Whether you have decided on a brand new kitchen renovation or you fancy sprucing up the bathroom a little bit, renovating your worktops is an essential part of interior design. They get daily use so they need to be both visually appealing and durable. Choosing a good work top can be a hard decision, particularly if you don’t really know what it is you’re looking for. Although you could enlist the help of a professional interior designer, in these days it can be just as helpful to do a bit of research before choosing your perfect worktop material.
The Importance of a Good Worktop
A good worktop, for the kitchen or the bathroom, has to be highly durable, resistant to scratching and staining and looks good even after years of use. Although some materials will wear scratches and stains less offensively than others, it is better off if you choose a worktop that does not scratch or stain easily in the first place.
For both the kitchen and bathroom areas, good hygiene is important so if you happen to choose a worktop material that is less resistant to scratches, you could get dirt and grime in the scratches, leading to infection, mould and all other sorts of nasties. A good worktop will be resistant to these types of dangerous scratches and can be easily wiped down after use.
How Natural Stone Differs from Other Materials
Although slightly more expensive than other types of worktop, such as laminate, natural stone worktops are well worth their weight in cash as they provide beautiful, resistant stone worktops that last for many years to come. It is important to remember that if you are considering a full scale kitchen or bathroom renovation, you will want it to last you at least a few years, and that is simply not always guaranteed with cheaper worktop materials.
Natural Stone worktops come in a variety of materials with gorgeous natural colours ranging in a variety of patterns. One of the best things about natural stone worktops is that no two worktops are the same as they are all naturally forming. Some worktops are better suited for certain rooms than others so it is important to do your research about your chosen type of stone before going ahead and buying.
Types You May Find
Each type of stone has its own unique properties, strengths and weaknesses. Some natural stone tiles are less suited for the heavy wear and tear of kitchen worktops, whereas others are better suited for decorative purposes for bathroom tiles and other such features. A few examples of decent natural stone worktops you can find are as follows.
Produced in huge slabs and then carefully selected and cut using a large saw to thin slabs, Granite is a sturdy material that is polished to a high shine before they are ready for your kitchen or bathroom. Its coarse, grainy structure makes for some great kitchen patterns and while they may look similar, no two worktops are exactly alike. It is hard, tough and durable.
A natural stone that becomes more beautiful the longer it is given to form, Limestone is a hard and durable material ideal for worktops. In rare cases, limestone may be embedded with fossils, giving it a unique design element to your kitchen or bathroom. Special care must be taken when cleaning limestone as chemical cleaners can damage the limestone.
Well known for its beautiful patterns and high sheen, marble also has a reputation for being a rather expensive material, but it is certainly worth the costs. A durable and stain resistant surface, marble comes in a wide variety of colours with unique patterns along the stone making your kitchen or bathroom renovation completely unique. If installed by seasoned experts, marble worktops will last for years to come.
Available in a variety of colours, slate worktops come in three main types; Chinese slate, Indian slate and Welsh slate. They are highly resistant to heat, however can be quite delicate when it comes to scratching so it is important to use cutting boards where possible. Slate adds beauty and class to your home.
Cleaning the Worktop
Cleaning many types of natural stone worktops is fairly easy, as most of them will benefit greatly from a good spraying of warm lemon water and then wiped down with a dry cloth. In cases of tough marks or stains, you could use a little vinegar and baking soda, but be careful not to overdo it! You will be able to buy specific cleaners for some styles of stone worktop, but try to steer clear of the chemical cleaners as they can damage your stone tiles. Better stick to natural remedies. If in doubt always ask a professional!
If well cared for and chosen with your ultimate purpose in mind, a decent natural stone worktop can become the centrepiece of your kitchen or bathroom for many years to come. They make a beautiful addition to any home and can be combined with a number of wood and timber styles of cabinet to create beautifully finished interiors.
Article provided by Chandler Stoneworks; the granite, stone and quartz specialists based in Sussex.