What kind of kitchen worktop do you have and is it a pain to keep it nice?

(50 Posts)
TheHollyAndTheTwiglett Sun 19-Dec-04 19:37:40

Currently writing brief for architect (we're doing some renovations at last) and will be getting a budget style kitchen but want to spend the money on the worktops and handles and appliances

So in terms of worktops

I love granite .. what do I need to know about its upkeep?

I also quite like wood .. but you have to oil it right? how onerous is that?

Thanks all experts

sobernoel Sun 19-Dec-04 19:47:31

Apparently it depends on what sort of water there is in your area. In Bath everyone's got those beautiful shiny black granite worktops but they're covered in opaque smears as the water is hard. We couldn't afford granite or a woman to come in and clean it every day, so ours looks a bit like a chip shop counter but it looks as fresh as it did eighteen months ago when it went in. My neighbour has a wood worktop (not sure which wood) and she oiled it every week til she got fed up and now it's beginning to look a bit like a bread board - a bit fuzzy IYKWIM.

TheHollyAndTheTwiglett Sun 19-Dec-04 19:50:00

Thanks sobernow ... am in London - so hard water

anyone out there got Corian .. what's the pros and cons of that one?

I am so bad with choice .. there should be only one of everything to choose from

dogwalkinginawinterwonderland Sun 19-Dec-04 20:01:39

I find it really hard to make decisions about things like that Twiglett, there's too much choice these days and I always think I'll make the wrong one. I would love granite when we get settled. At the mo have just got normal worktops but they have the wooden edge which I wouldn't recommend as the finish comes off eventually with the use of cream cleaners and bleach.

Nome Sun 19-Dec-04 20:08:34

We've got Caeserstone - as hard as granite, and with sparkly bits

TwasTheNightBeforeCatbert Sun 19-Dec-04 20:20:19

I have granite - and it's a dark colour with brown speckly bits... It takes no maintenance (it certainly gets none from me) always looks fab, even when it hasn't been wiped down properly, you don't notice, and when I DO make the effort to give it a good clean and buff, it looks fabulous. I love it love it love it.

Was a bit pricey though. So to save a bit, I had a beech top on my island unit and dresser. Wood does stain (esp. if inconsiderate people drop sweet and sour sauce all over it whilst dishing up their chinese takeaway! Grrrr.)

AND once someone even CHOPPED vegentables on it - thinking it was a butchers block style of arrangement! CHOKE!!

sugaralmond Sun 19-Dec-04 20:31:47

THT - I have granite - love it to bits but can never get it to look perfect - don't know but if anyone else has any tips would greatly appreciate.

mullgedwine Sun 19-Dec-04 20:34:36

Before we moved, i had lovely black granite with blue and white sparkly bits. Now have awful 1980's kitchen, which i can't wait to rip out, but no funds at the mo.
I've seen a kitchen with normal worksurfaces, and then "inserts" of squares ofdifferent materials, eg granite, marble for pastry, wood around the food prepp area. could be good if you can't decide.
Didn't even consider wood because of the upkeep and potential for spoiling - i would treat it as one huge chopping board and it would be smelly and ruined within a year!Could be ok if you are disciplined, and looks fab!
I looked at Corian, and didn't go for it because i found it a bit too clinical. Granite is easy to clean, but does need a bit of elbow grease to get a good shine up.

TheHollyAndTheTwiglett Sun 19-Dec-04 21:35:00

like the thought of that caeserstone .. need to find somewhere I can do a go-see

Has anyone had / known anyone who has glass worktops? or part-glass worktop?

TheHollyAndTheTwiglett Sun 19-Dec-04 21:36:06

Nome .. how much was the caeserstone .. was it more or less than granite? (if you remember)

Gobbledigoose Sun 19-Dec-04 21:39:45

Twiglett - Jools wanted Granite in her new kitchen but the bloke in the shop says it shows up scratches - can't quite believe that myself but it's put MrJoolsT off and Jools is gutted.

