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Kitchen work tops suggestions please.

(29 Posts)
schoolnurse Wed 18-Dec-13 01:53:47

We own a cottage that nearly 500 years old the current kitchen work tops units etc are a joke not even student standard so it's all coming out. I never intend to move again (the whole process nearly killed me) so am happy to spend a reasonable amount we need about 4 1/2 m my budget is about £3500. I'm don't obsessively spray with anti bacterial spray etc and I'm not good at being super careful so want something that's hard wearing, I've got teenage DC's who definitely aren't careful, I want it to look sort of in keeping with the age of the house so as much as I like glass I don't think it's suitable, we like to cook from scratch. I cannot decide what type of work tops to have. I've looked at granite, quartz, wood, and corian but in my heart of hearts am bored or unmoved by all of it. I quite like quartz that looks like marble; white with grey veins but for the sort of money it costs I want to be ecstatic not quite like it. I don't want black granite (all my friends have it and I think it's really boring) or anything polished and shinny. I've thought about a greyish honed granite but worry about looking after it. I've even considered Formica it's cheap so it doesn't matter if I only quite like it!
Any thoughts?

laraeo Wed 18-Dec-13 02:50:21

It's possible to get honed quartz which might open up more colors to choose from. From what I've read, there's a bit more maintenance to honed quartz but I'm not sure how much more when compared to honed granite.

We got quartz (shiny) and I love it. I don't think I'll ever get granite. The previous owners put cheap granite in the bathrooms & it's chipping, needs resealing like crazy and I hate it.

everlong Wed 18-Dec-13 06:34:39

We've got granite. I can't remember the name. It's a grey,white,brown,black speckly affair. We have a hand made/painted kitchen that it looks amazing with. It doesn't need buffing or polishing ( sometimes I forget to wipe it ) brilliant.

It hasn't chipped or needed resealing.

ceres Wed 18-Dec-13 07:48:27

I don't really like granite. in fact I think black granite is dated. have you looked at slate? I do think it needs a bit of minding though.

personally I would go for oak and protect it with osmo polyx hard wax oil. really good finish and survives in a house where we are not careful - I put hot pans down on it regularly, water not wiped up immediately etc.

everlong Wed 18-Dec-13 07:51:50

Agree balck granite is naff and a swine to clean.

patchworkchick Wed 18-Dec-13 09:33:23

Welsh slate is beautiful, easy to clean and practical. Glass looks amazing, would never have stainless steel again - scratches and requires polishing. Having said all that I am also fitting oak to my new kitchen, like ceres osmo wax finish - but in matt.

BrownSauceSandwich Wed 18-Dec-13 09:54:30

I'm not convinced there is any completely satisfactory solution to kitchen worktops, so I think I'll be sticking to wood. Ok, so it's probably crap for people who leave water pooled on it for hours. We are I am more careful than that, though otherwise a bit of a slattern. I re-oil it about once a year, have resanded it once in 5 years (when somebody dyed it blue sad), and it looks pretty much like new. Also, it's not so expensive that you'd be gutted if you did change your mind/your kitchen lyout.

If I was going for stone of any description, I think I'd lean toward something warmer toned than black/white/grey to take the hard edge off it, otherwise you risk either the 1990s bachelor pad, or the mortuary look. A pale cream would probably be fine, but I think white would be very stark.

I have to say, I sympathise with your thoughts on Formica. I'd say if you don't find something you absolutely love in the timescale on which you're doing your kitchen, then take that approach rather than make a hasty, regrettable decision. You can always get it changed when you find 'the one'.

lalalonglegs Wed 18-Dec-13 10:02:13

I'm also thinking about worktops and struggling. I just wanted to add that with a building of that age the walls are likely to be all over the place and getting a worktop to fit will be a skilled job and a potentially a huge part of your budget...

kitsmummy Wed 18-Dec-13 10:23:34

A friend of mine has a matt, bumpy silestone which looks great in her ancient, rustic farmhouse

everlong Wed 18-Dec-13 11:20:00

I have silestone in my ensuite. It's similar to granite but isn't shiny. It's a good alternative.

schoolnurse Wed 18-Dec-13 13:07:59

Thanks lots of ideas. Your right white marble look alike will look like an old mortuary!! So not doing that. DH thinks we should go for wood and he also says Formica isn't as naff or horrible as everyone thinks and cheap and hard wearing and if you hate it won't kill you if you rip it out. I like slate as does DH but have been told acid ruins it. Despite living with a family of scientist none seem aware that lemons oranges are acidic when I mentioned it.

struggling100 Wed 18-Dec-13 13:21:45

I have never put in a kitchen, so am watching with interest.

