As well as providing a practical surface on which to chop, prep and cook, worktops have a huge impact on the overall look and feel of the kitchen
When it comes to choosing worktops, there are many elements to consider before you buy. Not only should you look at how hardwearing and hygienic they are, but it’s also all about creating the right statement in terms of style. Luxe finishes and unusual materials are currently coming out on top, with everything from steel and concrete to marble effects and reclaimed timber changing the face of kitchen design. Texture is also a big trend, especially in open-plan spaces with a defined cooking zone. ‘People are investing more in statement pieces for the kitchen,’ confirms Martin Saxby, country manager for LG Hausys, manufacturer of Hi-Macs®, ‘and worktops, as one of the most prominent parts, are a prime example.’ With zoned kitchens set to continue, consider mixing and matching your worktops with different or varying materials, tones, textures and finishes for the main run, individual preparation areas, breakfast bars, peninsulas and islands.
One material that’s really revolutionised the market is laminate. ‘People might assume that, because laminate is the lowest price work surface material it has low design value but this is not so,’ says Stuart White, managing director at Bushboard, which design work surfaces, upstands and splashbacks. ‘The latest designs, edge profiles and textures mirror the key trends and we want consumers to rediscover laminate and look at it from a new fashion perspective.’ For a completely natural finish, granite, marble and limestone suit classic as well as contemporary schemes and as the stone is quarried, no two slabs are the same. Take your pick from high gloss, honed, leathered and textured and always use trivets and chopping boards to protect it from hot pans and knives. Quartz offers the same qualities as granite but with a consistency in colour, while solid surfaces are stain resistant, hygienic, easy to clean, durable and renewable and can be shaped or thermoformed into virtually any design with seamless styles and integrated splashbacks and sinks.
Shown from top to bottom and left to right: True Scale Soapstone Sequoia, Bushboard, from £45 per linear metre; Caesarstone quartz in Organic White on a Rencraft kitchen, from £18,000; True Scale antique marble, from £45 per linear metre; Sebastian Cox kitchen by deVOL, from £15,000.
Article by: Hayley Gilbert