Kitchen worktops ideas – How to choose a solid material for your kitchen countertop?
Kitchen worktops are one of the most exploited surfaces in the house – they should be resistant to mechanical damage, the effect of detergents, moisture, high temperatures, and contact with various types of food products.
It is also essential that they are easy to keep clean and that the food prepared on them is not exposed to dirt and bacteria. Apart from functionality, aesthetics also counts – kitchen worktops define the look of the whole kitchen. Therefore they must perfectly match the interior arrangement. Check what kind of worktops will best meet such high requirements.
Kitchen countertops, then and now
Everyone has a kitchen and a countertop used as a working space or even a dining table. The thing seems so obvious that not many people wonder about kitchen countertop nature and origins. Kitchen countertops history is an important element of history of human development and is worth to be carefully studied. First kitchen countertops were made of solid wood, laminate and natural stone. Only imagine early people from the distant past who cooked over a fireplace. What they needed was just a simple construction of wood and stone over the crackling fire. When first kitchens started to appear and became more and more popular the solid surface countertops were still wooden and stone. These two materials were simply the most available ones, hence it was only natural to have this kind of countertop.
Early 19th century brought some changes. In rich houses and estates people could finally afford more exquisite materials – such as marble, finer wooden materials, or even metals. At this time countertops gained new appearance and became much more sophisticated than before. Finally, the kitchen worktop became something more than just a necessary appliance, important only because of its practical qualities. Simple and sturdy wood and laminate worktops became things of the past associated with primitive old days. Soon marble became replaced with granite – but not totally. Countertop became more and more sign of wealth and style than only a basic tool.
Today kitchen countertops have a lot of faces. Frist of all, they are still necessary elements of every kitchen. They need to fulfill the basic practical needs. They must be easy and simple to use but also to clean and maintain. They need to guarantee hygiene and safe conditions of usage. Yet, at the same time they need to be elegant and pleasant to look at. Kitchen as the very heart of many homes after all needs to be welcoming and inviting. Kitchen countertop at its center must be therefore eye-catching and stylish. It can’t be dull and boring.
Today market of kitchen countertops is constantly developing. New materials appear all the time and the designs become fashionable. Natural stone and stainless steel countertops still remain very popular. There are highly demanded granite, marble or soapstone kitchen countertops, but there are also other materials available. Think for example about engineered stones such as quartz which can have a lot of colors, which are not available in case of natural stones. Kitchen countertops are gaining momentum now and it’s really interesting how are they going to develop in the future. Since, the beginning of history kitchen countertop has played an important role and this probably won’t change anytime soon.
Modern day kitchen countertop become more and more unusual in terms of design. Architects and common customers become more and more sophisticated and creative when it comes to kitchen countertops. Who knows what new ideas can make of them?
What should you know before buying a solid surface for a new kitchen?
What should be considered when considering what a kitchen countertop should be made of and what properties it should exhibit? Several factors are worth paying attention to select those materials that can perform best. Here they are:
Look of the kitchen worktop – a different worktop will suit a modern kitchen and a different one for a classic one. It’s also worth paying attention to what type of material fits aesthetically with the rest of the kitchen, as some materials offer a wide range of choices, while others tend to narrow it down. You also need to know which worktop for your kitchen – light or dark – will be a better option for you. You can read about the selection in terms of colour and aesthetics below;
Financial resources – depending on what resources you have, you can choose from all materials or rather the cheaper ones. Among the most expensive countertops are those made to order, i.e., glass, granite, marble, quartz and wood. For the latter, you will find a more affordable alternative in the form of conglomerate;
Frequency of use – if your kitchen is only used for reheating takeaway food you have bought, you may want to invest in a worktop that is more demanding and less functional, such as a wooden one. However, if you prefer something more practical because you like to cook and have children, for example, who don’t care about wiping down the worktop after every use, invest in something more durable that will work every day. Depending on your budget, you could opt for an expensive stone worktop or a relatively cheaper alternative in the form of a laminate worktop, which you can replace every few years. This way you can also change the look of your kitchen!
Worksurface dimensions – standard worktops are 60 cm deep, and this is the ideal size for everyday cooking. However, if your requirements are different, you need to remember that not every worktop will be available in every size. Usually, pre-made worktops, for example, laminate, conglomerate, or metal, are available in several standard sizes. If you want something out of the ordinary, you’ll need to aim for custom-made products such as stone, glass, or wood;
Functionality – in combination with the frequency of use of the countertop is one of the key factors in its selection. If you like to cook, but you are not keen on cleaning the wood worktops and taking care of its condition, resign from material that requires impregnation. For large areas, on the other hand, choose worktops that are available in their full size. This will prevent gaps at the joints where water can seep in and cause damage. Also assess how important it is for you to be able to place hot dishes directly on the worktop surface.
Granite, wood, or stainless steel kitchen countertop – how to choose the color of the kitchen surface?
Since the countertop is an integral, obvious part of the kitchen furniture, it should be properly matched to it. Are you wondering how you should complement a beige kitchen with a countertop? What kind of countertop will fit there best? The rules are simple:
- do not choose countertops in the same shade as the rest of the furniture – this will look quite bland, making the kitchen blend together. It’s better to choose a contrasting worktop or one in a slightly different shade, but still in the same color scheme as the rest of the room;
- almost all types of countertops are suitable for white furniture except for those which are completely white;
- a black countertops are a good choice as it reflects light, making it a mere backdrop for other things; however, it needs to limit the products that are placed on it, as it will certainly expose them;
- wooden and wood-effect worktops bring a cozy atmosphere to the interior, while stone and imitation stone worktops create a fresh and excellent impression. For furniture in light shades, it is worth choosing darker countertops or a contrasting color, which will later be repeated in the details. It is worth bearing in mind that a countertop in a distinctive color will attract the eye. If there are too many products standing on it, it will appear cluttered, which is never good for the room.
- if your kitchen is fitted with wooden furniture, especially in a classic style, a natural stone or conglomerate worktop is the best option. A cheaper equivalent can be a practical laminate countertop, which will imitate the look of stone. In this way, the kitchen will become elegant, slightly lighter in appearance, and at the same time, it will gain a shine typical for such solid surface.