Initial Considerations – Budget, Layout, Timescales
How long would you like the worktop to last and what would you be prepared to invest for that longevity?
If are you planning on moving in a couple of years and just want to have things looking a bit tidier, then you may not want to invest in a worktop of more superior quality and durability. However, if this is your forever kitchen you want to look just as good in 20 years time, then you should consider investing more money for a better quality solution.
It sounds obvious but its worth noting that cheaper options may not last as long as more durable materials, which tend to cost a bit more. You can also mix materials to save on some of the outlay – Why not use solid worktops in heavily used areas, like the sink
and cooking spaces, and then woods or laminates everywhere else?
This is a great and practical way to compromise and can also create design interest. Different edge profiles and worktop thicknesses can also affect cost as well as look. Standard thickness is 30mm but thinner 20mm tops create a nice modern look and can be a little cheaper.
Your kitchen size can impact your choice and some materials will lend themselves better to your layout than others. For example, solid worktops like quartz and granite come in slabs and therefore have a maximum size before a joint is needed. This is especially important if you are wanting a large island and want the worktop to be one piece. Your maximum size here will be around 3m x 1.5m.
Materials like Corian, that can be joined together and made to look seamless are a great option for a large expanse of worktop where you’d like to avoid having any joints.
Some worktops require different considerations in terms of implementation. Composite worktops like granite, quartz and Corian need to be templated by an expert. This means that your kitchen cabinets need to be in place for the template to be made. The worktop then needs to be fabricated, which normally takes 7 days. This isn’t usually a problem as installation would be ongoing in your kitchen during this time, but if you are wanting something that can be fitted quickly consider laminate or wooden worktops instead.