Granite or wooden worktops - help me decide!

(59 Posts)
wigwam33 Wed 14-Nov-12 21:01:30

We're getting a new kitchen fitted and I just can't decide on whether to go for granite worktops - look good (I think?!), durable, can withstand a lot - but possibly a bit dark. Is granite classic or will it date too?

Or wooden - goes better with white / cream units and looks more modern perhaps? But will it be a complete nightmare to maintain with a young family? And look terrible around the sink in no time?

We're probably going for fairly classic oak shaker-style kitchen units as the house is edwardian with lots of period features so don't want to go too contemporary. Still trying to make that final decision too.

Opinions please!

RancerDoo Wed 14-Nov-12 21:05:20

We have granite as I didn't want wood for the reasons you have, but the granite is brown. So it is warmer, and I think a bit more interesting, than black (it's also cheaper!).

Viperidae Wed 14-Nov-12 21:05:58

I went for granite as it is lower maintenance than wood.

Just be careful which one you pick, the very shiny ones show lots of marks and smudges which need regular polishing off.

Mine is mottled, rather than a plainer black so is a bit more forgiving but is still shiny and shows smudges where the light shines across it.

As for dating.....who knows?! I'm never very on trend so just picked what I liked.

wigwam33 Wed 14-Nov-12 21:11:58

Thanks for comments. Slightly alarmed by showing up lots of marks.

When you say 'polishing off' do you mean polishing or just wiping with a wet cloth?

JudeFawley Wed 14-Nov-12 21:12:14

I am not a fan of granite; it's a bit glitzy for me.

We have just had a new kitchen fitted, pale grey shaker style.

We went for solid oak work tops and they look fabulous.

They were supplied with a treatment that you paint on, it gives a plastic type of coating. That sounds horrid, but looks really nice.

So far, it seems easy to keep. Sitting water has not made a jot of difference to it.

It really has a 'wow' factor, everyone that comes raves about it.

catclarks Wed 14-Nov-12 22:01:18

You could always go for a combination. We had a new kitchen put in this year and have gone for both wood and silestone. It's a U-shaped kitchen that has silestone along the runs with the hob and sink. The third run is a wooden breakfast bar. We ended up going for zebrano wood as there are a lot of dark threads in it and will disguise the inevitable spaghetti bolognaise marks grin

To me it looks amazing and just what we wanted.

My granite had just turned up. It is being fitted. The bit they have done already is beautiful. <<useful>>

OBface Thu 15-Nov-12 14:06:26

Wood looks good but is a nightmare to maintain. We would definitely steer clear in the future.

Other options to consider are Corium, Silestone/Caeserstone.

I had wooden worktops in my last kitchen, and they were a nightmare to maintain. They were treated with linseed oil, but this didn't make them waterproof, so I had to be really careful about not letting them get wet, and where they did get wet around the sink, they went black.

That said, they did look lovely, and went very well with the cream, shaker-style cabinets we chose, and if they had been varnished or given some other permanently waterproof treatment, I would have carried on loving them.

Ds1 did also manage to burn dark circles into them by putting a hot pan down on them, but that did fade (and we could have sanded it out, but didn't).

PigletJohn Thu 15-Nov-12 14:49:24

I've always thought that wooden worktops are ideal for a showroom, but not suitable for a working litchen that may contain knives, water, mugs, and hot pans.

Nancy66 Thu 15-Nov-12 16:06:53

Having had both I prefer granite. Unless you can be arsed to sand and treat the wood regularly it looks really grubby after a short period of time.

I don't like glitzy, sparkly granite. I have the granite nero - plain black, non shiny with no glittery bits - looks really stylish and impossible to damage/mark

There was granite in our kitchen and we replaced it with oak (and the rest of the kitchen too). We rented a house with wooden worktops a while ago and had no problems with them. The black granite in our kitchen wasn't very nice, and was difficult to keep looking clean (the previous owners put it in, and paired it with very nasty, cheap black contract tiles). I think it's just down to personal taste really.

What kind of noise does granite make?

Thing I hate about my friends otherwise absolutely glorious huge fancy kitchen is every time something touches the (glass) work surface it makes a jarring noise. It's ghastly.

So wood gets my vote being much quieter. But is granite was also quiet I'd probably prefer that.

annalouiseh Thu 15-Nov-12 16:24:10

you could use both depending on your design etc
They both will compliment each other and the door at the same time.
using the granite or quarts in the more used areas.
there's also lots of granites that are not so dark, you could use a softer mid tone so not so harsh

Cahoots Thu 15-Nov-12 16:34:02

I have had both and prefer granite as it stays looking good and doesn't need to be maintained.
There are millions of types of granite available but most kitchen showrooms only offer a limited range. We went to a large granite importers to choose our granite. There were hundreds to choose from. The kitchen work top fabricators then arranged everything.
I ended up choosing an unusual and very beautiful granite but it ended up being the same cost as if I had just got a standard 'black' granite from the kitchen company.
I went to the warehouse (not show room of) Pisani although I am sure there are lots of others.

You can have a honed finish on the granite if you want it to look warmer.

Cahoots Thu 15-Nov-12 16:35:45

Noisy granite shock confused.

I have never found my granite noisy.

Brightonite Thu 15-Nov-12 16:40:53

I went from wood to granite and five years on, the granite looks as good as ever. Prepare yourself for a couple of broken mugs/plates initially as wood is more forgiving than stone!!! Good luck in your choice smile

DilysPrice Thu 15-Nov-12 16:48:10

Are you Anthea Turner OP? Basically it takes a certain type of person to manage wooden work surfaces without developing black mouldy bits. I am sufficiently self-aware to know that I am not that type, so I have a rather nice quartzy/granitey stuff which is indestructible and still looks great after 8 years.

justaweeone Thu 15-Nov-12 17:16:02

L shaped kitchen
Honed Granite so not shiney but very matt on the run where the butlers sink is(Lakeland do a fab double pack of micro fibre cloths for granite)
Other side is iroko which we oil every 6 mths or so
Still looking good after 3 years
Love having thr granite where the sink is as in our last house had all wood and it did go black where sink was no matter how careful we were

justaweeone Thu 15-Nov-12 17:17:07

For got to say we got the granite from a stone masons

Cocodale Thu 15-Nov-12 17:33:44

Iroko wood is easy to maintain, oil every now and then with veg oil and they look beautiful, get better as they age.
We have one piece of granite and the rest Iroko, the wood is much more forgiving.

INeedALieIn Thu 15-Nov-12 17:33:57

I've had both. Both can be high maintenance. In a super sunny kitchen black polished granite shows every crumb and sleet. It needs polishing constantly. A mere wipe just looks a mess.

If you don't have a decent large sink and draining area, then again, light wood can go black.

For the past 4 years we have had walnut. These are dark, shiny, with a lot of variation. They still look as good as new.

INeedALieIn Thu 15-Nov-12 17:54:05

Sleet? Streak.

shopalot Thu 15-Nov-12 17:59:41

I have both black granite work tips and oak breakfast bar. Much prefer granite as is bombproof however granite is a lot more expensive....

WizardofOs Thu 15-Nov-12 18:38:03

I have had wooden (walnut) and they were beautiful but hard to maintain and I managed to make a burn mark. I now have pake grey quartz. They are lovely and don't show the water marks that dark stone does.

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