TheHollyAndTheTwiglett Sun 19-Dec-04 21:44:08

Tell her to check out that caeserstone stuff .. looks pretty good (haven't seen her around .. is she off galavanting?)

juniperdropofbrandy Sun 19-Dec-04 21:56:43

I have glossy black/mix melamine? I recommend granite though from friends saying how good it is. I have granite sink and love it, never scratches. Apparently only diamond an cut it so don't know what the shop guy means?

Fran1 Sun 19-Dec-04 22:00:11

i have laminate that looks amazingly like walnut wood.

So much so that me and dp thought it was real wood when ordering!!

Until you see the ends you would think it was real walnut. And it has a great block effect, so doesn't ever look dirty, except when dp spills sugar everywhere when making my tea!!!

hoxtonturkey Sun 19-Dec-04 22:10:26

but if you had glass twig then everyone could see into the cupboards. maybe you're tidier than me..... we have wood (ikea), & it's 3 years old. we've oiled a bit, but not much at all. it's a little bit manky round the sink, but fine apart from that & i really like the way it looks.

Auntyquatedpresentbelated Sun 19-Dec-04 23:56:13

Have had both Granite and Oak, I would say that both are fantastic, so it depends on what you like the look of...
We have Oak at home at the moment, treated with a two part varnish, very hard wearing. The kitchin front is also oak but just Danish oiled. Its been in 8 years, and if anything looks better for the occasional 'thrown plate' marks now present.
The Ganite top has been in for a similar time and with the exception of a Tumerick(sp) spill is also in A1 form. Looks and is colder.

xmashampermunker Mon 20-Dec-04 00:04:14

How about concrete? Seriously.

Auntyquatedpresentbelated Mon 20-Dec-04 00:07:12

Ive seen concrete in the states with a polished surface. One big advantage of course is you can choose the colour..

xmashampermunker Mon 20-Dec-04 00:11:09

I know someone who does bespoke concrete worktops. They're super and he's lovely.

Joolstide Mon 20-Dec-04 00:26:44

Hi Twigs - have SERIOUS problems with home pc at the mo and am not getting much chat in the evenings!

As for granite - man in shop said he wouldn't have it thrown at him! he didn't like Corian either (I liked the way the sink was moulded in) - he did show us where the guys and been in and polished the Corian - it looked fine looking at it normally but bend down and it looked like it had been polished with wire wool! Did find a a cheap granite website - just google 'granite4less' see what you think.

I'm kinda thinking that now I will go for good old laminate as I have seen one that I like and its cheap to change if I want to later - this also means I can some extras like the little 'drop down tv!'

Magnet do a wood one that has been treated and its rather nice (nice finish) - but you still have to oil it about every 9/12 months - I couldn't be bothered with all that.

skerriesmum Mon 20-Dec-04 08:13:05

The laminates now are really nice, I have a granite "look" one that I love, but then again it's not a really high-end kitchen!

wrapmefestively Mon 20-Dec-04 08:57:09

I hate my granite worktops - when you wipe them down they dry all smeary and water marked, so to make them look good you have to wipe them with a damp cloth, and then buff them dry every time which is a total pain. Life's too short

Nome Mon 20-Dec-04 09:50:09

Hi Twiglett,
Try looking at it here . It cost us slightly less than granite. I wanted a very light colour and would have had to get a less popular / more expensive granite to get the colour. We were told that caeserstone is an amalgam (sp?) of granite and quartz and would take several blows from a sledgehammer to chip a corner off. I can also put over hot pans down on it with no ill effect (not that I do, but it is comforting to know!).

TwasTheNightBeforeCatbert Mon 20-Dec-04 09:56:02

Looked at granite4less.. Baltic brown is what I have. And I know everyone says about the smearing thing - but honestly, we have reasonably hard water, and I don't notice it a bit! And with me halogen lights too!

Although I usually wipe down everything with the old anti bacterial spray stuff?

Anyway - four years on and still looks good as new, and still gets ooohs and aahs when people come into my kitchen!

Nome Mon 20-Dec-04 09:56:18

Oops, forgot to say...
We have the Nova white with tiny flecks of mirror and other colours. I wipe when I've finished cooking, but can only be bothered to clear surfaces and buff about once a month and it still looks great. White doesn't show water stains...

I'm really not on commission!

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