A kitchen is one of those places at home where you spend most of your time. It may for preparing meals and for cooking as well as for gathering with friends and family in a space that has recently been gaining popularity for social activities.
Believe it or not, a family relies on the use of a kitchen since eating out gets boring with time and it also possesses health hazards. A kitchen brings with it a tonne of memories, right from childhood all the way into adulthood, something you would like to share with your children or grandchildren.
During the course of living in a residential home a kitchen may receive fair number of makeovers in order to upkeep with the latest trends and technology available to ease activities for urban living. Some of it may involve changing the floor tiles or replacing the traditional wooden cabinetry for a slider shelf (which is known to save a lot of time and worry in the long run), or perhaps it involves painting the walls, shelves, and cabinet doors and adding decorative cladding to provide them with a brand new look.
While all of these remain a valid and good option, redecorating kitchen worktops has always been a time-honoured idea and the one thing that is guaranteed to transform the entire look of any kitchen. There are not one, but several options for you to choose from in the UK marketplace today, among Quartz Worktops, Dekton Worktops, Marble Worktops, Granite Worktops.
All of these stones come in different thicknesses, finishes and sizes which make them suitable for any type of space and design scheme; be it traditional or modern, eclectic or shabby, etc.
Let us see how each of these kitchen worktops can help you reinvent your kitchen space.
Quartz worktops have been around for a little over three decades. These are quite well-known amongst architects and interior designers in the world of renovation and redesign. There is a new form of quartz worktops that is taking the market by storm and is also leading the surface brand, it is called Silestone. They launched the new N-Boost property which ensures there is even less liquid absorption; repelling juices, wine, coffee, etc by acting at a molecular rather than granular level within the quartz stone.
Silestone is a leading quartz surface manufacturer and the number one worldwide in terms of volume and production capacity. Cosentino, who makes Silestone, uses at least 96 percent of pure quartz in their products and adds just about 4% resins, mainly in order to ensure uniformity and stability in colour. The reason behind encapsulating the pure quartz properties is because there is a higher need among designers, homeowners, and builders for stronger materials that will last and won’t degrade with the passage of time. Only an original material can retain appropriate strength since it is created under Industrial standards that simulate the process undertaken by natural stone types such as granite or marble over hundreds of thousand years under extreme heat and pressure.
The Company makes use of Breton Technology that helps speed up the process of natural rock formation. Using the exact conditions of heat and pressure, a newer form of stone is created that inherits all of the good qualities of natural quartz; including toughness, strength, durability, resistance to stains and scratches, humidity, water, etc.
Quartz comes in all shapes and sizes; it can be cut into different dimensions and with varying thickness and finish. You can use this material to redecorate your kitchen worktops, splashbacks, sink or stove surrounds, as well as for flooring or cladding applications or to create other design options.
Kitchen worktops and island in Silestone Classic White quartz polished in 20mm thickness
Quartz worktops do not require sealing because the resins used for its composition already carry out this task perfectly. Textured surfaces may require more maintenance than polished ones as one has to be very thorough in removing grains of salt, sugar, etc in between its pores. If you own a polished finish worktop with a pattern and/or design in them, you may not even see these, due to the thick veining and pattern drawn over the surface.
Cleaning a quartz worktop is very easy by using a damp cloth and lukewarm water with soapy water. Please rest assured that Quartz is impact resistant and it does not chip easily.
Dekton worktops represent a new era of ultra compact surfaces. These are technologically created with a composition that blends three main components (amongst a secret formula of another 20 raw materials) which are glass, porcelain and pure quartz. If you ever need massive slabs; then Dekton is the right choice.
You can place Dekton slabs practically anywhere. Dekton worktops are not just for the kitchen but you can also use it in bathrooms, gardens and wet areas. A typical application as a flooring tile in large format will also amplify the beauty of your space. With available tile sizes of up to 1570x1400mm, large seamless areas are a thing of the past.
When Dekton is used as a splashback, it will not fade out or start chipping due to hot liquid splashes or whenever a thick gravy or pasta sauce boils over. Its inherent characteristics ensures the product does not stain, so if you knock over a bottle of olive oil, or curry you can clean it as you would regularly.
Another advantage is the UV protection, which is not found in most composite materials, including quartz. Dekton surfaces are pretty heavy duty, so if you happen to drop a hefty object over it you do not have to panic, as long as it is within reason.
A Dekton approved supplier can fabricate ultra size panels of up to 3200x1440mm in most of its colours. The synthesising process of Dekton provides the same characteristics of natural stones but with a smooth texture and extra thickness of 8, 12, 20mm and a newly launched 30mm thickness.
