Most practical kitchen work surface please!

(78 Posts)
WellTidy Tue 01-Sep-20 13:14:20

I am in the planning stages of a new kitchen. Ours gets more use than the average, and DS and DH are less careful than average, shall we say!

So I am looking for a work surface that will stay looking good despite heavy use and having hot things laid on it, sometimes water spilled on it etc. I also don’t want to spend any time buffing it so that it looks good.

Any suggestions please? I understand that there are pros and cons to every worksurface, but I would like to make the best choice given how I know we will use it.

OP’s posts: |
TooManyDogsandChildren Tue 01-Sep-20 13:16:30


penjo Tue 01-Sep-20 13:31:10


yomellamoHelly Tue 01-Sep-20 13:33:57

We have laminate. Seems pretty indestructible.

DuesToTheDirt Tue 01-Sep-20 13:38:46

We have granite, not a plain colour, but kind of mottled. It hides the dirt very well, a bit too well sometimes....

ICouldHaveCheckedFirst Tue 01-Sep-20 13:40:12

Not solid wood - it takes dents far too easily. Unless the 'lived in' look is what you're after.

Imtoooldforallthis Tue 01-Sep-20 13:42:14

Yep granite, ours has been fitted 7 years and we are the least careful family ever and still looks good.


Murmurur Tue 01-Sep-20 13:59:21

Laminate. Ours is thinner than the usual but not one of the ultrathin ones.

I did love the look of granite and quartz but in the shops they were saying you can't use hot pans, you can't stand on it etc. These things might well have been fine, but I didn't want to spend so much on a worktop that I would not want to risk them, if that makes sense.

SpanielPlusToddler Tue 01-Sep-20 14:06:49

We have silestone, which is a type of quartz and it’s been fantastic, so tough and doesn’t scratch or mark at all.

AltheaVestr1t Tue 01-Sep-20 14:15:58

Good question! We've had oak worktops in our previous two kitchens because I love the look of them but they are a nightmare around the sink. I'm considering slate - does anyone have experience of this?

EarlGreyJenny Tue 01-Sep-20 14:53:11

Another vote for silestone. We're a fairly careless family and our work surfaces are still in perfect nick after 10+ years

PigletJohn Tue 01-Sep-20 14:56:15

You said "most practical".


In a common colour, and with square edges so that whenever the whim takes you, you can unscrew it and put a new piece down. Large DIY sheds will often cut a piece to your measurements. This is easy and inexpensive if it is square edges, screwed to the units from underneath with accessible screws or blocks, and not tiled into place.

If you get a sit-on/lay-on sink, you don't even need to cut a hole in the worktop for it.

Kitchen fitters like to assemble things so they can't be taken apart without breaking them, but it is very easy to fit a worktop as I describe, if you want to.

Lily7050 Tue 01-Sep-20 15:32:18

Is Silestone ok to put hot pans, stand, etc?
I like their Eternal Marfil

CatherinedeBourgh Tue 01-Sep-20 15:33:56


WendyHoused Tue 01-Sep-20 15:37:06

Granite. 20 years on it looks as unblemished as the day it arrived.

You can put hot pans on it, it never stains, you can roll pastry/dough on it. It doesn't chip, split, go mouldy (like wood near sinks), buckle. My DD spilled nail varnish on it and I cook with lots of turmeric - no marks left at all.

Just get the curved edges so it's not sharp corners at small-child-height.

Lily7050 Tue 01-Sep-20 15:53:58

Re. laminate, I have it installed in my flat and could see stains appeared over 4 years. That's why I am looking at Silestone, but if it is fragile then no point spending ££££.

PigletJohn Tue 01-Sep-20 16:10:48

here is an example of a sit-on sink. it needs no worktop under it, and it does not suffer from drips or splashes staining or damaging the back of the worktop beneath... because there isn't one.

There are usually only a few on the market. I had Astracast Bistro which is now discontinued, I think Rangemaster Mezzo is still available. They tend to be made in a thicker grade of steel.

80sMum Tue 01-Sep-20 16:19:19

PigletJohn thanks for the tip about sinks. We're going to be replacing our 30-year-old kitchen early next year and I had been pondering what sort of sink to go for. I will investigate these, thanks.

SonEtLumiere Tue 01-Sep-20 16:21:26

We have Silestone and it chips. Strongly advice all stone.Laminate will be my next purchase

PigletJohn Tue 01-Sep-20 16:24:43

this may not matter to you, but the stone ones are incredibly heavy, and are glued down so it's very difficult to alter anything during the life of the kitchen.

PattyPan Tue 01-Sep-20 16:39:07

Agree you should avoid solid wood. We almost bought a house with wood worktops and it had completely rotted away around the sink (Belfast sink). We have wood effect worktops, not sure if that’s the what pp refer to as laminate because it’s kind of wood textured as well rather than smooth. But they’re good and are quite light coloured but stains from turmeric, beetroot etc have wiped off perfectly.

isseywith4vampirecats Tue 01-Sep-20 16:45:32

whichever worktop you pick the simple solution to hot pan damage is simple glass worktop protectors i have a couple of these in the areas that are most likely to get something put down that shouldnt be i have square edge laminate

TheDogsMother Tue 01-Sep-20 16:49:09

Quartz which is very tough. I wouldn't buy Silestone or any of the brands as they are ££££s more when you can buy the same quality unbranded direct from stone works. They come and measure, do all the cutting and fitting. We have an under mounted sink and it looks very neat.

Lily7050 Tue 01-Sep-20 19:03:50


We have Silestone and it chips. Strongly advice all stone.Laminate will be my next purchase

@SonEtLumiere thanks for sharing your experience. I was thinking it would be cheaper to replace laminate every 5 or so years than get one stone worktop and pray that it will last.

RealityExistsInTheHumanMind Tue 01-Sep-20 19:57:02

Laminate - it is pretty indestructible but, if the worst happens it's cheap to replace as well.

My sister wanted laminate and was told in a high end kitchen you shouldn't have laminate but something more expensive and her husband agreed. She had granite and has regretted it ever since. Water marks are impossible to remove.

I would say though don't have wood effect laminate as it looks so plasticky even though it is hard wearing.

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