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Really though, what is the best worktop material?

(48 Posts)
TheHappinessTrap Sun 21-Dec-14 10:19:18

I know this has been done to death but all my research results in pages that suggest its really down to personal taste, whereas I want to start with what is the most practical. My mother's kitchen is an original 50's number and it has formica. Its so easy to clean and is in perfect condition. If my greatest need is an easy to clean, non staining, non scratching surface, what is my worktop of choice?

PigletInABlanketJohn Sun 21-Dec-14 12:56:03

you have certainly ruled out wood.

does cost matter?

PigletInABlanketJohn Sun 21-Dec-14 12:58:09

corian will stain if you leave a teabag on it

stone will stain if you leave a wet steel object such as tin on it, that is not stainless and can rust

KirstyJC Sun 21-Dec-14 13:01:15

Can you still get formica?

Happy36 Sun 21-Dec-14 13:02:54

We have had granite in 3 of our last 4 kitchens (including the current one) and couln't be happier with it.

HollyBdenum Sun 21-Dec-14 13:10:42

I spent two years thinking about what would be best and decided that the two best options would be iroko wood with a marble area around the sink or else good quality laminate.

Eastwickwitch Sun 21-Dec-14 13:15:03

I've had Iroko, Granite and currently Silestone.
Granite & Silestone win for me for durability and looks.

TheHappinessTrap Sun 21-Dec-14 15:16:01

These are helpful ideas. Cost matters in the sense that we don't have unlimited funds. But we're willing to pay for the right thing.

wonkylegs Sun 21-Dec-14 15:19:31

Our cream Silestone is really winning for me at the moment especially after DH left a drippy bottle of elderberry liqueur on the side for a week. Moved it to find a dark pink ring which washed off leaving no trace - that stuff is the devils work for staining so I was very pleased It passed the 'test'

TheGonnagle Sun 21-Dec-14 15:20:31

I love my granite surfaces, wouldn't have anything else.
We got ours for a lot less than the going rate by approaching a local granite cutter. They cut ours out of the middle part of a large piece they cut for someone else. It means that it is in two pieces instead of all one, but you really can't tell.
It has been the death of many mugs though.

Susiesue61 Sun 21-Dec-14 15:38:02

I love my granite. It's great, indestructible! Although it does smash wine glasses if you knock them over on it blush

Theorientcalf Sun 21-Dec-14 16:39:45

Formica is the cheapest, or whatever it's called now days. Granite the most expensive, add a good few 1000k to your kitchen budget. Depends if in a few years you might want a change, in which case Formica is easy to replace. Granite you won't want to as you'll have spent a fortune on it.

cricketpitch Sun 21-Dec-14 23:17:08

TBH I have had good quality laminate and wood. The laminate lasts pretty well and for the price is brilliant. Looks fine - especially when cli=uttered as mine is. The wood is smarter and i had wood in a different area of the kitchen where I cut bread, made coffee, had the fruit bowl type of thing rather than the wet area.

Love wood; warm, stylish, easy to clean.
Love laminate - inexpensive, good colour range, easy to cut, forgiving of glassware,hasn't stained. Not as good as granite but a fraction of the price and easy to install.

MrsFlorrick Mon 22-Dec-14 15:46:01

Depends what you mean by "best".

Is it durability, non staining, non scratch, looks or best for a certain amount of money??

Stainless steel
Is extremely durable but it does scratch which creates a patina over time. Very forgiving and hygienic and not too expensive.

Granite can be fantastic. Generally ultra hard and tends not to stain. But can be quite expensive.

Wood, stains and scratches but can be sanded and reoiled.

Quartz (silestone etc). Ultra hard wearing and non staining non scratch. But expensive

You can still get Formica worktops. Worth a look if you really liked your mums worktop.

annalouiseh Mon 22-Dec-14 15:53:43


Stainless is more expensive than all listed above, it needs to be fabricated like granite and quartz so carries the same costing's

Quartz is the more hardwearing but as everone knows you need £1200 small kitchneup to 5k depending on the amount of worktop, brand, the cuts etc needed for a kitchen.
Not much really considering its a room you use every day for 'x' amount of yrs and wanting a kitchen to last a perios of time

annalouiseh Mon 22-Dec-14 15:54:03

period of....

Lelivre Mon 22-Dec-14 15:54:45

I am considering this subject too, for us I think it will be between Corian or granite. I find granite a bit busy or too dark...I really wanted the answer to your question be Corian/solid surface composite stuff. I like the look and the fact that it is hygienic, seamless and can be repaired. I'm put off by this talk of staining but...the granite I am finding (in my budget) much too dark.

annalouiseh Mon 22-Dec-14 16:46:11

granite and quatz, there is not much price difference, will factor on who you use.
The rason corin can be repaired (sanded down) is due to it being a softer material (acrylic) and scratches . The seemless is a nice look but corian is generally more expensive than granite and quartz.
Quartz has a wider variation of colours of granite so should have no problems finding something for your budget

Lelivre Mon 22-Dec-14 17:31:34

Annalou, thanks so much I will take a closer look at quartz, I thought it was way out of my budget.

I have found an amazing deal on Corian going direct to a factory near me, also for granite via a 'mobile' fitter who also imports some granite (very affordable compared to other quotes), otherwise I am not sure we could stretch to either and it would be laminate.

I haven't ruled out laminate and I know it is serviceable, but if we can stretch to the other I think it could upgrade the whole look of the kitchen.

TheHappinessTrap Mon 22-Dec-14 18:13:01

I should have said I had corian in my last house. It was wonderful but mine was white and no product got stains out. But how wonderful to have something that for so perfectly.

MrsFlorrick Mon 22-Dec-14 19:10:38

Annalouise. I'm surprised you say that. I had stainless steel in our last kitchen (previous house) and it was half the price of granite.

I had a 3m long 650mm deep section and an island of 1200mm by 2500mm which had stainless steel down the side as side panel (1200mm x 1000mm). And a seamless integrated sink.
All of it inc delivery cost £1075. Had a quote for granite which is double that!

If you know some cheap granite suppliers do please share. grin

Costacoffeeplease Mon 22-Dec-14 19:18:30

We have granite and it's brilliant, you can cut straight on it, out a hot pan or baking/roasting tray straight on it, brilliant! And the steam cleaner gets it really shiny and smear free

18yearstooold Mon 22-Dec-14 19:26:35

I used to work for a kitchen company and would see kitchens coming out

I've seen mouldy wooden worktops
Chipped and stained granite
Scratched and stained composite
Bubbled laminate

If I was buying my own kitchen I would go for a good quality laminate

Good choice of colours and finishes, well fitted it lasts a long time and if it does need replacing its relatively inexpensive and disruption free

Pippidoeswhatshewants Mon 22-Dec-14 19:35:01

I've had all sorts of kitchen tops in the past and I have to admit I would go for good quality Formica/laminate. They come in great finishes now, we once had a wood effect one, and you couldn't tell it wasn't wood.

I don't like the look of granite or Quartz, their only redeeming feature is the fact that you can put hot pans straight on them.

Wood and corian are sensitive nightmares, I can't deal with all the drama in the kitchen.

annalouiseh Mon 22-Dec-14 20:03:34


That is very cheap for stainless, esp for seamless.
Dh wont really sugest stainless to customers.
I have seen quotes half the size of that for double as has my dh.
Even if you just google stainless with online suppliers the prices you will see... your price is almost half and not seamless
you had a good deal smile

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