Most property sales experts will agree that the kitchen is the most important room in the house when prospective buyers are looking around. Subsequently updating the look of a kitchen before putting a home on the open market is highly advisable. Kitchens however can be expensive; thankfully there are ways to make the best of your kitchen without having to fork out thousands. One of the best ways to do this is to replace the worktops. New worktops can completely transform the look of a kitchen and hence make the room a far more impressive selling point.
The choice of worktops on the market is vast. There are so many different materials out there deciding which to use can be ultimately befuddling and confounding. Worktops will vary in cost depending upon the material used; this does not necessarily have to be the most important consideration however. Aesthetics should also be considered when redesigning a kitchen. Here are some of the most commonly used materials in the construction of worktops and surfaces.
An extremely en vogue material at the moment is granite. It is extremely expensive but when buying slabs of stone you are paying for quality. Predominantly its biggest benefit is strength, although as a design feature it is also appealing. As well as granite there are a variety of composite stones that have become available since manufacturing techniques have been improved. Composite worktops can be extremely attractive utilising gloss sheen, glittering sediment and vivacious colours.
Stone is not the only option however and in some kitchens can look out of place. Wood should always be considered for worktops due to its durability and beauty. In addition wooden surfaces can also be fitted easily, reducing costs further.
Oak has been used in construction for centuries, its classical look is a powerful draw for many designers and the fact that it ages so well, makes it the ideal long term material.
Walnut is a popular choice because of its immensely prominent grain. The grain of walnut is so strong that it can dominate a kitchen and ultimately should be used sparingly. For a country kitchen however, walnut can be considered perfect.
Cherry has increasingly been used in kitchen design over the last decade because of its unique colouration and sublime grain. As a dark wood it is strong but also ages well and will only add to the aesthetic appeal over time.
Beech on the other hand is a light wood that can create a contemporary, light and airy kitchen. It is warm and welcoming and once again suits those who are trying to achieve the 'country kitchen' look.
For the most contemporary designers however, iroko is rapidly becoming the wood of choice. Described by many as the African teak it has a sumptuous darkness about it that oozes class and style.
Naturally finding a supplier that can supply your worktops at an affordable price is advisable but care should be taken to ensure only quality materials are used. While stone has few maintenance issues, wood requires a concerted effort to keep it in good condition. After instillation stains and treatments should be applied to ensure that the wood is protected from damp and hot items. This process will most probably have to be repeated on an annual basis so wooden worktops can be considered an investment of both time and money.
Whether changing the kitchen worktops to increase the value of a property or just to update a tired looking culinary area, the choices are seemingly endless. Hopefully this information on the most popular woods and stones used should help in making a decision. Ultimately the choice is yours, but remember that quality is essential for elegant work surfaces.
Interior design expert Thomas Pretty looks into the types of materials used in the manufacture of kitchen worktops and the benefits of each.