A lot of people wonder what sort of material they should choose for their granite worktops. There are a few options to consider, but really it all depends on your budget, what sort of effect you would like to achieve, and how long you want it to last!
Laminate is the cheapest worktop option. It is essentially a block of wood surrounded and heat-sealed within an attractive laminated covering, making it waterproof. More technically, the laminate surface is made of layers of paper infused with resin then bonded with a wooden particle board.
They are very easy to fit, and can be installed by someone with basic DIY skills.
Not really heat resistant and can scratch easily. After a while the laminate can begin to ‘peel’ off as well, revealing the MDF underneath.
Wooden worktops are the choice for rustic, traditional style kitchens. They can last if taken care of, and treated annually with oil. If you damage a wooden worktop in any way, it can be sanded away or filled to disguise the stain. It doesn’t need to be templated unlike granite or corian and can be installed insitu, so it’s flexible too. Also, and this may be surprising, they are naturally anti-bacterial.
Benefits of wood:
Unique, naturally hard-wearing and environmentally friendly (if sourced from sustainable forests). Easy to install as it can be cut in place. Naturally ages if oiled frequently, and establishes a gorgeous patina.
They need maintaining, either by oil, wax, lacquer or plastic coatings. They also need time to ‘acclimatise’ to the environment prior to installation to allow for expansion. It can water stain quite badly, especially around sinks where they are prone to get wet.
Granite always seemed like the best choice because it is easy to clean, very hardwearing (it is one of the earth’s most hard-wearing substances!) and every piece is unique. This is because there are so many variations and colouring, grain and veining can affect the finish. There are so many different colours available.
Benefits of granite:
It is impact, scratch, frost, heat and UV resistant. Every piece is unique, and it is very hygienic.
Disadvantages of granite:
It needs to be treated (or ‘sealed’) every 2 years, and is very expensive. It is also very heavy, so the structure beneath needs to be considered.
If you decide to go with Granite, I would recommend iGranite. They are a well-establish company who provide granite worktops in St Albans, however if you are further afield than this contact them to see what they can do for you.