There is now such a large choice of worktops now available, depending on your preference, style of house and budget and yet they are such a major contributor to the look of your new Kitchen.
The most common choice is a laminate worktop. They are low maintenance with just a wipe with a damp cloth to keep them clean. There is a large choice of designs and colours available from imitation wood to imitation granite.
One advantage laminate has over granite work surfaces is the ability to absorb low impact when placing a cup or plate down without chipping the bottoms or being very noisy.
The biggest disadvantage of a laminate worktop is the fact that the bull nose or rounded nose is only available in straight runs. Any angled corners or radius ends have to be machined flat and a flat piece of laminate glued in place.
Any joint or cut in the surface is a potential problem area. If water is left on a joint, over time, the chipboard will swell causing the laminate to lift. If an electric kettle is placed over a joint, the heat from below will affect the joint.
No hot surfaces such as hot pans direct from a hob can be placed directly onto the work surface as this will lead to blistering.
If the kitchen has a Belfast sink, then a laminate worktop, around the sink area, is not possible.
Another option is a wooden worktop that is made up of many strips of wood laminated together to give the correct depth.
Wooden surfaces are more flexible than laminate as they may be cut and shaped to suit the shape of the base units.
If the top features radius corners, then they can all be profiled with a router as well as the ends along the end grain.
This is a big advantage and, unlike a granite top, the fitter can fit wooden worktops, so there is no delay in fitting the worktops
One downside of wooden worktops is that they will need occasional oiling. This will depend on the amount of use they have had so it may be once a month or twice a year. It will be down to the customer how much they look after the work surface.
If you choose granite worktops, they are measured and installed by the granite company you choose. When all of the base units are in place, the granite installer will usually take a note of all the measurements ready for the factory to machine them.
All types of worktops have their advantages and disadvantages of price, durability, exclusivity and maintenance.
It all boils down to 1. What you like, 2. If you can afford what you like, and 3. Whether you are willing to put in the time to look after your ideal choice of top.
With so much choice now available, deciding on the look of your Kitchen and the specification has meant there are so many more decisions to be made by the client.
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