Choosing a work surface for your kitchen can be a daunting task: with so many choices available to us these days, weighing up the good and bad of each different material can be overwhelming. This is why we’ve put together a guide to the pros and cons of each of the most common work surfaces on the market, from marble to laminate and everything in between.

Looking for kitchen worktop inspiration before making your decision? Take a look at our worktop picture gallery to see some of the gorgeous work surfaces we’ve designed and installed. 

 

Quartz

Pros: It is very durable and hard; resistant to stains, acid and scratches. Quartz is non-porous so it doesn’t need to be sealed. There are plenty of different colours and patterns available. It is glossy and very easy to clean.

Cons: It is not heat resistant so you’ll need to be careful with hot pots and pans. It can verge on the expensive if it’s good quality you’re after, so you’ll need to weigh up your options before committing.

 

Granite

Granite

Pros: Granite looks high end as well as being extremely durable, resistant to scratching, chipping and heat damage. As a natural stone, no two pieces will be the same so there’s plenty of variation and your design will be unique; there are many colours and patterns available. It is also very easy to clean.

Cons: In order to remain durable and prevent stains etc. forming, granite countertops need to be sealed once a year. While good quality granite is resistant, you should still be careful about moping up spills quickly to prevent staining – especially oils, wine and acids. It is very heavy and difficult to transport and install, so you’ll need to make sure you use a reliable and trusted installer.

 

Marble

Pros: Marble looks very classy and high-end. It is fairly durable, resistant to scratches and chips. It is unique and different, with no two stones the same. Additionally, different veins can also help disguise any problems with stains etc. It is a very cool surface, which makes it great for making pastry.

Cons: It is also very porous so you have to seal it annually. You also need to continue to be very careful with acids as they can cause etching. For instance, just leaving a slice of lemon on it overnight can leave a mark! Wine and fruit can also easily stain it.

 

Soapstone

Pros: Soapstone countertops are very resistant to staining and bacteria due to the fact that it’s non porous – this makes them a hygienic surface to work on. It is a natural stone available in varying shades of grey with veining. While not as durable as other stone surfaces, scratches can be oiled or sanded, making them much cheaper to repair.

Cons: Soapstone doesn’t need sealing but requires regular applications of mineral oil to get rid of scratches and add shine.

 

Wood

Wood

Pros: Butcher block countertops can look very homely and welcoming as well as being very functional. They are great for food prep as they are properly sealed so you can even chop your meat on it if you want to. It’s also very heat-resistant unlike other cheap options such as laminate, so you don’t have to worry about putting hot pots on it. You can find many different patterns and types of wood, and it also looks good mixed with other surfaces like engineered or natural stone.

Cons: It needs frequent oiling and re-conditioning.

 

Stainless Steel

Pros: Stainless steel looks modern, industrial and be very stylish when done properly. It is very easy to design with as it coordinates well with most other colours. It is easy to clean and super hygienic as it doesn’t allow bacteria to build up – this why most professional kitchens/restaurants have stainless steel countertops. It is also totally recyclable, making it environmentally friendly. It doesn’t stain, rust, burn etc.

Cons: It does dent and scratch easily and shows all of the finger prints, so not ideal for those with kids in the house.

 

Glass

Pros: Glass countertops are very sleek and streamlined with a modern and minimalist look when done well. They are easy to cut, shape, texture and colour,  so they may easily be personalised to suit all of your needs. Easy to clean, non porous, stain resistant, hygienic and durable if cut thickly enough.

Cons: They are not as durable as some other surfaces and may crack or scratch if heavy objects are dropped on them. They are then expensive to replace.

 

Concrete

Pros: Concrete countertops can look very modern and appealing. They are readily customizable, so you can choose your colour and texture. They look good mixed with glass/tile/marble. They are also energy efficient, capturing and releasing heat well.

Cons: They have to be sealed to make them non-porous and stain/heat resistant – this to be done thoroughly and well to prevent staining.

 

Laminate

Laminate

Pros: It is very cheap, and can often be done DIY which means more savings. There are new patterns that are made to resemble natural stone, wood or quartz, meaning you can get a similar aesthetic for a much cheaper price. It offers plenty of choice with a huge array of colours and patterns. They are water resistant and easy to clean.

Cons: Laminate is not particularly durable compared to stone counter tops, and is particularly susceptible to heat damage and scratches. It is difficult to repair just one section.

 

Tile

Pros: Tile surfaces are cheap and easy to maintain, and you can easily DIY. They are customizable to different shapes, patterns and sizes, as well as being heat and stain resistant.

Cons: They can have uneven surfaces and grout can make them difficult to clean (make sure you do yourself a favour if buying this and get dark shades of grout that will hide the dirt).

 

If you’re looking for further advice or inspiration, come down to your nearest Optiplan showroom where our talented designers will happily discuss your needs to see what surface would be good for you before showing you a range of beautiful options to choose from.

