When designing your kitchen, the worktop – with the fronts of the cupboards – is a preponderant element. Whether it is its shape, its layout, its material, it determines the tone of your kitchen. Its daily use means that its design should not be taken lightly. What should be considered in terms of a work plan? What materials are offered? How are these materials maintained? Casually, there are many elements to take into account when designing your work plan. So follow the guide!
What should you make sure of when choosing your work plan?
The material of your new kitchen worktop should visually match the design of your kitchen. So you need to choose a visually appealing worktop. Naturally choose good quality and solid workmanship. This will make you a lasting investment and guarantee long term use. The materials offered are varied, they range from the most common such as the relatively inexpensive laminate to real wood worktops a little more expensive. But harder materials such as artificial or natural stone or concrete are also very frequently used. For all these surfaces, it is relevant to make sure that they are heat resistant and easy to maintain.
In what material to choose your kitchen worktop?
Each material has its positive and negative aspects. For example, some are very strong while others are easily scratched or damaged. And some materials cost much more than others.
For some time, granite was considered the material of choice for countertops. Granite brings elegance to a kitchen. Even the most modest kitchens appear to be luxury kitchens when they are made of granite. Historically, granite has been an expensive material, but its cost has declined somewhat as supplies have increased and artificial stone has become more common.
Soapstone is another natural stone, usually dark gray in color that provides a silky smooth feel. Over time, the stone takes on an antique patina which can turn out very beautiful in a certain style of kitchen. If you opt for this type of worktop, be aware that it is a fairly hard material and resistant to stains. However, it does risk getting scratched over time – although this can add to the patina and therefore the charm of the stone.
Marble is another natural stone commonly used for kitchen worktops. Because no two sheets of marble are exactly the same, each marble countertop will be entirely unique. Due to its extremely high price, we do not necessarily cover all the worktops in the same kitchen. Most often, its luxurious appearance is limited to use on an island or a section of the worktop. Although highly prized, marble may not be the best choice for kitchens due to its propensity to be stained or scratched. It is a considerably more “capricious” stone than granite or soapstone.
The countertop material known as “quartz” is actually a product that contains quartz and other minerals, shaped into plates and bonded with resins. Quartz was created as a more adaptable and better performing alternative to granite and marble.
Ceramic worktops are durable and easy to clean, and they are considerably less expensive than natural stone worktops. Recent innovations in ceramic tiles offer many more design options than ever before, including tiles that look like wood, marble, or even leather or cork.
Laminate countertops are plastic coated synthetics with a smooth, easy-to-clean surface. Although previously considered rather low-end, they are now very popular due to their variety of colors, patterns and styles.
Wood worktops offer a nice warm look and are also available in a wide range of colors and finishes. Hardwoods like maple and oak are very often used species.
For a truly contemporary and industrial look for your kitchen, stainless steel is a good choice. Stainless steel worktops are both heat resistant and durable.
If you have planned an unusually shaped countertop or want a truly unique kitchen, concrete may be a good choice. Due to their heavy weight, concrete countertops are usually cast in place, right in your kitchen. The tiles are extremely polished and can even be textured or acid stained to produce colors. Although concrete can be prone to cracking, new treatments can reduce this tendency. The porosity of concrete can also be reduced with additives.
How do you maintain a kitchen countertop?
Anyone who uses their kitchen a lot and uses the counter every day naturally wants to reduce their cleaning and maintenance efforts. With materials such as ceramic or laminate, cleaning and maintenance is quite simple. However, special care should be taken with solid wood – the surface should be treated with oil or wax very regularly. This is also the case with granite, soapstone and concrete, all of which require specific attention.
What is the ideal working height?
For reasons of ergonomics, the height of the worktop must always be individually adapted to the user. It makes your activity easier and at the same time protects your back. Because if the worktop is too low or too high, you have to adopt the wrong posture.