I have planned on writing this for a while. A post explaining the various kitchen counter tops to choose from. Beware this could be a long one!!
Granite : A granite worktop adds an immediate wow factor and will more than recoup the initial investment. It is the ultimate in durability and whatever the kitchen design, the granite can be the major theme of your kitchen. Granite is a naturally occurring igneous rock with a variety of both grain and colour. When choosing granite for your fitted kitchens bear in mind that there is no guarantee of continuity in the colour / shades. I would not see this as a negative feature but more so positive. The darker surfaces are those created by the the lava cooling quicker. This results in smaller grain finishes, heavier granite and more consistency in the shade. The slower cooling granites (lava’s) are usually lighter in colour, have much larger crystals and may have huge variations of colour. It withstands heat better than most tops and difficult to scratch and stain.
Composite Stone / Quartz : Quartz is often referred to as engineered stone. Quartz is mixed with resin and pigments to create a variation of colours and designs. It is a durable, stable, non – porous worksurface and is highly resistant to chemicals. Quartz in its raw state can be an unstable material and is susceptible to chips and breakage, even under its own weight. When quality polymers are used in the process of manufacture this ensure that quartz kitchen worktops are strong and hard wearing. Quartz countertops are heat and scratch resistant not just for a couple of years but for their entire lifetime.
Laminate : Laminate worktops are a popular choice for kitchens as they offer an attractive option for you kitchen at a more affordable price than other surfaces. They are quiet hard wearing and are resistant to heat. (it is recommended that you don’t place hot pot and pans directly on this surface) Laminate is a non-porous surface and liquid can be easily wiped away. These surfaces come in a wide variety of colours giving you the look of a granite counter-top or wood effect.
Wood :Wood worktops are luxurious and attractive choice for any kitchen design. They offer a beauty and warmth that is difficult to achieve with other surfaces. Wood can be used on both traditional and contemporary kitchen designs. One of the main advantages of wooden worktops is that other worktops age over time and usage, loosing the original splendour. Wood gains character over time, some wood become richer and deeper in colour becoming a part of your home. Wooden worktops can be easily repaired and resanded to it original surface.
Marble : Marble starts as a sediment at the bottom of bodies of water. As the sediment builds up over millions of years it solidifies under the pressure and forms limestone or dolomite. During mountain building, when heat and pressure are extremely high, these stones metamorphose into marble. Marble’s many colours and veining result from mineral impurities being trapped during its beginning as sediment and the effects can be quiet dramatic. Because marble can stain and scratch more easily than granite, care should be taken. Marble’s main component is calcium carbonate so acids such as vinegar and citrus beverages can taint the surface. Marble should have a honed rather than a polished finish thus providing a better resistance to food acids that can etch polished marble creating dull spots.
Corian : Corian is manufactured by DuPont and is almost 30 years in the making now. Its is manufactured using an advanced blend of natural materials and pure acrylic polymer. The options are almost limitless and can be manipulated, sculpted, carved, routed and thermoformed into a wide variety of shapes and features. Corian is difficult to scratch but can be easily resurfaced using sanding products. It is a non-porous surface and is seamless which means that it also prevents the growth of mould, mildew and bacteria associated with other work-surfaces.
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