Choosing a work surface for your kitchen can be a daunting task: with so many choices available to us these days, weighing up the good and bad of each different material can be overwhelming. This is why we’ve put together a guide to the pros and cons of each of the most common work surfaces on the market, from marble to laminate and everything in between.

Looking for kitchen worktop inspiration before making your decision? Take a look at our worktop picture gallery to see some of the gorgeous work surfaces we’ve designed and installed. 

 

Quartz

Pros: It is very durable and hard; resistant to stains, acid and scratches. Quartz is non-porous so it doesn’t need to be sealed. There are plenty of different colours and patterns available. It is glossy and very easy to clean.

Cons: It is not heat resistant so you’ll need to be careful with hot pots and pans. It can verge on the expensive if it’s good quality you’re after, so you’ll need to weigh up your options before committing.

 

Granite

Pros: Granite looks high end as well as being extremely durable, resistant to scratching, chipping and heat damage. As a natural stone, no two pieces will be the same so there’s plenty of variation and your design will be unique; there are many colours and patterns available. It is also very easy to clean.

Cons: In order to remain durable and prevent stains etc. forming, granite countertops need to be sealed once a year. While good quality granite is resistant, you should still be careful about moping up spills quickly to prevent staining – especially oils, wine and acids. It is very heavy and difficult to transport and install, so you’ll need to make sure you use a reliable and trusted installer.

 

Marble

Pros: Marble looks very classy and high-end. It is fairly durable, resistant to scratches and chips. It is unique and different, with no two stones the same. Additionally, different veins can also help disguise any problems with stains etc. It is a very cool surface, which makes it great for making pastry.

Cons: It is also very porous so you have to seal it annually. You also need to continue to be very careful with acids as they can cause etching. For instance, just leaving a slice of lemon on it overnight can leave a mark! Wine and fruit can also easily stain it.

 

Soapstone

Pros: Soapstone countertops are very resistant to staining and bacteria due to the fact that it’s non porous – this makes them a hygienic surface to work on. It is a natural stone available in varying shades of grey with veining. While not as durable as other stone surfaces, scratches can be oiled or sanded, making them much cheaper to repair.

Cons: Soapstone doesn’t need sealing but requires regular applications of mineral oil to get rid of scratches and add shine.

 

Wood

Pros: Butcher block countertops can look very homely and welcoming as well as being very functional. They are great for food prep as they are properly sealed so you can even chop your meat on it if you want to. It’s also very heat-resistant unlike other cheap options such as laminate, so you don’t have to worry about putting hot pots on it. You can find many different patterns and types of wood, and it also looks good mixed with other surfaces like engineered or natural stone.

Cons: It needs frequent oiling and re-conditioning.

 

Stainless Steel

Pros: Stainless steel looks modern, industrial and be very stylish when done properly. It is very easy to design with as it coordinates well with most other colours. It is easy to clean and super hygienic as it doesn’t allow bacteria to build up – this why most professional kitchens/restaurants have stainless steel countertops. It is also totally recyclable, making it environmentally friendly. It doesn’t stain, rust, burn etc.

Cons: It does dent and scratch easily and shows all of the finger prints, so not ideal for those with kids in the house.

 

Glass

Pros: Glass countertops are very sleek and streamlined with a modern and minimalist look when done well. They are easy to cut, shape, texture and colour,  so they may easily be personalised to suit all of your needs. Easy to clean, non porous, stain resistant, hygienic and durable if cut thickly enough.

Cons: They are not as durable as some other surfaces and may crack or scratch if heavy objects are dropped on them. They are then expensive to replace.

 

Concrete

Pros: Concrete countertops can look very modern and appealing. They are readily customizable, so you can choose your colour and texture. They look good mixed with glass/tile/marble. They are also energy efficient, capturing and releasing heat well.

Cons: They have to be sealed to make them non-porous and stain/heat resistant – this to be done thoroughly and well to prevent staining.

 

Laminate

Pros: It is very cheap, and can often be done DIY which means more savings. There are new patterns that are made to resemble natural stone, wood or quartz, meaning you can get a similar aesthetic for a much cheaper price. It offers plenty of choice with a huge array of colours and patterns. They are water resistant and easy to clean.

Cons: Laminate is not particularly durable compared to stone counter tops, and is particularly susceptible to heat damage and scratches. It is difficult to repair just one section.

 

Tile

Pros: Tile surfaces are cheap and easy to maintain, and you can easily DIY. They are customizable to different shapes, patterns and sizes, as well as being heat and stain resistant.

Cons: They can have uneven surfaces and grout can make them difficult to clean (make sure you do yourself a favour if buying this and get dark shades of grout that will hide the dirt).

 

If you’re looking for further advice or inspiration, come down to your nearest Optiplan showroom where our talented designers will happily discuss your needs to see what surface would be good for you before showing you a range of beautiful options to choose from.