Worktops in the kitchen have to face many challenges – from hot pots to splashing water to sharp kitchen knives. Which materials are best suited and how to maintain the countertop read here. Plus: What you need to know if you want to buy a granite kitchen.
Robust and heat resistant, it should be resistant to moisture and stains and easy to clean. Worktops, however, not only have a practical function but they also decisively determine the kitchen appearance. Decors and materials should fit the kitchen furniture and are therefore important factors when choosing the right worktop. From this article we can learn about Best Kitchen Worktop Materials.
Materials for the kitchen countertop
With its rough surface, a concrete countertop brings loft charm to the kitchen and is also scratch-resistant. However, the material is weighty and therefore only suitable for stable under constructions.
Protection and care: for worktops made of concrete, it makes sense to grind and polish the surface, because the pores of the material are closed, the plate can be cleaned more easily. Also, you can protect the material by sealing it with oil or natural wax, but you have to freshen up this treatment more often. A plastic seal protects against stains in the long term – even grease and coarse dirt can no longer be left on the plate. However, the concrete is less rough and has a softer feel.
Natural stone: granite, marble and slate
With worktops made of natural stone, you have the choice between granite, marble and slate stones, which look noble and offer an individual surface pattern as well as a wide range of colors, but which also have their price. If you want to buy a granite kitchen, you have to calculate about 250 euros per meter for a countertop. A significant advantage: natural stones are heat-, cut-and scratch-resistant, and water can usually be of no harm to you.
Particularly robust: granite. It holds temperatures of up to 600 degrees and is particularly resistant to stains and scratches. Also, the smooth surface of the stone can be cleaned very easily.
Marble is slightly softer, making it more susceptible to scratches and other damage and also stain more sensitive, as it absorbs lighter fluid and is also more acidic than granite.
Even slate does not approach the hardness of granite and is prone to scratches. Sometimes even pieces can burst out of the material. Mostly slate is broken and not ground, creating an uneven surface-impractical for fiddling with cutting boards.
When choosing the décor, make sure that natural stone in black and gray is icy, and especially in small kitchens and with thick worktops can be very dominant, finely patterned granite slabs with many colors, however, quickly cause unrest.
Protection and care: All natural stones are sensitive to acids and therefore get stains for example from fruit quickly. It is also recommended that you use acid-free cleaners for cleaning the surface-preferably special cleaning agents for natural stones. Natural stones quickly absorb liquids, so oil and water stains should be removed immediately. Those who want to protect themselves against stains can impregnate the plate with a natural stone care.
You can read: Granite Kitchen Worktops Pros and Cons
Wood brings naturalness to the kitchen, warms visually and creates a homelike atmosphere. However, even hard wood species are not too robust, heavy pots can leave dents, kitchen knives and other sharp-edged objects cut. Bacteria can accumulate in the cracks that have been created. Therefore, never cut directly on the countertop. Wood is only conditionally heat-resistant, hot pots quickly leave discoloration or even burn stains. Also, the material is prone to stains and swells quickly when moisture penetrates. On the other hand, you can protect yourself by sealing all joints well – especially the one around the sink and the hob.
Protection and care: To make the natural material more durable, one can either impregnate it with oil or seal it with a special lacquer, the latter taking the stuff its natural haptics and due to the resulting gloss effect the wood also visually less Of course. In an oiled working surface, the protection should be regularly renewed so that the wood remains beautiful. Oiled Wood has the advantage that the plate can be easily sanded off for stains and minor damages – also an advantage over work surfaces from other materials.
Corian is an artificial stone that consists mostly of the mineral aluminum hydroxide and resin and is characterized by a silky surface. The material is poured into the form and can be used so very variably-for example in the shape of a countertop, which passes seamlessly into the sink. Although Corian is harder than wood, it is also recommended to use kitchen boards on worktops made of Corian for cutting, as this will cause scratches on the surface. Also, Corian is only short-term resistant to heat, hot pots and pans must not be placed on the countertop. Corian is available in more than 100 colors and can also be made translucent-ideal for those who want to play in their kitchen with light effects.
Protection and care: Corian is not porous, which is why it is not necessary to seal the surface of the countertop. Moreover, the material is straightforward to care for. For the surface to remain beautiful for a long time, to remove liquids and grease with a damp cloth and with a mild detergent and water, for example, detergents based on ammonia, mild scouring milk or conventional household cleaning agents are suitable.
