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Which worktop is the most durable?

(29 Posts)
PoorOldCat Fri 21-Feb-14 08:59:06

Can anyone offer any opinions on durability of work surfaces please?

We're going to a new house and I want to replace the worktops (units look fine) but am not sure what to go for.

Ideally I'd have granite but it is very dear, and also I might wait till I can do the whole thing properly before putting my forever worktops in smile

But meanwhile, what is really durable? I've tried oak and hate it, don't want anything with a 'texture', but I have three boys and so they will randomly chop things on it, however often I tell them not to, and so on.

Basically it has to last and be really easy to clean and keep in good condition.

Any thoughts very welcome smile

vitaminC Fri 21-Feb-14 09:50:14

Arrgghh, I came on here to say "granite"!

I had oiled wooden worktops for a while, but they drove me up the wall! They were constantly getting scratches and stains and needed treating regularly. A nightmare!

If it were me, I'd stick with the existing worktops and start saving for granite ones. Having to use the horrible old ones might motivate you to save up quicker wink

If you're worried about hygiene because the current ones are really grotty, you can always cover them with cellophane or tinfoil when you want them to come into contact with food, e.g. for rolling out pastry etc.

PoorOldCat Fri 21-Feb-14 10:26:18

Thankyou so much. Do you have granite now? How is it? Is it lovely?[vicarious] grin

I think I need to take a really good look at the kitchen as soon as we get the keys, so I can work out where we want everything to go, because that is sort of the sticking point - I don't want to get granite cut to fit the sink etc if it's all going to change in a year or two.

It's one of those things where there are too many variables at the moment. But I think I am swaying towards doing what you suggest - the worktops are fine atm, they seem to be clean and in fairly good condition and I can live with them I think. They are just ugly grin

but then again my cooker won't fit where theirs is now so it will all need to be changed around to some extent.

<head explodes>

vitaminC Fri 21-Feb-14 10:39:57

Had granite in the last home I owned (currently renting) and miss it terribly! We're in the process of buying a place that needs some work, but the kitchen isn't the first priority, I'm afraid. We'll probably get around to that at the end of this year/early 2015, but I will definitely wait until we can afford granite worktops, before going ahead smile

OnePlanOnHouzz Fri 21-Feb-14 10:49:08

you could always ask a fitter to insert prep areas in granite or marble into a more reasonably priced worktop ? encourage the boys to chop on a wood block to avoid damaging not only your surfaces - but if the chop on granite - will damage the knives too !!! buy them a chopping block each !!!

NoArmaniNoPunani Fri 21-Feb-14 10:51:43

Does anyone have corian? It looks lovely and comes in better colours than granite but I don't know anyone who has it.

PoorOldCat Fri 21-Feb-14 11:06:49

Good idea about prep areas but knowing my boys they wouldn't use them grin

I wondered about corian too. Whatever it is blush also I have a piece of that Maia stuff they sell in Homebase, it seems to be as expensive as granite? Not sure - and you can't cut on it or put anything hot...seems a bit pointless really.

I just want something you can treat quite badly and it won't mind - iykwim.

noddyholder Fri 21-Feb-14 11:17:27

I have used a high end laminate in my current development and am very impressed Looks great and so durable.

OnePlanOnHouzz Fri 21-Feb-14 11:26:29

concrete !! if your cabinets can be reinforced - and you have good walls - go for it !!!

noddyholder Fri 21-Feb-14 11:29:02

Yes concrete looks great and not expensive but if your kitchen is upstairs check the joists!I have done in bathroom looked amazing when polished white

PoorOldCat Fri 21-Feb-14 11:30:28

It is upstairs - I think the house might fall down if we use concrete smile

High end laminate sounds good too...as long as it is knife proof.

cathyandclaire Fri 21-Feb-14 11:39:30

Have just put some lovely grey quartz ( Silestone or a cheaper copy I think) in a flat we rent out. I was recommended it on mumsnet smile it looks fab and makes the elderly ( white shiny) ikea units look sleek and new. I want it in our kitchen now but seem to remember saying to dh when we put granite in ten years ago that it was worth the investment as it would last forever... <sighs>

OnePlanOnHouzz Fri 21-Feb-14 11:41:07

in general the smoother the surface the more knife damage is noticeable - basically because a textured surface will only be 50% damaged as it has peaks and troughs ( unless they are really heavy handed !)

