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what's better - great quality kitchen units and laminate worksurface or average units and granite surface?

(47 Posts)
reastie Sat 27-Apr-13 15:44:57

Just wondering.

Have 2 kitchen places comparing with. One is handmade units which are excellent quality and made to measure. Solid oak under counter units and painted cream wall units (our combination choice) but can only afford laminate worksurfaces.

Other unit is much cheaper painted 'wood' (I use inverted commas as it's probably laminate or MDF or whatever it is they use) units not the perfect size (eg not right up to the ceiling etc) and no oak units, but lovely granite worksurface.

We want something lasting. We are picking quite a classic/traditional kitchen so it won't date too much (hopefully). We are also having a big storage unit matching for the dining room with display units/floor cabinets etc all in the cream painted units. With top quality unit place this will have solid oak worksurface on it and with the cheaper units there will be no display cabinets, just regular wall units but matching granite worktop.

Grammaticus Fri 10-May-13 13:58:42

Piglet John you are OLD grin

PigletJohn Fri 10-May-13 13:56:24


Reastie Fri 10-May-13 13:51:27

piglet our local laminates shop is double the price of the DIY chains

PigletJohn Fri 10-May-13 13:49:54

never mind that kitchen supplier, you can get laminate and slabs from a place that sells laminate and slabs.

Wickes does sell worktops, but in my town there is a trader business called (name) Laminates that has a huge stock, and will order. I believe they sell a big variety to shopfitters. Mine is a small town so I presume there will be plenty around, at the back of industrial estates.

I got a sheet of laminated black ash (real wood) veneer to order in the days when it was fashionable.

Reastie Fri 10-May-13 13:13:20

thanks for link Ramona. Duropal is what we were thinking of getting for our worktop and it's a great price but will only let me buy with a full kitchen with them due to competitive pricing.

We've decided on oak block laminate for the kitchen. Now just debating whether to get regular homebase/wickes laminite or more expensive duropal

Ramona75 Fri 10-May-13 13:09:41

I would personally want the majority of my kitchen to be the best quality possible. Granite worktops do cost a fortune and personally I would go with a nice laminate one. I got mine from here and I’m quite happy not having granite. Sometimes having a granite worktop is just bought for bragging purposes rather than anything else:-)

reastie Sun 28-Apr-13 18:13:46

Oh and books glad you found something you like.

reastie Sun 28-Apr-13 18:13:26

Just working my way through the links, thank you everyone.

betterwhenthesunshines Sun 28-Apr-13 17:49:15

Try for your kitchen. Ours has just been installed - oak veneer interiors, solid tulip wood frames and doors for painting, all made to exact measurements. Looks great.

I went for composite worktops as I'm not very discliplined with hot pans, but a very very close runner was a laminate worktop made by Getalit. It had a much higher heat resistance than is usual for lamintae and a good choice of finishes. I liked the riven slate. The texture is matched with the print so it looks very good. If was having an inset hob I think I would have gone with it, but I have a freestanding range so I didn't want the laminate edging strips to be visible at the sides. <very picky, me?!>

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Sun 28-Apr-13 17:45:40

Hint Hint

or here (This make has a 'crystal' texture too)


I couldn't have dark worktops either as our kitchen has low ceilings and is north facing. I don't get why dark surfaces are so popular as they show the dirt. I like speckled beigy creamy type of worktops where you can't see the crumbs or spilt coffee.

BooksandaCuppa Sun 28-Apr-13 17:37:16

I like the sound of cream units with oak tops.

I've just found some retro worktops which are a laminate which look like corian (sort of) in cool colours (for us, not you OP!). Thinking a sage or avocado green against the cherry cupboards?

reastie Sun 28-Apr-13 16:52:16

books ebay for your granite or you could give it to me grin

We've just got back from homebase and wickes. Both not very good on laminate - it's all so dark and as our kitchen is small we need something light. We're now wondering whether to get cream units all over and oak laminate. It's the only laminate we like so far hmm . Can't have oak floor units too though as too much oak then. Not sure also if it would work in our kitchen as we have alot of shaped worktop with straight but not right angled lines at the edge - thinking it might look a bit obviously not wood with laminate...

