavy usage in your home or workplace. Unfortunately, it shows fingerprints more easily than other materials, which may prove detrimental to young children. However, just wiping with a suitable cleaner should keep it looking brand new!
Ceramic and porcelain kitchen worktop overlays are great hygienic choices for kitchens. Both materials offer resistance to water, mildew, and mould growth while being easily cleaned, making them ideal for modern kitchen worktops with their variety of designs, colours, and finishes available. However, ceramics may not be as strong as granite and may scratch more easily than their competitors.
Granite or quartz worktops can be an excellent way to add significant value to your property, according to any realtor in Beaconsfield, Gerrards Cross, or Rickmansworth. Plus, these timeless materials last a lifetime while being attractive selling points for potential buyers, making them ideal for homeowners hoping to sell in the near future.
Porcelain worktops offer stylish, stain-resistant kitchen surfaces. Hygienic and nonporous qualities make cleaning up afterwards easier than other materials.
Porcelain is created by heating powdered china clay (known as kaolin) at high temperatures in a kiln, thus vitrifying and hardening it into an extremely dense, heat-resistant material suitable for even the toughest kitchens.
Porcelain comes in many colours and thicknesses, from concrete-effect to wood-effect to marble-style. This means it can be tailored to match any kitchen aesthetic. Plus, porcelain worktops are easier to care for than natural stone surfaces; just a quick sweep and wipe with pH-neutral cleaning solutions should keep them looking their best! They’re resistant to chemicals as well as discoloration or cracking over time, making porcelain worktops an excellent option for homeowners seeking long-term durability in a kitchen worktop solution!
Switching out laminate or wooden worktops for something more durable, like quartz, can transform the appearance of any kitchen. While wood requires regular oiling and sanding to prevent water damage, quartz resists scratches and stains much better and doesn’t need sealing, so cleaning becomes simpler.
Quartz comes in many different colours and patterns, from prefabricated slabs to custom pieces—from uniformly coloured slabs to intricately designed creations that replicate natural stone textures and colours.
Before beginning the replacement of your kitchen worktops, it is essential that you determine what sort of style and design aesthetic you prefer for your new space. Furthermore, consider whether or not your cabinetry is strong enough to support its weight, as well as access and any obstacles during installation; depending on the scope of your remodelling project, this could include cutouts, corners, taps, electrical outlets, long spans, or overhangs that need to be considered when handling utouts, corners, taps, etc.