Choosing the best worktop for your kitchen is a big decision. Described as “the workhorse of any kitchen” by Ideal Home Magazine, your kitchen worktop must meet the day-to-day needs of your family and be tough enough to last. But above all, it needs to look great and fit with the overall aesthetic of your kitchen.
Here’s our guide to choosing the best kitchen worktop to suit the heart of your home.
Choosing Your Kitchen Worktop
When choosing a kitchen worktop, there are some important things to consider:
1. The Style of Your Kitchen
Your worktop needs to fit in with the design of your kitchen. If you’re going for a contemporary industrial-style kitchen, then you’ll want a high-polished surface to match. Whereas if you prefer a timeless traditional look – like our Shaker kitchens – then you might prefer something more rustic like solid wood or natural stone.
2. The Depth of the Worktop
There are a variety of worktop depths available which add slightly different looks to your kitchen. Standard thickness is 30mm, but you can choose to go thinner for a more delicate feel, or even thicker for a built-to-last, sturdy look.
3. Your Budget
The cost of worktops ranges significantly, from cheap laminates to top-of-the-range granites. You need to balance your aesthetic goals with your realistic budget. But bear in mind the cheapest option may not last as long or look as striking as a better quality worktop.
4. The Practicalities
You need to think about how you use your kitchen and what the practicalities of the worktop are. Some worktops need to be protected from heat, for example. Others can get scratched. And some worktops require maintenance like oiling to keep them looking great. Again, it’s about finding a balance between the look you want and how well you can look after it.
Kitchen Worktop Materials
There are lots of different kitchen worktop materials available, including laminate, stone, wood and stainless steel.
At Olive and Barr, we specialise in wood and stone kitchen worktops as their natural beauty complements the effortless style of our handmade Shaker kitchens. They’re also highly practical and incredibly durable.
Types of Kitchen Worktops – Wood
Traditional wooden worktops are timeless and elegant, and with the right care, they’ll last a lifetime too.
1. Oak Kitchen Worktops
Oak is a classic kitchen worktop that adds warmth and rustic charm. As a stunning natural material, most oak worktops are entirely unique and, if looked after well, will last for years. And in fact, oak gets even more beautiful with age.
2. Walnut Kitchen Worktops
Dark walnut adds a luxurious feel to your culinary space. Walnut is a rare, richly-grained wood that looks perfect in both traditional and contemporary kitchens.
3. Beech Kitchen Worktops
With a prominent grain pattern, beech is an elegant yet hard-wearing choice in kitchen worktop. Its rustic feel looks great in any kitchen and it’s durable to boot.
4. Iroko Kitchen Worktops
Luxury iroko worktops come from the wood of the African Iroko tree. This stunningly unique wood initially exudes a golden shimmer when freshly oiled, then turns richly dark over time. It’s a bold, stylish choice of kitchen worktop.
5. Bamboo Kitchen Worktops
Bamboo is one of the world’s most sustainable woods as it’s harvested every 6 years and replanted regularly. Bamboo is naturally watertight and the interesting grain pattern gives worktops a beautiful aesthetic too. Bamboo is a popular choice in modern kitchens.
6. Ash Kitchen Worktops
Ash worktops are similar to oak as they both show a swirling grain. Ash is incredibly durable and is considered one of the toughest hardwoods, so if longevity is your priority, an ash kitchen worktop is an ideal choice.
7. Wenge Kitchen Worktops
Wenge is often called ‘the granite of woods’. This dark hardwood is visually striking and super long-lasting. Wenge is the opulent choice to complete a luxurious kitchen.
8. Zebrano Kitchen Worktops
If you’re looking for something a little different, Zebrano wood boasts distinctive markings with narrow veining resembling the stripes of a zebra. This exotic wood can be used to make a bold design statement in your kitchen.
We also offer custom wooden kitchen worktops in stunning Sapele, handsome maple and naturally tough cherry wood. Visit our wooden kitchen worktops page for full details on all of our solid worktops.
Types of Kitchen Worktops – Stone
Stone kitchen worktops are a popular choice in the UK, both for their style and durability. They are made from some of the hardest materials on Earth, so they are non-porous, stain-resistant and heatproof. And their high-shine aesthetic looks sleek in both traditional and modern cooking spaces.
1. Quartz Kitchen Worktops
Quartz worktops are made from natural quartz flecked with glass and metal, creating a unique distinctive pattern. Quartz is naturally durable and easy to clean thanks to its non-porous texture which won’t stain or allow bacteria to grow. It also doesn’t need to be sealed so is low maintenance.
2. Granite Kitchen Worktops
Granite is also very resilient and durable. It’s very hard to scratch granite and it’s resistant to temperature changes. Granite worktops are generally one of a kind and they vary in colour. As a result, people often choose the slab for their worktop first, then plan their kitchen around it. Granite does need a little maintenance though to help prevent staining and keep it shining bright.
Choose the Right Worktop for the Right Kitchen
At Olive and Barr, our bespoke kitchen worktops are the crowning glory of our handmade Shaker kitchens. We work closely with each of our clients to help them choose a worktop that fits seamlessly with their kitchen style, design and family needs.