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Kitchens

Everything You Need to Know Before Choosing Your Kitchen Worktop

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Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of which kitchen worktop to choose?

Selecting a worktop for your kitchen can feel like a daunting task! You’ve got everything else for your kitchen all planned out, but you can’t quite decide which worktop will bring it all together. Your kitchen is the heart of daily life, so it’s vital that it looks beautiful and functions in a way that suits the needs of you and your household.

Worktops have changed dramatically over the last few years. With so many options, it’s essential to consider them all so you don’t end up settling for a worktop that isn’t the right fit for you.

What is Your Style?

First things first. You want your kitchen to look spectacular and suit your style!

If you find yourself drawn to a traditional kitchen, wooden worktops could be the one for you – adding tons of warmth and personality to your kitchen. Over time, they may change colour or stain, meaning your wooden worktops are unique to you and gain even more character as the years go by.

Maybe a modern, minimalistic kitchen with no visible seams sounds more like a dream to you. In which case, quartz and solid surface worktops are not only strong and easy to maintain but look incredibly sleek and flawless. Due to the flexible nature of solid surfaces, your worktops can be designed to show zero joints or seams, leaving your kitchen with a clean, contemporary finish.

If a statement is what you’re after, marble and granite worktops boast a luxurious beauty that is hard to forget. Both created from natural stone, they are hard-wearing and naturally elegant. The perfect choice if you love entertaining and want to impress!

Not sure what your style is? Our showrooms are designed to inspire and unleash your creativity. By coming along for a friendly visit, you get the chance to see and feel the beauty and strength of our selection of worktop materials for yourself.

Find your nearest Watermark showroom HERE.

What is Your Lifestyle?

Now your clear on style, the next step is to decide whether your selected worktop not only suits your personality but your passions and daily life too.

Are you a busy household with no spare time for regular upkeep? Do you use your kitchen for catering? Is entertaining family and friends at the forefront of your mind?

Sintered stone, solid surface, quartz and laminate worktops are durable and fuss-free, terrific for busy households with no time for upkeep. Laminate and sintered stone worktops can even be designed to mimic the appearance of other materials, giving your kitchen the luxury look with no added maintenance.

Stainless steel works brilliantly in professional kitchens due to its heat resistant and easy-to-clean surface. Being stainless and low maintenance, it is also great for home kitchens – especially if you’re forever spilling things.

If you don’t mind giving your worktops a bit of regular care and attention, wooden worktops enhance your kitchen with a burst of warmth and character. They are incredibly durable and if sourced responsibly (with FSC certification) are environmentally sound.

We know it’s a hard decision and your time is precious, so we’ve made things simple for you by putting together a chart of what each worktop material is, how much maintenance is required, the price range and the advantages and disadvantages for each.

Once you’ve considered your options, come and visit one of our showrooms to feel the materials for yourself. Our team of friendly designers are always on hand to guide you and help you to find a worktop that suits your lifestyle and your budget.

Quartz

Quartz

What is it?

Quartz is a man-made stone with the durability of a natural stone.

Industrial techniques are used to combine 90% natural quartz with 8-10% resin creating a hard granite-like surface. 

Caesarstone and Silestone are expert quartz manufacturers, boasting a wide selection of quality countertops.

Benefits
  • Stain, scratch and crack resistant.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Available in a wide range of colours.
  • Hard and durable.
  • Natural stone look and feel.
  • Hygienic.
Drawbacks
  • Heavy – professional installation recommended. 
  • Not heat resistant.
  • Seams will show on larger surfaces.
Maintenance
  • No regular maintenance or sealing required. 
  • Clean using a soft cloth and warm soapy water.
Price
  • Medium/High
Granite

Granite

What is it?

If you like the idea of a natural and luxurious worktop – granite is the way to go. 

Granite is a rock that is cut in its natural state and then polished for use in homes.

