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!

discrete Fri 16-Nov-12 20:26:08

I've had corian, marble and wood.

I love wood for preparing food on, but it's a nightmare with water. I just don't have the discipline to keep it looking good, so for the next kitchen I'm just having a massive built-in wooden block.

The corian was actually really lovely. No seams, very practical and easy to clean and looked just as good, if not better, than granite. We did crack the corian sink by putting hot pans straight into it but they changed it for free under warranty.

Next kitchen I'm going to try polished concrete. Love the look of it and apparently it's quite hard wearing, and can be in any colour of your choosing. If done by someone who knows what they are doing, it can also be seamless, which I love. I really don't like the joins in my marble worktops.

elfandsafeT Fri 16-Nov-12 20:31:06

I have granite in my kitchen (from previous owner) and oak in my utility room including round a butlers sink.

I agree with the granite being harder to keep clean as it shows smears if you just wipe it down.

The trick with wood is to varnish it rather than oil it. My builder insisted against my better judgement that it was better than oil and would mean that it would never go black. He said everytime he'd fitted oiled oak he'd had complaints about it going black around the taps, only to have to go back and sand and re-oil it again.

I disagreed and he went ahead and did it anyway!!! He used a matt laquer so it isn't shiny (at all) and guess what he was right - it is really easy to keep clean, there are no black marks or staining at all after a year. I was so impressed that i am now going to go with laquered oak when i replace the kitchen.

wigwam33 Wed 28-Nov-12 18:44:35

OK I've decided against granite in most of the kitchen because with the final kitchen design we've decided on more work surface space including a small breakfast bar, so a) there is more side space and it was going to work out far too expensive and b) granite seemed too cold for the breakfast bar. Some people also mentioned about breaking things - that will be me.

The previous owners have installed granite in what will be half of the new kitchen, so we may keep a smallish block around the sink, if we can work out how to get it cut.

I much prefer the colour and look of natural wood but am still very concerned about it just looking horrible within a couple of years.

Anyone got high quality wood-effect laminate in their kitchen? I've heard you can get it and it's almost hard to tell the difference, but haven't seen it. Anyone?

Please help! I know this is pretty dull but I really need to -carry on thinking about this for another 2-3 weeks - make this decision soon and get out more confused

nocake Wed 28-Nov-12 18:50:23

We've got wood effect laminate which we love but no one would ever mistake it for real wood.

wigwam33 Wed 28-Nov-12 19:10:15

Thanks nocake! You love it that's the main thing I think.

Cahoootz Wed 28-Nov-12 20:14:29

I have a new kitchen with wood effect doors, from a fancy German company. They cost more than wood and, if you look closely, are obviously not real wood, but I love them. So easy to care for and will last ages.

wigwam33 Fri 30-Nov-12 14:44:59

Thanks Cahootz. Got your PM and am looking into this.

Murtette Fri 30-Nov-12 18:08:55

My parents got their kitchen from Howdens and it looks really good other than the wood effect laminate which is so clearly not wood and just looks a bit odd. I imagine that there are others which look better though. Is it possible to do a whizz around a few kitchen showrooms and see if they have any wood laminates on display and, if so, what you think of them?

wigwam33 Fri 30-Nov-12 18:52:34

Thanks Murtette - that's what I'm a little concerned about with a wood effect laminate!

I'm now wondering about getting wood but having it well varnished with a matt varnish as elfandsafeT suggested. My question about varnish is - how safe is it on a food prep surface? (isn't varnish often quite toxic?!)

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