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All you need to know
Kitchen work surfaces need to be practical for your use– not everyone has the same requirements. To help you decide which one is right for your luxury kitchen, read our informative guide to get the lowdown on all you need to know about kitchen work surfaces.
Worktops have a significant visual impact on your overall bespoke kitchen design, so they shouldn’t be an afterthought. From luxe materials such as a unique slab of marble, to high-tech, super tough Dekton, there is a vast choice of kitchen work surfaces available. However, what suits you will depend very much on your kitchen design and how you intend to make use of it.
What to consider when choosing kitchen work surfaces
Start by thinking about how you use your kitchen and make a list of questions, for example;
Knowing what you want from your kitchen will help your bespoke designer determine what worktop material is best for you. Remember you don’t have to have the same work surface everywhere, and different types of kitchen work surfaces suit various cooking methods and foods in different ways; certain materials don’t work as well with heat. The best option is a combination of beauty and practicality.
The lowdown on kitchen work surface options
A work surface must look beautiful as well as being practical and engineered stone gives a made-to-measure kitchen a uniform look. Although there is no one work surface that ticks everyone’s boxes, engineered stone ticks more than most as it has the advantage of a huge colour range which offers enormous flexibility. Engineered stone worktops require simple routine care. To clean, we recommend using warm water and a mild detergent or a quality spray and wipe type cleaner using a microfibre cloth in order to maintain the work surface.
Choosing a beautiful, rare and unusual natural stone such as marble or granite for your bespoke kitchen worktop means that once it’s quarried the same piece will never be found again. You will have something not only beautiful but entirely unique. It’s very much on-trend to use a beautiful natural stone on an island for instance, and another type of work surface elsewhere.
Many people choose stainless steel and those who choose it love it. A stainlesssteel worktop may not be to everyone’s taste though, as evidence of use builds up over time and the shiny surface that you start out with becomes patinated.
Toughened glass is a durable material and, with added lighting, can be very dramatic and create an atmospheric look. Its reflective qualities boost the light and increase a sense of space. Know that it shows water marks, needs wiping often and can show scratches, although they can be polished out. An advantage is that it comes in one piece, so no need for joints.
Natural wood brings warmth to a custom-made kitchen and there is so much to choose from; solid Wenge, Black Walnut or Wholestave Oak to name just a few. Roundhouse kitchen designers often use wood as a breakfast baror dining surface and it’s harder wearing than you might think, providing you look after it. It’s best not to usein areas that get too wet, and it needs to be oiled for protection.
Dekton is a super-durable, sophisticated material, which is a blend of the raw materials used to produce the latest glass and porcelain as well as the highest quality quartz worksurfaces. It withstands high temperatures and is the most scratch and stain resistant surface available.
Corian® is a solid surface material that feels warm to the touch with a natural lustre. It is a blend of minerals and acrylic which creates a stone-hard surface that can be shaped to meet any design or dimension. Its non-porous surface makes it stain resistant. It also has a high heat resistance, though placing hot pans directly onto the surface is not recommended. Marks and stains can be removed with a Scotchbrite® pad and household cleaner.
Concrete introduces an architectural, structural element to a luxury kitchen. Its smooth polished surface contrasts with the latest textured finishes to bring an inherently pleasing tactile quality to the overall design. A cast in-situ polished concrete work surface is a longish process. It needs to be mixed and poured on site and then left for a couple of weeks to set before polishing. It is not as hardwearing as composite stone and no more stain resistant than marble, so it must be carefully looked after. It is a long installation process; a minimum of 28 days. As a natural material, variations in colour and tone can be expected. The surface patina is a result of the process and cannot be ‘designed’, making each concrete work surface unique. The patina gives each piece an identity, rather like a fingerprint.
It’s important to recognise that all modern kitchen worksurfaces have their pros and cons. You need to work out what is important to you before you choosebut picking the right one will really make a difference to your designer kitchen.
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