How to Choose a Family Friendly WorktopRebecca Hinshelwood
Is the material of your worktop the only thing to consider in ensuring that it is child friendly? Well, unless you’re planning on a foam worktop (which isn’t exactly catching on), this is unlikely. Far more important in whether a worktop is child friendly is how the surface is finished, installed, and utilised. So how can you ensure that you are making family friendly worktop choices?
Curved edging to your worktop such as pencil round, or even better full bullnose edges are the conscientious choice to avoid small child head knocks. There is a period of time when young children seem the perfect height for collisions with a worktop, and a curved edge will soften this. Take heart as it doesn’t last forever – blink and your child will have grown another inch! Curved edges also carry far less chance of chipping. As the years go on and unforeseen moments of family life take place (impromptu roller skating or cricket practice taking place in the kitchen, for example) you will find that softer stone worktop edging comes out on top!
There is no rule that states that you must have all of your worktop at one height. Yes, it is true that cabinet size and the comfort of working dictate the standard height of a stone worktop. However, for families with young children, why not integrate a lower family friendly worktop section into your kitchen? This can allow your children more scope to get involved in kitchen activities such as baking. In addition, a lower part of the worktop works wonderfully as a multifunction feature. So use it as a seated eating or drinking area – for kids and grown ups alike!
How you use your granite or quartz worktop can make it more family friendly. Zone hot and wet areas, so that your children know where is a ‘no go’ area. Quartz and sealed granite are extremely heat resistant materials, so the temptation is to place hot dishes in a variety of places across your worktop. However, children understand clear boundaries so try to keep hot items to one specific area. You can even integrate studs into your marble, quartz or granite worktop to remind you where hot items should go!
When marble and granite are sealed they are extremely hygienic surfaces. Even more so, and one of the reasons that it is so popular for families, is quartz. This stone is partly engineered with a polymer resin so is of very low porosity. Spills can be wiped without fear of staining and water damage. If you’re cooking with your children at your stone worktop, maybe you won’t get to cleaning up for a couple of hours. There is always something else to take care of! For hard wearing quartz and dekton surfaces, liquids will not permeate into the surface so your worktop will end the day just as lustrous as it started!
Smaller children aren’t going to be using sharp knives, it is true. However, they do use felt tips and scissors! These are both tools that can strike fear at the heart of a customer with a brand new worktop. The key to happy family life is to decrease stress levels wherever possible and your choice of worktop material can help with this. If you know that your super durable quartz will withstand scratches and scribbles, you can allow your children to continue with their arts and crafts without rising stress.
A Growing Family
Let’s not forget that children grow and become teenagers. Stone is a material that is extremely durable and long lasting. You may go for a hardy quartz or a sealed granite. When you choose a stone worktop for your kitchen it is likely that you will keep this surface throughout your children’s adolescence. So a hardwearing and stain resistant stone worktop will withstand those careless first attempts at cookery and clumsy spills!
So, the way to ensure a truly family friendly worktop is not just down to material alone. It is true that stone, especially quartz, will withstand the pressures of family life for years to come. However, taking small additional steps can make your kitchen space extra comfortable for your family to enjoy through the years.