My friend told me that granite and quartz worktops were unhygienic because they contained small pits that harbour bacteria. Is that true?

lalalonglegs Wed 18-Dec-13 14:56:06

I would have thought any worktop (with possible exception of stainless steel) could harbour bacteria in miniscule crevasses. That's why we clean them confused.

everlong Wed 18-Dec-13 14:58:12

But you don't eat off granite work tops confused

Pagwatch Wed 18-Dec-13 15:07:41

I ended up going with a composite work top and I am delighted because it looks fab, has zero maintainence requirements and it really tough.

This could be an opportunity to totally gratuitously link pictures of my new kitchen again...

Want2bSupermum Wed 18-Dec-13 15:10:43

We put formica in because with young children we know accidents will happen. We thought we were buying our forever home and changed our mind. We will switch the countertop to cheap granite just before we put it on the market.

I'd second/third etc., quartz but, if you don't want to spend, but do want something that will take serious abuse, then try Getacore - it is a resin composite, but will take anything you can throw at it (or did in our old house for ten years at any rate) including pans straight from the hob and trays straight from the oven.

laraeo Wed 18-Dec-13 22:41:49

Hi struggling. Our quartz tops are completely smooth and easy to wipe down.

The cheapo granite in our bathrooms is pitted which is bizarro because it's the bathroom! We're not dropping 20lb weights on it!

MsONatto Wed 18-Dec-13 23:17:28

I'm interested in this subject too (because of my complete lack of interest in worktops but my need to get one).

Can you clean the quartz worktops with good old vinegar/water mixture or would the acidity not be good for them?

timidviper Wed 18-Dec-13 23:25:09

I have black granite which I think was fitted at the precise moment it changed from stylish and trendy to naff hmm Mine is black with all sorts of grey and shiny bits in and I still love it but it is a bugger to clean!

amazonianwoman Thu 19-Dec-13 11:40:25

We've just had honed grey granite installed (bought an ex display Thomas & Thomas kitchen - similar to Martin Moore), can't comment on longevity but it is much easier to keep clean/steak free than polished granite.

When I was looking at new kitchens I did like the look of the bianco carrara quartz worktops - I think they look good with units painted in darker grey/green/blue colours, but might look rather bland with very very pale units?

nemno Thu 19-Dec-13 13:50:16

In a cottage I think wood looks nice. I don't mind wood getting a bit scratched, marked etc in a cottagey type of kitchen. I'd have a real marble (or other real stone) worktop section under the kettle and up to the sink (also gret for pastry rolling). And the sink would be the sort that goes front to back so that there are no taps etc to seal into the worktop.

MrsFlorrick Sun 22-Dec-13 00:03:13

Honed black or dark grey granites. Don't require much looking after

If your have a polished (shiny) surface then that will involve some polishing so go for honed (matte). It hides the dirt well.

I have honed carrara marble. It's fine. It obviously doesn't like lemon juice or vinager.

A pale surface I find hides dirt well and dust doesn't show.

So perhaps consider a pale granite such as river White (sometimes know a as Valley White or andromeda) or Kashmir white and get it honed (matte).

I previously had a dark (chocolate brown) sparkly shiny polished quartz and it was a nightmare!!!! No matter how much I cleaned it looked dirty dusty smudgy.

I would go pale and honed and granite over quartz. Quartz just doesn't look the part. Has a cheap look to it. And looks man made and plasticky not surprising as part of it component is a plastic resin.

Have you considered stainless steel? I had that in our old house. Amazing. Stands up to any abuse you throw at it. Absolutely anything. And it looks fab. It's the ultimate cooks kitchen surface. And much cheaper than granite or quartz.

Oh and if you have to have joins where sections meet, quartz does not join well. Very obvious. Granite better but stainless steel is seamless.

Wood is lovely but it doesn't like hot pans or water and needs care.

MrsFlorrick Sun 22-Dec-13 00:08:32

Here have a look at these worktops

MrsFlorrick Sun 22-Dec-13 00:12:21

And here

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