Quartz composites such as Zodiaq or Silestone consist of 93 percent of quartz, which is supplemented by color and decorative materials such as glass or mirror pieces and is connected with resin to plates. Quartz composites can be produced in many different decors. Due to the high quartz content, the material is very scratch resistant, so that knives on the worktop can not cause any damage. Since quartz composites are not porous, liquids and germs do not penetrate into the worktop-very advantageous for kitchen hygiene. Although the material is heat-resistant, do not place hot cookware directly on the worktop, as it can cause irreparable damage to the surface at very high temperatures.
Protection and care: Unlike natural stone, no impregnating agents may be applied to Quartz composites, as they remain on the surface and make stains there. Never use aggressive agents such as a drain or oven cleaners for cleaning. Also hydrofluoric acid, caustic soda or color remover are harmful to the material – just like alkaline detergents with a ph value higher than ten.
You can read: Metal Kitchen Countertop Design For Modern Kitchen
A reflective glass surface in the kitchen fits with its clear look to a modern furnishing style. Glass is very heat resistant, but the material is susceptible to scratches. Water stains and grease can be seen quickly on the translucent surface, which is why a glass countertop is very cared intensively.
Worktops made of glass
– Very heat resistant
– Prone to scratches and stains
– Relatively expensive
Easy to care for, harder than wood and inexpensive-these are the advantages of plastic worktops. However, you should never cut directly on a plastic countertop, as this will destroy the surface. Plastic worktops are sensitive to heat-absolutely unused. Under the top layer of plastic, plastic worktops usually have pressed chipboard, so make sure that no water jams on the joints of the worktop, as the wood can swell when moisture enters the plate. Plastic worktops are available in many different decors.
– Easy to care for
– Sensitive moisture (source damage)
The material “Dekton” occupies a unique position under the kitchen worktops, as it is not comparable to any other new equipment such as Corian or quartz composites. Dekton is exclusively manufactured by the company Cosentino. For this purpose, raw materials, such as those used in the production of glass or porcelain surfaces, are initially pressed with 25,000 tonnes of cold. Then these plates are sintered in the furnace – which is the same as “baking” the plates. A subsequent polishing process provides for closed surfaces, which cannot be used for heat or sharp objects. Dekton worktops are also protected against stains, UV light, and water. The material is available in thicknesses from 0.8 to 3 cm and has both uni and individual optics as well as wood.
Protection and care: Due to the production of Dekton, the surface of the material is incredibly dense, robust and resistant. Targeted care is therefore not necessary. However, do not rub with a metal sponge on the surface if the surface has received a high-gloss finish. With the sponge, the solid surface would be roughened again. The shine might disappear.
– Insensitive to heat and scratches
– Available in different decors and thicknesses
– Also, tolerates moisture
– Medium to upper price segment
Ceramics resemble granite because of its composition of sand, feldspar, clay and mineral oxides, but is an artificially produced stone that is burned under pressure and high temperatures. Ceramic worktops are more robust than granite countertops and are particularly scratch resistant and heat proof. Ceramics are insensitive to acids and stain resistant, as the material does not absorb liquids due to its closed surface. For this reason, the material is extremely hygienic. Ceramics can be produced in fragile plates and thus has a very light effect. Also, the material is available in many color variations and patterns and is thus compatible with many kitchen facilities. However, a ceramic plate is expensive.
Protection and care: Ceramics are exceptionally easy to care for and can be cleaned with all ordinary means. As the material is resistant to chemicals, acidic detergents can also be used during cleaning.
– Particularly robust and heat-resistant
– Insensitive to acids and stain resistant
– Easy to care for
– Relatively expensive
Stainless steel worktops are often used in large kitchens because they are hygienic and very heat-resistant. However, they are prone to scratches and also water, grease, and other liquids quickly leave traces. In a standard kitchen, in which aesthetics play a role as well as functionality, this is a disadvantage.
Protection and maintenance: Stainless steel worktops can be cleaned with a soap solution, but there are also special stainless steel cleaners. Smaller scratches are removed with scouring milk.
Stainless Steel Worktops
– Heat-resistant and hygienic
– Prone to scratches and stains
– Medium Price Segment
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