Dekton provides mechanical strength; it is also highly resistant to scratches, stains and abrasion. Its high thermal coefficient narrows down and makes Dekton a very suitable material to be used around fireplaces, and also in icy conditions and frosty weather. The same applies for hot temperatures. Dekton kitchen worktops are durable and you can purchase this modern marvel that is low in maintenance and facilitates your daily cleaning activities. The very fact that Dekton is customized provides a lot more colour options and finishes when compared to natural stones.
Kitchen worktops and island in Dekton New Trilium Smooth Mate finish
Marble is an eternal beauty that does not lose its royal appeal over time. It is a unique piece of art that will endure different ages and fashion statements over decades and centuries.
There are a few restrictions and compulsions that marble worktop owners may need to take into consideration in order to ensure this exclusive natural stone preserves its original beauty.
When Marble worktops are purchased from a reliable supplier such as MKW Surfaces in the United Kingdom, they ensure they cover all aspects of its maintenance and protection of the material, explaining it cleaning regime which whilst it is actually simple, it needs to be known prior to start using the natural product.
The reason natural marble requires sealing or coating is because it is porous and it can react easily to different chemicals.
In nature, when a natural reaction takes place, it gives marble a marvellous texture, but when you are actually paying to preserve its natural looks and beauty, you may not necessarily really want it staining and/or scratching, with exception of wanting to show aged marble with a patina. For this very reason, marble worktops would require sealing at least once a year. Sealers can be purchased online at a very low cost nowadays and can be carried out by any person by spreading the liquid across the surfaces. The main recommendation would be to find out from a professional about the most reliable brands of sealants in order to ensure minimal absorption of the marble for prolonged periods.
Marble can be placed under direct sunlight because the UV rays although the sun may tan the marble. Over the passage of time, pieces of marble installed outdoors would show signs of weathering conditions, commonly seen in old statues and monuments.
A marble worktop can be used almost everywhere, as long as it receives care and maintenance.
You may find marble worktops as a great addition to your kitchen. Also for flooring, splashbacks, sink, stove surround and practically any area which deserves the Royal treatment natural marble can provide. All it needs is effective cleaning which will not strain your time or keep you busy with maintenance tasks.
To prevent marble from rusting, try to keep the place dry as much as possible and use a poultice when it happens, as long as needed in order to drain out the rust. A poultice can be made quite easily but sadly it is not a ‘one size fits all’ type of task. You would need to know what you are doing and what exactly the issue is in order to prepare the correct type of poultice.
For example, if the marble turns yellow, you cannot use a rust remover to remove the marks. In fact, it will cause more damage to the stone. Remove rust by using a rust remover meant specifically for natural marble which can be availed online with fair ease. Or you could ask a specialist about it the next time you go to a hardware store or builders’ depot.
Marble worktops in Calacatta Oro from Italy by MKW Surfaces in London
Another ageless beauty which is as much as popular as marble is granite. Natural Granite is a fairly priced commodity that is a dream for so many homeowners. It does come in various colours, textures and patterns and truth be told, it adds value and grace to any living space in which it is applied.
Although granite receives sealing from the suppliers and fabricators, it may require proper care and supervision so as not to let it spoil with time and usage. It is a natural stone, after all, that’s why it can resist to most accidents in terms of its strength and durability but staining can occur if you are not too careful, also its porosity could be an issue if you let condensation to occur over the stone without a coaster. It is recommended to seal granite once every 18-24 months depending on how much use the granite worktops may receive.
The beauty of granite is exclusive as any other natural product. It contains utmost sophistication in its aspects and its sheer brilliance is enough to persuade a potential buyer into making a purchase. That’s the reason for its worldwide availability. Granite’s strength exceeds homeowners’ expectations, classed 6-7 out of 10 in MOH’s scale and the third strongest mineral on Earth after Diamond and Ruby. If you own granite worktops, you can place hot utensils over it and be confident that the stone will not get damaged. Although it may be extreme, it is recommended to place hot pots and pans directly from the oven on to a trivet or cutting board, as it will avoid a risk of thermal shock (when the granite worktop is in a cold room, it will have the same temperature) which may cause hairline cracks in its surface.
Bianco Antico granite worktops with 200mm mitred front edge detail warranted by Sensa anti-stain treatment
Granite is a clear material, it has minimal porosity (if any), and both architects and interior designers would recommend you to apply it on worktops, floorings and walls. Granite can also be used outdoors in external applications, showing weathering with the passage of time.
Sealing only takes a few minutes, adds extra style and values your space by adding protection to its surface. This whole process will surely satisfy any urge you may have regarding embellishing your home because granite has that comforting appeal to whichever room it is applied.
In financial terms, granite comes in a wide array of different price and proportions. You can pick each as per your project budget and needs. With crystalline lustre and elegance, this stone is highly suggestive to compose with any idea you have in mind.