Are ceramic worktops the perfect alternative to laminate, wood, or quartz kitchen worktops?
Kitchen worktops are one of the most important elements of kitchen design. An adequate work surface makes it much easier to prepare food, as well as to clean up afterward. On a daily basis, it will be exposed to hot dishes, sharp objects, and moisture. When planning the best kitchen equipment, it is worth taking interest in the possibilities offered by modern technologies. One of the proposals are ceramic kitchen worktops. Manufactured from strong and resistant to damage raw material in many respects they resemble natural products from marble and granite. Here is everything what is worth knowing about ceramic countertops.
Ceramic kitchen worktops – what are they made of?
Many people when hearing the term ceramic countertop imagine a kitchen worktop made of heat-resistant ceramic tiles. However, under the term of ceramic countertop, there is a worktop material also called by some quartz sinter.
It is a countertop made of various worktop materials:
- minerals derived from quartz,
- minerals derived from glass and silica,
- oxides that affect the color properties of the product.
In the production process, these components are combined with each other using particle sintering technology at a temperature of over 1200°C and under a pressure of 25 thousand tons. The result is a monolithic slab of unparalleled durability.
Ceramic kitchen worktops – maintenance, cleaning, and general use of such solid surface
Neolith, Dekton and Lapitec surfaces are nowadays the top choice among all solid surfaces. Ceramic worktops are a definition of modernity and stylishness, but most of all, they are durable and hygenic solutions that will last you a lifetime. Read below to learn how to take care of sintered stone worktops:
It’s true that ceramic worktops – or sintered stone as it is typically named – can be cleaned with utmost ease. One of the biggest attributes of these materials is that they are easy to clean and require very little effort, primarily because ceramics are completely waterproof. In most cases giving the surfaces, a damp cloth with a bit of water and soap will do the job, and ensure your worktops are prestinely cleaned of all grimes, dirt, or residue. However, if your ceramic kitchen worktop is covered in grease, oil, or other heavy liquids, then we highly recommend using a special kitchen worktop spray specially designed for these ceramic worktops. They not only help you battle the more resistant liquids, but also provide your best kitchen worktop an anti-bacterial layer. We are in possession of such sprays, so if you require one simply contact us and we’ll supply it to your door.
Thanks to the high resistance of ceramic worktops to elements like heat, liquids, oils, acids, scratching or even corrosive paint, worktops made out of sintered stone are used by many professional and renowned chefs around the world. They clad their entire restaurant kitchens with this product, because not only they look modern and unique, they are genuinely a great functional asset in the kitchen. When used as a cooking station or cooking worktops, not only convenience is provided but also the efficiency and flexibility during food preparation.
How professional chefs utilise a ceramic worktop to improve their cooking?
The most pleasant thing about cooking on ceramic worktops is that the hob can be interchangeably used with the ceramic kitchen worktops. In other words, you can cook something, then rest the pot/pan immediately on the sintered stone solid surface without worrying about burning/staining the worktops. In the meantime, you can stick another pan on the hob.
Thanks to this flexibility, whether you are a professional chef or an amateur who enjoys versatile cooking, you need not worry about purchasing trivets or ruining your chopping boards. When you have a ceramic worktop as your surface, you have the whole solid surface to operate on, and you aren’t restricted during cooking. Ceramic kitchen worktops offer a lot of extra space and freedom.
Another advantage of ceramic worktops during cooking is that the vegetables/meats can be cut directly on these surfaces – so no chopping desks are required. Ceramics are so resilient to scratching that no knife will damage your worktops. In addition, because ceramics are completely heat resistant, you can even caramelize your favorite crème-brulee with a blowtorch directly on the ceramic worktop. And unlike laminate or wood worktops, no sign of burning stains / wear & tear / defects will be noticed. Before ceramic worktops were released onto the market, many tests were carried out to ensure this material is nearly indestructible. They were subjected to hefty chopping of olive-oil saturated salads, burned directly with blow torches, exposed to object impacts. In the end, this allowed Dekton Cosentino, Neolith and Lapitec to perfect their product and release an almost flawless solid surface.
Do ceramic worktops require regular sealing?