MrsGrowbag Sun 28-Apr-13 16:51:03

booksandacuppa, I really liked the idea of glass worktops until I went to a showroom where they had been in situ for several months. They looked amazing - from a distance. Close up, they were just a mess mass of scratches and marks. The saleswoman said that they were a nightmare and that she wouldn't recommend them, so we didn't go with glass.

BooksandaCuppa Sun 28-Apr-13 16:36:41

Oh, we've got such a dilemma...buying a new house which has granite worktops already fitted. I really, really don't like granite but it seems a huge waste to change them.

I prefer solid wood but can't have that because the cupboards are wood. Or glass, which is prohibitively expensive. Looking around for cheaper alternatives to glass - or corian/coloured acrylic which I also like.

Wish there was some way I could sell on the unwanted granite!

ChewingOnLifesGristle Sun 28-Apr-13 12:53:42

We recently had our kitchen replaced and have good quality units and laminate. Granite would cost about 5/6k for our kitchenshock which I think could be better spent elsewhere.

Tbh I whilst I like granite but it really isn't something that would mean that much to me. Ie I don't love it to the tune of thousands. Maybe we'll change it one day, but it's not a priority.

I'm delighted with my new kitchen (Wickes btw) and the worktop looks fab and is very hardwearing.

I'd steer well away from solid wood personally. They seems a pita to care for.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Sun 28-Apr-13 12:50:36

blush grin

reastie Sun 28-Apr-13 12:41:54

iiiiiiiiiiii was that Axiom 'crystal'worktops you mentioned there?! grin . Our posh unit shop don't do laminate but if homebase/wickes no good we have a local independent laminate shop we'll try.

Lady that was my thought re: Beeny too. Just off out now, will keep you updated, possible photo to follow if anyone cares to offer comments

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Sun 28-Apr-13 11:56:16

LadyIsabellaWrotham. Exactly what I was thinking. smile

PigletJohn Sun 28-Apr-13 11:55:50

Wooden worktops are ideally suited to a showroom.

Not so good in a kitchen.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 28-Apr-13 11:44:34

Sarah Beeny used to recommend it to people who were planning on selling the house immediately because it's cheap and looks good when new. The OP is going to have to live with this and keep it clean and she cooks a lot so her priorities are very different.

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Sun 28-Apr-13 11:44:03

I would look at the selection of laminate worktops at a fancy kitchen store as well as Wickes and Homebase. The 'sheds' don't always have the best selection.
I promise I am not being spammy about this grin but I found the Axiom 'crystal'worktops were really nice.

PreciousPuddleduck Sun 28-Apr-13 11:35:57

Block wood top looks better than laminate IMO & is much cheaper. It's what Sarah Beeny used to always recommend on her shows. Enjoy shopping today.

AnneEyhtMeyer Sun 28-Apr-13 11:30:47

Agree with LadyIsabella - definitely get cupboards up to the ceiling. I can't believe the difference in the amount of storage space I have now, plus no greasy dusty cupboard tops to clean.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sun 28-Apr-13 11:22:39

We have quartz composite work surface and love it. Personally I'd always go for the option that allows cupboards right up to the ceiling - I have a horror of greasy cupboard tops, and it gives you more storage (always good). You can upgrade the surface easily later if you find the money.

reastie Sun 28-Apr-13 11:21:20

Thanks myron . I should have made it clear the oak worktop is just on a display cabinet unit in the dining room, not kitchen worktop. We have decided against oak worktops for just this reason in the kitchen! We had an ikea kitchen in our last house but weren't happy with the quality (it seems people are divided with ikea kitchens - they're a bit marmite). I'm a bit hmm about floor wood cabinets being a bad choice though <clueless>. I can only see as I find but our kitchen currently, like I say is over 20 years old and the oak has worn very well. I'm a keen cook (teach cooking as a job). The advantage of oak on the floor units is it won't show up spills nearly so easily so less cleaning/maintenance on a regular basis. I hate mucky foot boards in kitchens (is that the term??) and I'm worried I'll be driven mad by this if we had a complete painted kitchen (we don't wear shoes inside but it still gets mucky!).

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