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Kitchen Worktops; A Vital Decision In Design

Aug 20, 2008
When redesigning a kitchen the worktops are vital consideration. Not only is the shape and size of the worktops important, but the materials used are essential. With so many materials being used in the construction of worktops the choice can be bewildering. Ultimately price will be a concern but also style and durability should also work their way into the decision making process. Hopefully the following information will give those redesigning their kitchen a helpful guide to the most popular materials currently being utilised in interior design circles.

The most common materials used in the manufacture of worktops are granite, glass, steel wood and laminate. These materials all have a variety of pros and cons, and when making the decision it is important to consider the benefits rather than making the choice on aesthetics alone. This is because some materials will be unsuitable for certain applications, for example some hardwoods will not be suitable for areas with excessive moisture; that is unless they are thoroughly treated and well maintained.

As the kitchen is a heavily practical area, a logical choice is essential. For instance, families should not have glass worktops, while they may be beautiful and stylish, they are easily marked and with children this will mean marks will become a reality quickly. Families will most probably benefit from a material such as stainless steel; this is robust enough to stand up to the rigours of day to day life and additionally has antibacterial properties. Steel can be scratched however and over time its finish will fade.

For those looking for that classical style, wood is the perfect material for worktops. As previously stated the sink area can be a problem because of the excessive amounts of water, in these areas however a wood with high oil content can be used; examples include iroko and teak. Wooden worktops are susceptible to staining so when spillages occur it is advisable to clean these immediately. Wood will require maintenance though to remain in good condition, this means sanding and staining every couple of years. There are materials that are less laborious though.

One of these is composite stone. This is a man made stone that is durable and easily maintained. Due to the modern manufacturing processes composite is available in a variety of styles. Colours are rich and it is even possible to have added sparkle with certain additions during the manufacturing process. Composite is a material that is easy to clean and although it can be scratched, by sanding it is usually possible to remove any marks effectively.

The most expensive of the materials used in worktops is granite. This is a luxurious stone that brings a sense of elegance to a kitchen. It is easy to clean, rich in texture and hardy; for many it will be worth the costly outlay. There is one downfall to granite however; any acidic spillages should be mopped up as quickly as possible to avoid marking.

For those attempting to redesign a kitchen on a budget there are laminate worktops. These are available in a number of patterns that can give the impression of wood and stone. Despite its low cost it is remarkably durable, especially with the higher end varieties.

It is hoped that this information will help those rejuvenating their kitchens to find the perfect material. By weighing the pros and cons of each and including aesthetics in the decision making process, it is possible to create a culinary haven.
About the Author
Interior design expert Thomas Pretty looks into the materials used for kitchen worktops and the benefits and downsides of each.
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