Whilst it’s important to think about the aesthetic beauty of your kitchen when picking out your worktop, the effect of the materials on your day to day cooking and baking is also something that needs to be thought through. Different materials have different reactions to heat, staining and hygiene when preparing your meals and its these factors that are going to affect your decision more than the look and style of your interior design.
Granite is much lower maintenance than your traditional wooden worktop. It’s heat resistant for up to 200 degrees Celsius which makes it an excellent choice for worktops surrounding the hob or oven. It’s high heat resistance means that you don’t need to worry about the clutter of cooling racks or extra trays and can easily place hot pots and pans straight onto the worktop. If you tried to do this with wood, for example, there’s a high chance you would scorch the surface resulting in hundreds of pounds worth of damage.
For a long time hardwood was recognised as the best surface for food preparation but the fact of the matter is that wood stains and burns easily making it difficult to keep clean. Granite can handle knives directly as it doesn’t chip or scratch easily and creates a striking look in the kitchen.
It is water resistant, impervious to most stains (although care should still be taken when spilling red wine or citrus) and whilst it does need to be sealed, this process only needs to be carried out once every ten years.The cold surface is perfect for pasty baking and rolling out dough.
Marble is favoured because it creates a beautiful, natural look in your kitchen. It is heat resistant for up to 160 degree Celsius and highly resistant to scratching and chipping meaning you can prepare directly onto the surface if you so desire, although we would recommend using chopping boards anyway for safety.
Whilst it is beautiful it does require a higher level of care than granite and it is susceptible to staining so this worktop is probably better suited to a kitchen that is loved and looked after. For example, a home with young children may not be best suited to marble as it does need that extra special touch of care and maintenance.
Marble has become a real favourite when choosing worktops for baking. It’s perfect for making pastry and dough as it’s cool surface stops the dough from getting too soft and it doesn’t absorb heat.
Quartz is an excellent reliable choice in terms of interior design due to its consistent relationship with colour. Where marble and granite have veins and changes in pattern, with quartz you are more likely to be able to maintain the same shade and tone through every worktop in your kitchen.
A key feature of quartz is it’s high level of resistance. It is stain resistant, scratch resistant and acid resistant- which means it’s most likely to put up with citrus fruits being chopped upon it and it can put up with red wine spills a lot better than the delicately beautiful marble can.
Another excellent aspect of quartz is that they have a harder, less porous surface giving them the reputation of being more ‘food safe’ in the kitchen design community. They also have the added bonus of not needing sealing unlike the granite surfaces which do.
10 Kitchen Design Trends 2013 (House Design Blog)
Quartz Worktop Colours (TheGraniteHouse.co.uk)
The Source Of Granite’s Different Colours And Patterns (TheGraniteHouse.co.uk)