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.
- 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 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
- Range of aesthetics and colour options
- Very hard wearing
- 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.