Kitchen counters – What’s the right choice for me?

General, Kitchens

Granite is a natural stone mined from large igneous deposits found around the world. Using it for worktops can create an unmatched, classic finish to any stylish kitchen.

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  • It’s one of the most durable materials on earth – only diamond is harder. It’s resistant to heat, water, scratching and staining
  • Has a high gloss finish that’s very easy to clean and maintain
  • Looks expensive and luxurious
  • Naturally acquired stone means a more eco friendly material


  • Improper sealing can lead to extensive staining of this porous stone
  • Limited colours and patterns
  • Not cheap
  • Can chip if knocked by very heavy objects

When you buy a quartz countertop what you’re buying is not a natural stone like granite, it is an engineered stone. Generally quartz counters are made from about 93% quartz crystals which have been processed together rather than cut from a larger stone.



  • Very durable. It some cases even more so than natural stone
  • Great aesthetics for any classic looking kitchen
  • Not porous, like natural stone, which means that quartz is virtually stain proof
  • Wide range of colours


  • Could be considered less beautiful than natural stone countertops
  • Not cheap

Wood – Butcher’s Block
Butcher’s block countertops are made from pieces of wood in different colours being brought together in an attractive way to create a natural feeling, chunky wooden worktop.



  • Warm and beautiful looking
  • Good for hiding scratches
  • Great food preparation area
  • Can be sanded and resealed to give it a new lease of life every so few years
  • Goes with lots of modern and classic cabinets and kitchen styles
  • Naturally sourced


  • Regular sealing required
  • Without sealant wooden worktops are susceptible to contamination or warping
  • Relatively high maintenance

Stainless Steel
Stainless steel worktops can be the perfect finishing touch to any sleek and stylish modern kitchen.



  • The aesthetics of stainless steel countertops can complement natural wood or stone, making it a very versatile material.
  • Available in a range of finishes
  • Very durable
  • Completely wipe clean, ideal for a busy kitchen
  • Long lasting


  • Expensive for the good quality options
  • Can be considered to have a cold aesthetic

Countertops made from cured epoxy, acrylic, or polyester resin can excel in beauty and durability.



  • Range of aesthetics and colour options
  • Very hard wearing
  • Seamless
  • Non-porous and easy to keep hygienic


  • Lack of consistency across products.
  • Acrylic resin is generally preferable to polyester resin

Acrylic “Solid Surface”
Solid Surface countertops are constructed of durable, man-made acrylic. A relatively new invention, Solid Surface countertops are quickly becoming popular for their functionality.



  • Durable to knocks, spills and stains
  • Available in a huge range of colours, patterns and styles.
  • Can be produced to create a completely seamless finish


  • Not as resistant to heat as real stone alternative
  • Scratches are hard to hide on this material

For help and advice about your home improvement project contact your local Building Control team.

If you need to find a reliable builder, architect or other construction professionals browse our tradesperson directory.

3 thoughts on “Kitchen counters – What’s the right choice for me?

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