When planning a bespoke kitchen for your London home extension, it’s important to get the worktops right. Not only do they finish off the aesthetic, you also need to take into account the practicalities of each worktop material. This is why we’ve put together a handy guide that takes you through the most common kitchen worktop materials for your London kitchen extension.
The great thing about composite is it’s both practical and beautiful. Available in a wide array of colours, you can go bold for contemporary kitchens or neutral for more traditional styles. It can be used anywhere too, including next to the hob and around the sink.
As it can be thermoformed into different shapes, there are no unhygienic joints so composite has a wonderful seamless look that doesn’t require any sealing. Upkeep is easy too – just keep clean with a soft, damp cloth and a mild detergent, and wipe up spills to avoid marks.
Best of all, it’s very tough – it’s even more durable than a lot of natural stone and, because it’s solid, any scratches can be sanded out too making it simple to maintain.
If you’re on a tighter budget, laminate can be a great way to get the look you want without breaking the bank as it can accurately mimic other worktop styles such as slate, hardwood and granite. There are so many varieties out there too so you have lots of choice.
It’s great anywhere in the kitchen and is very low maintenance so it’s fantastic for those with busy lifestyles. It’s resistant to most stains and chemicals, although it can be damaged by heat or steam and it isn’t suitable as a cutting surface so you’ll always need to use chopping boards and trivets.
Corian is a fantastic material if you’re looking for a slick, seamless run of worktop with an integrated sink. It can be formed into any shape so there are no unhygienic joints and it’s incredibly low maintenance. Available in a wide array of colours, you can go contemporary or traditional depending on your kitchen’s style.
Corian is water and stain resistant, and it’s even heat resistant up to 250°C (although using a trivet is advised). As with composite, Corian worktops are sold with the colour running right through, so any scratches can simply be sanded away.
Hardwood is a beautiful material for your kitchen extension as it adds rich, warm tones and suits both contemporary and traditional spaces. It’s perfect for food preparation areas as well as dining areas such as a kitchen island.
In particular, teak and iroko are best around the sink as their high oil content makes them water resistant. There is some maintenance required though and when first installed you’ll need to take hardwood through an initial programme of regular oiling in order to seal it. After a year of this, a quarterly application of Danish or linseed oil will prevent the wood drying out.
Hardwood will last a long time if properly sealed and used correctly. Spills need to be wiped up to stop staining, and you should not place hot pans directly on to the surface, or use it as a chopping board. If it scratches though, these can be sanded out.
If you’re going for a super luxe look in your kitchen extension, granite may well be way to go as it never goes out of style, suits traditional and modern kitchens and looks amazing.
It can be used in any area of the kitchen and can be cut into a variety of shapes (although it’s very heavy to transport and manoeuvre). It’s low maintenance and, once sealed, it doesn’t require re-sealing for about 10 years.
Granite is ideal for kitchens as it is heat and water resistant as well as being impervious to most stains – although citric acids and wine should be wiped up at once to prevent marking.
Stainless steel worktops
Stainless steel is the worktop of choice for professional and commercial kitchens thanks to its antibacterial properties and lack of unhygienic joints. Because of this, it mostly suits industrial and contemporary décors so for a softer look it needs to be teamed with other materials such as wood.
The surface is easy to clean (just use stainless steel cleaner) and it can be rubbed down with baby oil to keep it looking great. It’s waterproof as well as resistant to heat and acid, but it is prone to scratches. These scratches won’t affect the antibacterial properties but they will give it a worn, distressed look that’s not necessarily for everyone.
If you are going for a smaller kitchen extension in your London home, a glass feature worktop can increase the feeling of space with its reflective surface – although for this reason it looks better as part of a contemporary style. It can even be lit from below for a stunning look.
It can be cut to most shapes, even including space for integrated hobs and sinks, and it’s heat, water and acid resistant too since it’s toughened. Any scratches can be polished smooth, although it does need wiping frequently to prevent water marks and fingerprints. It’s easy, though, to wipe with glass cleaner and it’s very hygienic as there are no joints.
Whatever surface you prefer, if you’re thinking of having a London home extension with a bespoke kitchen you should contact the experts at Simply Extend today. We work in partnership with a local London kitchen design company called Tineo Designs and are able to design a kitchen to any bespoke specification. To arrange your kitchen extension site survey, call us today on 0800 917 7571.