Our kitchen worktops need to be tough as well as beautiful. Here’s a guide to the latest kitchen countertop materials for a contemporary interior:
Corian: This silky-smooth, solid surface material can be sculpted to any shape, so inks, counters and splashbacks can flow seamlessly into each other bespoke splashback . A mix of acrylic, resin and minerals, it’s durable and super-hygienic because it’s non-porous, but pricey.
Durat: Stylish material made from recycled plastic that’s similar to Corian. Easy7 to clean, resistant to chemicals and , like Corian, if it gets scratched, it can be renewed by sanding. Ready-made or bespoke, it comes in a range of rainbow colors.
Stone: Granite is hard, touch and tactile, but can be impractical to install due to its weight and thickness. But as it’s naturally formed, no two worktops will look alike. It needs to be sealed to deter stains (beware of acids like vinegar and lemon juice) and don’t over-scour as it will become more porous. Alternatively, limestone is great if you prefer a paler surface.
Laminate: Good value and available in a wide choice of color and patterns. Opt for high-pressure laminates for the best quality, more durable surfaces.
Marble: An opulent surface for sinks and counters but very porous, so not generally recommended. It must be sealed before use and take expert advice on care.
Concrete: Cast Advanced Concrete has developed a new high-tech laminated concrete called Mass1 that’s silkier, more stain-resistant and versatile. It’s just as hard-wearing and heat-proof, but lighter and comes in chic but subtle colors.
Stainless steel: Sleek, clean-lined, industrial and contemporary stainless steel is strong, hygienic and increasingly lightweight. It is prone to scratching and marks, so use with care or accept wear and tear. Top tip: wipe with baby oil to keep it smear-free.
Toughened glass: A sexy, stylish material that’s heat and shock-resistant but prone to scratching. If you don’t fancy glass worktops, consider glass-fronted storage for a space-enhancing look.
Wood: Combines warm, natural good looks and clean lines with tactile beauty. But solid woods need maintenance as they can swell, stain or warp. Treat worktops with oil to up their waterproofing properties and prevent drying-out.
Zodiaq: Made from 93% quartz, this surface material is Corian’s new sister. Available in bright colors (not seen in natural stone) and matt shade, it’s fairly seamless and can be precision-cut to fit your unit. Also durable, hygienic and stain-resistant.