With ceramics, no sealing is required, as is often the case with wood or granite worktops. The porosity proof and bacterial proof ingredients are impregnated into the ceramic materials during production, and these properties remain there forever. Therefore once you buy such a surface, you won’t have to worry about it ever becoming prone to liquid absorption / loss or fade of colour.
Ceramic kitchen worktops – an innovatively flawless best kitchen worktop surface?
It certainly seems that way! And it is especially the case for those who love cooking, functionality and minimalism within their kitchens. There’s no doubt that by using these worktops you save a lot of time and money. No more purchases of trivets, or messing about with constant cleaning of chopping boards, especially during complex cooking. It is truly a fantastic product, offering a lot of freedom. Everyone who purchases it from us is very impressed, and to date we have never received any complaints. As a result, we always recommend such worktop materials to demanding customers who want to go beyond the standards, and elect a reliable kitchen worktop that offers not only beauty, but most of all flexibility and practicality.
Ceramic worktops – a wide range of colours and imitations
As we mentioned in the main Ceramic Worktops article, there are roughly 150-200 sintered stone colours available on the market. For the start, designers of sintered stone love to get inspired by patterns already existing around the world, and then they create fairly accurate imitations of these organic compositions. For example, in Neolith’s collection you can see a plethora of metallic shades: the likes of rusty iron or browning copper. There are also reflections of natural wood, for example, their timber colours are brimming with spirals and woodgrains. Their range of natural material mimics is even greater. Interestingly, more or less 16 marble-lookalike variation are availabe from Dekton, Neolith and Lapitec combined. Such marble-lookalikes are saturated with organically looking veins and folds. In fact, these replicas are so well recreated that many are deceived into thinking it is in face real stone, metal, concrete or wood. This is until they touch the surfaces, and realise it is actually the texture of natural stone.
Why are sintered stone lookalike range worktops better than real wood, stone, stainless steel or laminate worktop?
This is very simple. Many people want to implements the visual representation of wood, metal, laminate or natural stone in their homes. However, they do not want to deal with the flaws of the archetypes. As we mentioned above, with this stone you get no scratching, staining, chipping; the best kitchen worktop won’t burn or produce burn rings – all these aspects would instantly affect wood, metal, marbles or even concrete for that matter. Therefore most desire to have the visual elements of nature in their homes – the unpredictibility offered by wood grains, the organic veins within marbles, the bubbly texture of concrete or the unique, modern appearance of rust. However, above all, they desire a nearly indestructible material that can withstand all harsh conditions and extremely complex, prolonged treatment.
Now, a fantastic solution is available: sintered stone. In essence, with ceramic worktops, the customer gets the best of both worlds – appearance of a natural element, but technical benefits – like durability and resistance – of engineered stone.
Ceramic kitchen worktops – the question of pricing
In short, the average price for sintered stone can be quite high, though the affordability of a specific stone is solely determined by the company, design of a material, availability and product-demand. On average, you will be probably looking to spend somewhere in the range of 700 pounds, excluding VAT, for a single slab, measuring approximately 3.2 by 1.5 meters. Out of such a slab, your best kitchen can be manufactured, and if it’s small to medium size, one slab should suffice, but if you have a large kitchen + require additional elements like splashbacks, upstands, worktop side-panels etc. then a second slab will be required.
As we mentioned above, the price of a slab may be lowered if, for example, the company e.g. Neolith have good offers on. The amount of discounts Polish Granite gets from each company will also impact the price. The same goes for product availability, if stock is high and the product old, the material is likely to become cheaper, perhaps in range of £400-500 per slab. If, however, stock is low and product-demand is high, the price per slab will increase. Likewise, if the product design is brand new, and elaborate, you may be looking at prices of £1.5k + VAT for a single slab. Please bear in mind that material prices constantly fluctuate, so it’s worth either contacting us or the suppliers directly to enquire about the current slab costs and other related info.
In order to find out how much you’d be looking to pay for a slab, and to establish which variables apply to your desired material, please feel free to contact our customer service team, who will answer all your questions and provide you a quotation. Alternatively, in order to get an instant general idea of how much the whole job would cost you (i.e. material, ceramic worktops manufacturing, templating and installation), feel free to email us, or complete our Quotation Online – a calculator system which – in a matter of minutes – works out your approx. cost.