Granite Countertops and Alternatives to Granite for the KitchenRebecca Hinshelwood
Your kitchen countertops are one of the most important product choices that you will make during a kitchen refit or extension. With the ability to both reinforce a design scheme and practically affect your daily living, a countertop material must be right. You need to consider appearance, durability, maintenance, reflectivity and concept. So from granite countertops to wooden worktops, how do you navigate so many options?
Natural materials remain popular amongst kitchen refits. Wooden surfaces sit alongside natural stone as a common material within a kitchen. While wood is great for a traditional country look, it is harder to maintain than stone and marks easily. However, if you are seeking a kitchen surface that will age with you and build up character over the years, then wood may be for you.
As a naturally mined stone, granite is cut into slabs and no two slabs are the same. This gives granite countertops a similar natural feel to wood. In addition it will give your kitchen an unique appeal. There’s a wide range of colours available, depending on the variety of granite that you choose. Once sealed, granite countertops are durable, heat resistant and easy to clean with a simple wipe down. You should regularly check the seal of your surface to ensure it performs at its best.
Stones such as quartz or dekton take the natural durability of granite countertops and take it to the max. A mix of stone and resin, the seal is integrated within the surface, so it’s extremely heat, water and scratch resistant. You loose a bit of the natural appeal as patterning in engineered stones is regular and continuous. However with a massive range of colours and price ranges, it’s a flexible choice.
Tiled worktops are a more unusual choice, but because of this are great for those wanting an extremely bespoke look. You can mix and match tiles, and for DIY enthusiasts this type of countertop is accessible and cheap. Long term, individual tiles may crack and grout lines may discolour, so ceramic tiles are not for the faint hearted.
Often a short term option, laminates are another cheaper option for kitchen surfaces. When compared to granite countertops, the longevity of a laminate is sadly lacking as it is inclined to split and discolour with age. There are a huge number of design and price options available, so this certainly offers flexibility of choice. Indeed, for projects where scheduling has gone awry, a laminate worktop is a great temporary solution while you wait for your granite countertops to arrive.
Although this is a comparatively softer stone than quartz or granite, marble is still significantly durable when regularly sealed. It’s also fantastically reflective and bright. More importantly, there really is no replicating that authentic veining that we see in marble surfaces. So if you’re looking for a classically elegant aesthetic, then there are few other places to look.
As the comparatively new kid on the block, glass is still in its infancy as a kitchen worktop. It’s an engineered and toughened material so it’s strong and durable. It can also be printed with bespoke patterning or any colour under the sun. This makes it a popular choice for ultra post-modern designs which hang on bright blocks of colour and shiny gloss. It can be expensive, but much like engineered stone, there’s a scale of cost to explore.
It can be hard to make a final choice of kitchen surface material. However, you probably already have an inclination as to whether you want a natural or modernist aesthetic. With solutions to suit both of these broad concepts, granite countertops are one solution that everyone should consider. For more information and guidance, just get in touch.