Selecting a Worktop
Choice of worktop is absolutely key when creating a successful kitchen scheme. Firstly, it has to perform well. It is the hardest working area in the kitchen and must be as robust as it is easy to clean. It is also as one of largest and the most visual aspects of the kitchen, so it has to look great. It will even play a leading role in defining the style and mood of the overall scheme.
In high quality kitchens, the two most commonly used materials for countertops we use are quartz and Corian (or similar). Let’s look into the pros and cons of these two popular surfaces and some alternatives.
Corian® and Quartz
Corian is a man-made acrylic-resin - hygenic, soft to the touch and extremely hard wearing. There are many brands offering similar materials, but we tend to stick with Corian – the original and the best. The greatest feature of Corian is that it can be seamlessly joined. This means that sinks and worktop become one continuous surface – fantastic! Furthermore, if there is a corner in the scheme there is no visible join. Upstands are coved and swept up to the wall and long stretches of worktop can also be seamlessly joined.
The benefits of this become more apparent when looking at the position of joints etc with other materials. In some kitchen schemes (maybe an island and straight run) the joints may not even be a factor.
With no joints the Corian worktop is exceptionally hygienic and easy to clean. Stains are easily removed with bleach based cleaners, and on-going cleaning with a cream based cleaner leaves the surface with a lovely lustre and reduces the porosity. Corian may be easier to scratch than quartz, however it is also easier to repair. Scratches can be sanded with a fine grade sand paper.
Some people choose Corian, but want a stainless steel sink (as keeping the floor of sink clean is perceived to be easier). Corian have an extensive range of sinks which have seamless corian sides and a stainless steel base (search Sparkling Sinks). This brings the best of both worlds – especially if a boiling water tap is specified.
Hundreds of colours and patterns are offered, however in my opinion Corian looks is best in one of the classic shades of white. Patterns with strong features should definitely be avoided, as the seamless joint will be easy to spot where the pattern is broken.
Corian has been around for over 50 years, yet still looks and feels ultra-modern and futuristic. If you’re going for a more traditional feel with your Tomas kitchen, you should consider Quartz, which can achieve a classic look and has a more natural feel.
Quartz worktops are made from natural quartz particles, resin and colour pigments. They have the feel and beauty of stone, without the inherent problems, namely cracking, sealing and quarrying natural resources.
Unlike Corian, the sinks, upstands and corners will be visibly joined, but the upside is the surface is easy to look after, extremely tough and very beautiful.
It’s a tough choice to make, both are fantastic options and very suitable for use. In the end, it will come down to your personal preference, cost and perhaps the shape of the kitchen scheme.
Some Other Surfaces
For an industrial feel stainless steel is a great option. Very practical, hygienic, sinks and hobs can be seamlessly welded in place.
Very beautiful and tactile, but avoid it unless you have spare time and enjoy maintaining the wood with oils etc. In any event keep away it from sinks.
Harsh and scratchy (I wouldn’t go there)!
Not our thing!
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