Finishing any interior design is a tricky business – getting those little details right that make a room really come alive, can be time consuming. When it comes to designing kitchens in particular, there is a multitude of things to consider, including lighting, flooring and fixtures such as cupboard handles.
One of the most important finishes you need to consider, when designing your kitchen, is the style of worktop to fit. Choosing the right type of worktop is not as difficult as you may imagine.
In addition to natural stone like marble or granite, both of which come in a multitude of colours and textures depending on the area in which the stone was quarried, there is an almost unlimited choice of quartz worktops, available.
The ten most popular composite materials for worktops UK house owners can choose from offer a total of 427 unique finishes. These materials are:
*Arenastone (33 finishes)
*CaesarStone (28 finishes)
*Cimstone (19 finishes)
*Compac (72 finishes)
*Diresco (25 finishes)
*Okite (30 finishes)
*Quarella (37 finishes)
*Silestone (71 finishes)
*Stone Italiana (59 finishes)
*Technistone (53 finishes)
What all of these typically fairly cheap worktops have in common is that they consist of around 93 per cent quartz and seven per cent resin, to which additional fragments, such as pebbles, glass and other particles and/ or colour pigments are added in order to achieve the vast range of textures and finishes available.
This composition provides these materials with an overall hardness that is superior to that even of granite. As a result, composite counter tops are virtually impossible to crack, chip or scratch; a quality of utter necessity in a high impact environment such as a kitchen.
Minimal absorption rates, typically around 0.022 per cent (granite, in comparison, has an absorption rate of 0.2 to 1.0 per cent), also make these materials highly moisture and stain resistant. Spills of acidic fruit juices and substances like vinegar, even the dreaded curry sauces usually instantly creating unsightly, orange to red stains, will not result in permanent marking.
Naturally, this moisture resistance is of extreme importance in damp bathroom environments. Speaking of environments, composite work tops are also highly frost and heat resistant, making them equally suitable for outdoor use and use in kitchens where hot implements may be placed onto them.
Finally, these materials require next to no maintenance to maintain their high quality appearance, making them the most cost-effective solution in the long run.