Remodelling a small kitchen style can often provide people with a vast headache when considering the myriad of options available. Selecting the most appropriate material for your work surfaces is a decision which takes careful consideration to get absolutely right.
Consider both usage and aesthetics
It can be easy to get swept away into the design element of creating a new kitchen space. Selecting a material for your surfaces based purely on what they look like is churlish. Remember that along with looking fantastic, your kitchen will need to be used on a daily basis and a work surface that is inappropriate for your needs will make your daily routine less pleasant than it could be. The aesthetic appeal of your worktop is important, but not at the expense of usability.
Wooden worktops are generally seen as the most ecologically sound choice, due to the method of selecting and preparing the materials. Naturally available in a number of different shades, tones and grain patterns, wood provides almost endless options, from dark black walnuts through to very pale beech. The natural anti-bacterial qualities of wood make it very hygienic and the surface can be very straightforward to repair.
Looking after a wooden work surface is pretty straight forward; worktops can be protected with a thin coating of oil a couple of times a year to keep the surface from drying out. Burn marks can be sanded off and the top is easy to clean and maintain. Prolonged contact with water can affect the top and wooden surfaces are particularly prone to scratches.
Installing granite surfaces
Granite work surfaces are very popular at present, due to their magnificent appearance. This attractive nature coupled with the fact that granite is very hardwearing against heat, water damage and stains has seen granite become first choice in many a kitchen. With this desirability comes a hefty price tag, coupled with the fact that a granite surface is exceptionally heavy, potentially leaving your units needing to be reinforced.
Granite is fairly straightforward to keep clean and is almost indestructible. Bakers will love the fact that granite is usually naturally cool, making it the perfect surface for making pastry or dough.
Stainless steel: the professional choice
Given the hygienic nature of stainless steel, along with its heat resistant qualities, it is little wonder that it is the choice for professional kitchens around the world. Available in a few different finishes, namely polished, matt or sandblasted, a stainless steel worktop gives your kitchen a professional and streamlined look, whilst not costing the earth at the same time.
When considering all of the available options for your worktops, considering how they are going to be used along with your budget is as vital as having your heart set on a choice which only looks good. A decent work surface in a kitchen should last a lifetime if it is looked after, but making the wrong choice can only lead to further redevelopment work in the future.
Rob Jewell writes articles for a range of websites, including Worktop Express about kitchen design and a number of other topics. When he is not writing, Rob can often be found searching for the perfect recipe for New York style cheesecake.