How to choose between 3 of the most popular kitchen worktop materials

worktop materials

As one of the defining aspects of your kitchen, your worktops have a huge influence over both its function and style. Whether you’re doing up your existing kitchen or designing one from scratch, you’ll find that there are a lot of different materials to choose from, so it can be tricky to know which one’s best for you. This week at Savoy Timber, we’ve rounded up three of the most popular, and we’re taking a quick look at what they can offer your kitchen.

Solid Wood Kitchen worktops

Key features:

  • Gives your kitchen a rich, natural feel
  • Can be cut to size
  • Changes colour over time
  • Can be quite high maintenance

Appearance, cost and installation

wood worktop

The rich natural gradient of wood makes it an absolutely brilliant choice for rustic or contemporary kitchens. It’s often used to enhance the comfortable, homely feel of smaller budget kitchens. On the other hand though, real wood kitchen worktops are also an equally great choice for bringing a bit of warmth to larger contemporary kitchens, which can otherwise risk being a bit cold and clinical. The wood’s tendency to change colour with age makes it an attractive choice for many homeowners who like the idea of a ‘changing face’ for their kitchen. However, you can speed that process along a bit yourself by applying different oils to the wood, which will also change its natural colour.

You can theoretically fit solid wood kitchen worktops yourself, but personally here at Savoy Timber we recommend you use a trained professional. Wooden worktops can be more easily damaged than other materials, and it only takes a small mistake to take a visible chip out of it!

Durability, maintenance and cleaning

The fact that wood worktops are all-natural materials means that it can be quite high maintenance compared to the other materials we have on this list. They can be affected by humidity and heat, as well as being easily stained by liquids. You need to take particular care to avoid one of the most common mistakes – putting hot pans down onto them! The good news is that you can sand them down to remove any marks, but you know what they say. Prevention is always better than cure. As well as oiling it around every six months or so, you’ll also need to take care to keep the worktop hygienic by cleaning it regularly with washing up liquid. This will ensure it stays bacteria-free!

Verdict:

There’s no denying that wood kitchen worktops can look absolutely brilliant, especially if you’re going for a rustic or farmhouse feel. You have to be prepared for the amount of maintenance they require!

Granite Kitchen Worktops

Key features:

  • Highly durable, and doesn’t scratch easily
  • Extremely heat resistant – up to 200C
  • Gives your kitchen a distinctive look
  • A luxury product, making it very expensive

Appearance, cost and installation

granite worktop

On the higher end of the price tier, granite is often regarded as an investment for the more high-end kitchens. It’s got a certain timeless appeal about it, and its distinctive natural look ensures that it never goes out of fashion. It’s impressively versatile, too, equally at home in traditional, modern or contemporary kitchens. It makes an undeniable statement of style, and you’ll often find it in the bigger, more expansive kitchens.

However, all this style and practicality unfortunately comes with a literal cost. Granite is without a doubt one of the most expensive worktops on the market, which can immediately take it off the table as an option for many homeowners. Plus, as you might expect, being made of rock makes this worktop exceptionally heavy. This makes it unsuitable for installing in your kitchen yourself – you’ll definitely need a trained professional to handle it instead.

Durability, maintenance and cleaning

The good news is that granite worktops are exceptionally hardwearing, which gives them a great lifespan. It also means those initial costs can end up balancing out eventually. Once you’ve fitted your granite kitchen worktop, as a general rule you won’t have to worry about replacing it for at least ten years or so.

However, the catch is that obviously you have to be looking after it properly! You’ll have to be exceptionally careful with citrus, wine and acidic foods and liquids, as these can all too easily stain the worktop. They’re very hard to remove once they do, so mop them up promptly. On the upside, generally cleaning isn’t that difficult, as you’ll only need a damp cloth and mild detergent.

Verdict:

Granite worktops can really give your kitchen an impressive visual appeal, and their durability makes them a sound investment for many homeowners. Others can often find the initial high cost too steep though, even if it does eventually balance out over time.

Laminate Kitchen Worktops

Key features:

  • Incredibly durable
  • Heat resistant up to 180C
  • Easily affordable and cost-effective
  • A huge range of styles available
  • You can fit them yourself

Appearance, cost and installation

rouille

By far one of the most popular kitchen worktops available on the market, laminate kitchen worktops are famous for the massive range of styles available – including those in wood and granite! (For example, our stunning Rossini Granite 30mm laminate kitchen worktop.) As a result, amongst the typical range of laminate kitchen worktops you’ll be able to find option to suit almost literally any style or size of kitchen.

What’s more, all of these styles are cost-effective and uniquely affordable. Options like our Rouille Zenith compact laminate kitchen worktop are brilliant for giving your kitchen a luxurious feel with none of the associated cost. As a result, many homeowners use them to put their own stamp on budget and luxury kitchens alike. As an added bonus, they’re light enough that you can even install them yourself once you’ve made use of our cut-to-size service here at Savoy Timber.

Durability, maintenance and cleaning

Laminate kitchen worktops are fantastically low maintenance. They don’t age like wood and they don’t share nearly as many of its vulnerabilities. This durability is one of their key selling points, alongside their range of styles and cost-effectiveness. Each of the laminate kitchen worktops we stock here at Savoy Timber are expertly finished and water-sealed, making them highly resistant to water ingress. We wouldn’t recommend getting careless with them, exactly, but you can rest easy in the knowledge that they can withstand a good deal more punishment than either granite or wood worktops.

Verdict:

With an amazing appearance and great practicality to match, there’s no type of kitchen in which laminate worktops would be out of place. They can save you hundreds or even thousands on your kitchen! If you’re looking for worktops with an exceptionally high-end style, it’s worth checking out our Zenith ultra-thin range of contemporary laminate worktops.

You can browse our range to your heart’s content right here on our website, or pop into any of our DIY stores across the North West in Preston, Blackpool or Wigan, to see what they look like in the flesh! While you’re there, don’t forget you can always ask one of our friendly members of staff – we’re here to help!