JugglingChaotically Fri 21-Feb-14 11:43:29

We are looking at the moment too. Sister in law swears by soap stone as very durable and easy to keep.
Looks fab! So it's on our possible list.
Worth a look.
Can you put hot pots on granite?

Taffeta Fri 21-Feb-14 11:43:58

We have pure white silestone. It is fantastic, so easy to keep clean, doesn't chip etc. had it 4 years and it looks brand new. I am THE clumsiest and pretty messy so that's quite something.

I'm not a fan of "bits" in a worktop, shiny bits, different colour bits. I like plain.

Taffeta Fri 21-Feb-14 11:45:04

Oh and I put hot pans on it, stain it with tomato purée, red wine, curry, the works. Still like new.

Taffeta Fri 21-Feb-14 11:46:18

I was going to post a photo but this topic doesn't have the photo option.

Surely property topic should have a photo option?

noddyholder Fri 21-Feb-14 11:47:01

I love the look of soapstone.

JugglingChaotically Fri 21-Feb-14 11:49:10

Also friend has granite composite? Pieces of granite in resin. Also looks great and v durable.

Belindabelle Fri 21-Feb-14 12:05:52

I would just make do with what you have and wait for the granite if that is what you really want. You could easily spend a fair amount of money putting in a temporary work surface. That is money down the drain. As long as you are sure you will be doing the work in a few years I would hold off.

When We moved into our house the kitchen was really not to my taste though perfectly adequate. We thought we would either move within 5 years or do an extension so we just made the best of it. Moved a few cupboards, got a 2nd hand stainless steel sink.

15 years later! (Don't ask) I finally have my fantastic extension complete with dream handmade hand painted all singing and dancing kitchen. Honed granite worktops, flagstone flooring, range cooker. The lot. Ell worth waiting for.

In that time my neighbour has had 3 kitchens. One B&Q and two Ikea. She is currently looking around for a fourth.

Just to be clear it didn't take 15 years to do the work. We started the extension last May and the kitchen was fitted in October.

PigletJohn Fri 21-Feb-14 12:45:07

worktops are the easiest part of a kitchen to replace, especially if you ensure they are made of simple rectangular pieces, and you have an upstand that you can remove, rather than tiling right down to the worktop (the bottom row of tiles will probably break or come off). If you think you might want to change the worktop, ensure the fitter knows and makes its fixings accessible.

If you have a sit-on sink such as an Astracast Bistro, you don't even have to cut a hole for the sink.

A laminate worktop will last 10-20 years depending how clumsy you are. You will probably get bored with your worktop before it is worn out. I quite like the reconstituted stone ones which are plastic resin or cement mixed with stone dust and chippings.

Solid wood worktops are ideal for a showroom, but no so good in a kitchen.

Belindabelle Fri 21-Feb-14 13:24:05

Oh yes if you remove the old worktop it will very likely damage the wall/tiles/splashback. Not worth it for a short period of time.

PoorOldCat Sat 22-Feb-14 08:54:19

Thanks very much indeed for all these ideas and suggestions.

I think I've decided on some sort of silestone or corian or quartz type thing.

How do you go about getting them though - do you have to buy them from a fitter? I don't think I could properly mitre a corner and I don't ever want to cut a sink hole again (40mm oak and a jigsaw, it nearly killed me and the jigsaw)

but I don't want to pay hundreds of pounds more than I have to - I normally source stuff on ebay.

Sushiqueen Sat 22-Feb-14 09:37:08

We have quartz. It was all done by the company we got it from. They came and did a template. Then a week later came back and fitted it all (based on the templates).

It looks great and I would recommend getting it fitted properly. I know our kitchen fitter said he wouldn't do it and to get the experts to do it. Makes a big difference.

Taffeta Sat 22-Feb-14 10:33:23

We had ours fitted by the supplier, where are you op I can recommend them but they only do London Kent and Essex I think

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