Worktops : a Guide to How to Choose a Kitchen Worktop

charlotte pigeon portrait circle

When it comes to worktops there are a lot of choices, and they all have different benefits. There are lots of things to think about when choosing a worktop; price, look, durability and practicality.

Cost is often the driver behind decisions on worktops, they can be one of the last things you choose, and the budget may not be as healthy as it was at the beginning of the process! Laminate is the cheapest option and probably the most widely used kitchen worktop.

Laminate Worktops

There are good ranges of modern laminate worktops available now and they are very practical. They are easy to clean, heat resistant and not too hard so unlikely to break or damage your favourite crockery.

The downsides are that you can’t use under-mount sinks with a laminate, unless it has a plywood core, and it can be damaged with sharp knives and very hot surfaces. It can also be damaged by water and discolour over time.

Wood Worktops

Another lower-cost option is wood. There are lots of different types of wooden worktops available and they can start from a low price for off the shelf, small stave designs. They come in lots of different types of timber and can add warmth and character to your space.

You could also go for a bespoke wooden worktop with large full planks of timber. The most popular choice is definitely oak for its character and durability but we have also used Ash for a more contemporary look.

The benefit of a wooden worktop is that it can last a lifetime if cared for properly. The downside is also that it does need regular care and refinishing. We use a natural hard wax oil from Treatex to finish our worktops and this can be reapplied to keep the worktop looking its best. 

It is not usually recommended wooden worktops around kitchen sink areas. We often suggest using quartz or stone in any wet areas, as we did in the Shearwater kitchen (above).

Quartz Worktops

Quartz is a very popular choice because it is very practical and durable and the designs can be as dramatic and eye catching as natural stone. It is also more stain resistant than a lot of natural stones, especially marble, so the majority of kitchens you see which appear to have marble worktops are highly likely to be using a quartz replica.

Quartz does not have many downsides, it can be used around sinks, hot cooking areas and as a splash back. It is possible to chip the edge of it but this is quite difficult to do and no worktop is indestructible. Quartz is a great choice in modern and traditional kitchens and there are so many options out there you can usually find something to suit your budget.

Natural Stone Worktops

Natural stone is always a lovely choice and nothing can quite replicate the variety and colours you get in natural materials. As well as marble and granite you can also use things like slate and basalt. Marble always makes a huge impact and can look stunning in a traditional setting.

Marble Worktops

The downside to marble is that is quite porous and soft; it has a habit of staining especially from anything acidic like red wine or fruit juices. Marble is often seen in period kitchens, it makes a great surface for pastry work and baking and over the years the stains and marks will add character to the space.

I don’t think it is the right choice if you are worried about keeping the kitchen pristine, you don’t want to be chasing party guests around with a coaster or banning red wine in your house!

Granite Worktops

Granite is harder wearing and tends to come in darker tones, making staining less noticeable. Another advantage is that granite is also harder so less likely to be chipped or get scratched.

bespoke kitchen design
This dark navy kitchen uses Basalt around the sink for a timeless look.

Modern Worktops

The newest worktop materials are making use of cutting edge technology to combine porcelain, quartz and glass into very hardwearing materials. Dekton by Cosentino is an example of this; it is marketed as almost indestructible and it can be used outdoors, as well as on kitchen surfaces.

With similar colours and patterns as quartz and available in huge sheet sizes there aren’t many downsides to Dekton except the cost! It is on the more expensive side but they do come with a 25 year warranty.

The only other downside is that the pattern is printed on the surface so if you can see the edges, you will be able to see that they are a solid colour, the pattern does not continue through. Bath Granite and Marble have Dekton available to view in their workshop, as well as some other stunning porcelain designs.

Find the Worktop that’s right for your kitchen

We will always offer support to choose your worktop if you need it and we often work with local suppliers to coordinate the design and help you get quotes for different options.

We can make and install our own timber worktops on tables, benches, kitchens or desks.

Nothing beats going to see or even picking out your own slabs of worktop from the suppliers so we recommend starting with some trips to showrooms or ordering samples online.