Stone vs Wood: What Surface is Right for your Kitchen?
It’s the big purchases in life that always pose the greatest quandaries. Consider your first home; you will have undoubtedly mulled every aspect. From affordability to build quality, every detail you could think of was up for discussion.
Quickly after moving into a new home, a brand new kitchen is often the next big item on the purchasing agenda. Whilst there are far fewer factors at play than choosing a property, there is still a bewildering number of options to consider. But consider you must. Creating a kitchen that you will love for as long as you use it, is essential to making your house a home. It is the heart of the home, after all.
Wood and Stone; Chalk and Cheese?
On the surface deciding on what type of worktop surface to go with is a stark one. Wood offers a warmth and lends a natural design statement to your kitchen, while stone can give an incredibly bright, focused, and luxurious radiance to the kitchen. In the right home with the right furniture and colour scheme, both can look equally stunning in their own way.
Whilst their look and feel could hardly be more different, some features remain broadly the same. Let’s take a closer look at some of the factors at play in this important decision.
Both stone and wood offer a wide array of patterns and colours and both can be crafted into exactly the shape you need. Take these two kitchens, for example:
Walnut worktop with detail © Bordercraft Workshops
Both kitchens are spectacular and bring the best out of the material at hand. Your particular design tastes will guide the designer towards a material. Both wood and stone can be made to work nearly anywhere. Click here to see the incredible array of granites available at MKW as an example.
There are low and high cost options in both wood and stone worktops. If cost is an important factor then be aware that, generally, hardwood worktops are less expensive than their equivalent stone counterparts.
Both surfaces will, in all likelihood, be designed to a bespoke set of requirements. Both materials offer options of little touches such as draining grooves, knife cut outs and inlays.
Table 1 Oak sink top with Draining Grooves (c) Bordercraft Workshops
Worktop in Starlight black 20mm quartz with a set of 5 drainer grooves by MKW Surfaces
Although wood has natural anti-bacterial properties, stone is not difficult to keep clean so there really isn’t much difference between the two surfaces if hygiene is important to you. Stone, when seen from the perspective of heat, stain, and scratch resistance, will damage less easily than wood.
Hot pans and the odd accidental knife drop are less of a concern. Be aware though, if sound levels are important to you, stone is a noisier material to cook with than wood whilst stronger and long-lasting, on the other hand.
Wood is more prone to stain and damage than stone worktop options. Depending on how you look at it that same softness can also be an advantage as you can sand out any damage or stains that do occur. Of course, since you’re less likely to damage stone in the first place, this may be a moot point. Stone does offer advantages if low maintenance and high resistance to damage are key in your list of requirements. The low maintenance requirements are because as it is relatively non-porous. There are new stone products in the market such as quartz stones that do not stain or require sealing.
Well-made and high quality stone and wood worktops will last longer than a lifetime. If looked after correctly wood remains a very durable choice but be aware, you will need to spend time on the maintenance of your beloved wooden work top if you want maximum longevity. A wooden worktop will change with age, becoming even more beautiful over time. Stone will develop a unique patina over time.
About the Author: Jon Buck has been managing director at Bordercraft for 19 years. During this time he has overseen projects from a single drawer front for a local customer through to a complete Oak panelled office for a multi-national corporation in Japan. In his spare time Jon is a keen runner and loves travel and red wine in equal measures. You can connect with Bordercraft on Facebook