What material options are available for worktops?
Countertops have a large variety of material options to choose from – granite, quartz, laminate, concrete, recycled glass, butcher block, marble, composite, tile, lava, resin, reclaimed wood, stainless steel countertops and more.
What are some factors to choose your worktop when on a budget?
These worktops have become popular since they offer the best value for money. In addition to being easy to clean and maintain, advances in technology have made it possible to mimic natural materials more realistically.
There are a few drawback to keep in mind though – it isn’t resistant to heat or steam, nor can it be used as a cutting surface. Also, you can only install an over-mounted sink, because laminates don’t provide a suitable finished edge for under-mounted sinks.
Wooden worktops are a good alternative to laminates, and are available at a variety of price ranges. Also, it is a good return on your investment since it lasts for years when well cared for. It adds character and has anti-bacterial properties.
The drawbacks for wooden worktops is that it is prone to be scorched and stained easily. Also, dampness can cause it to swell, making it impractical to use around sinks.
Ready to install composite worktops
Composite, as a man-made material is resistant to wear, stains and scratches. It is easy to clean and has a high design customization flexibility. To keep costs down, ask your supplier for ready to install options instead of customizable ones.
What is a composite worktop?
A composite worktop is a worktop made from two or more materials combined together. Doing so allows us to combine the benefits of the various materials together to create a more durable and versatile material.
Two of the most common materials used in composite worktops include quartz crystals and acrylic materials. These will usually be mixed with color pigments, polymer resin and bonding agents.
The price of these materials is usually a lot lower than that of the price of marble, glass or granite. They’re also often stronger and easier to repair from scratches and damage.
How to care for a wooden worktop?
Sanding or oiling wood on the worktop not only gives a richer finish, but makes it more durable.
1. Water test your wood
If the water forms a bead when dripped onto the surface, it’s fine. If the water sits flat, you should re-oil as soon as possible.
2. Use a sander to refresh the wood
Concentrate particularly on any stains, scorch marks or areas around the sink that have rotted.
3. Apply the oil
Use linseed or Danish oil and a lint-free cloth – microfiber works well. Pour a little oil directly onto the worktop and, using the cloth, spread it over the surface until you have a very thin and even layer. Keep going until you’ve covered all your worktop, then apply another coat.
4. Leave it to dry
The oil will take a few hours to dry the first time you apply it, but up to eight or more hours for subsequent coats. Adding several thin coats is far more effective than just one thick coat – you can’t over-oil a wooden surface.
5. Water test your wood again
If required, repeat the process.
6. Protect from heat
To prevent your worktop getting stained or damaged, use trivets or glass surface protectors under hot pans so they don’t scorch the wood.
7. Keep sink areas dry
Try to keep the area around your sink dry, or the wood will begin to blacken and rot. Re-oil surfaces every three months.