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Work that worktop

Published on May 13, 2015
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Composite, granite, ceramic, wood … the choices of worktop are endless. So we put our kitchen ed, Janelle Edwards-Spear, to work finding the best surface options for your home kitchen

Woman Kneading Dough

‘One of the most common questions I get asked is “What’s the best material for a kitchen worktop?”,’ says Janelle. ‘It all depends on how you use your kitchen, so consider the following:

  1. Your time frame for installation as some worktops can be pre-measured, but others need to be templated once the bulk of the kitchen has been installed.
  2. How likely are you to wipe up spills straight away? Clue – if you want to leave it, don’t go the granite or marble route.
  3. Can you bear the thought of scratches or stains that give a patina or do you want it to look as good as new in five years?
  4. How big an area does the worktop need to cover?
  5. How much do you want to spend?

Then check out the options:

Ceramic worktop


This new kid on the block is creating a stir due to its ability to be supplied as thin as 10mm, with exciting finishes such as metallic and rust in more than 40 colours. This extremely practical surface is man-made from natural materials, mainly clay. It’s great for creating worktops over 3m long without joins.



A man-made composite, quartz is combined with resin and colourants and therefore colour choices are wild, while the pattern is uniform. If you want a white worktop, this is your best choice. It’s not heat resistant, so make sure to plan how you’ll dish up. Silestone and Caeserstone are the brands you’ll recognise.

Granite and marble

Naturally formed from rock, both of these stones are classic and timeless. Their low temperature means they are fab for pastry work. It’s worth remembering that they are heavy and pre-cut, so there will be seams. Patterns are natural so what you see in the showroom will be different to what arrives, and, while heat resistant, you need to be careful of red wine and lemon – they’ll stain.

Stainless steel

‘If, like me, you like to cook ten dishes at once, and throw pots and pans around, you can’t go wrong with stainless steel,’ says Janelle. ‘Hygienic and bomb proof, the only problem is that it will scratch. I call it a patina!’


This non-porous, heat resistant, manufactured product comes in various finishes and can be installed in super slim 8mm options. It has all the attributes of stone and stainless steel without their individual disadvantages. Available at Sapphire Living Spaces in Topsham.

Wood worktop


Wood’s fabulous for a natural, rustic and organic feel that’s timeless. The options are varied. Ashgrove Kitchens in Devon works with different natural hardwoods to create a worktop that best suits your purpose.

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