Benefits
  • Chip, scratch and stain resistant.
  • Resistant to heat and water if sealed.
  • Low maintenance.
  • Plenty of colour options.
  • Hard-wearing. 
  • Hygienic.Natural material.
Drawbacks
  • Extremely heavy. 
  • Needs to be properly sealed.
  • Requires regular re-sealing.
  • Shows seams.
  • Porous – need sealing.
Maintenance
  • Need sealing when installed to be stain resistant, reseal every 1-5 years.
  • Clean using a damp cloth and mild detergent. Avoid using harsh or abrasive cleaners.
Price
  • Medium
Solid Surfaces

Solid Surfaces

What is it?

Solid surface worktops are seamless and sleek, the ideal component for a modern kitchen.

Created from a blend of minerals, acrylics and colourings, solid surface worktops are extremely heavy-duty. They can also be moulded and bent to give a seamless finish.

Corian and Hi-Macs are leading solid surface brands, manufacturing durable, long-lasting countertops.

Benefits
  • Can be made to fit any design – customisable and flexible. 
  • Seamless finish.
  • Stain and water resistant.
  • Durable, smooth surface.
  • Available in a variety of colours and patterns.
  • Can be made to mimic other materials.
  • Hygienic.
  • Easy to sand away stains and scratches.
  • Non-porous.
Drawbacks
  • Can be damaged by heat. 
  • Can be scratched.
Maintenance
  • No regular maintenance or sealing required.
  • Scratches can be removed using a light abrasive.
  • Clean using a soft damp cloth and mop up surface water.
Price
  • High

Wood

Wood

What is it?

Wooden worktops enhance the character of your kitchen by creating a natural, rustic look.

They are created from a variety of woods such as:

  • Oak
  • Maple
  • Beech
  • Walnut

IrokoWe recommend only using sustainable hardwoods from FSC accredited sources to ensure we are all doing our bit for the environment.

Benefits
  • Warm to the touch.
  • More affordable than stone options.
  • Eco-friendly.
  • Available in a variety of wood grains and colours.
  • Add character and warmth with age.
Drawbacks
  • Prone to staining and damage by spills.
  • Can be scratched.
  • Require regular oiling.Easily damaged by burns.
Maintenance
  • Need to be sealed with oil when first installed and then for the following 6-8 weeks. They then need oiling around twice a year.
  • Spills need to be mopped up straight away to avoid staining.
  • Avoid exposure to heat.
  • Scratches and stains can be sanded out.
  • Clean using warm water, washing up liquid and a soft cloth. Avoid chemical-filled products and scouring pads.
Price
  • Low

Marble

Marble

What is it?

Marble is a hard crystalline form of limestone created when limestone is subject to heat and pressure over long periods of time. 

The whiter the marble, the purer the limestone.

Benefits
  • Unique – no piece is the same.
  • Timeless and elegant.
  • Cool surface – great for baking.
  • Available in a variety of colours and patterns.
  • Strong.
  • Easy to shape and cut.
Drawbacks
  • Porous – liquids seep deep into the marble and can be difficult to get out. 
  • Easily damaged by acidic liquids. Prone to scratches.
Maintenance
  • Need to be professionally sealed when first installed and regularly every six months to protect from water. 
  • To prevent staining, mop up spills straight away.
  • Clean with mild dish soap, water and a soft cloth.
Price
  • High

Sintered Stone

Sintered Stone

What is it?

Sintered stone is made using natural materials and created using the same process the earth uses to make natural stone – extremely high temperatures and compacting. 

Also known as ultra-compact surfaces, they are a new addition to the worktop industry.

Dekton and Neolith are expert sintered stone manufacturers, offering a wide range of durable countertops.

Benefits
  • Waterproof.
  • Low maintenance.
  • Durable and strong.
  • Stain, heat and scratch resistant.
  • Highly UV resistant – great for outdoors.
  • No sealing required.25-year warranty.
Drawbacks
  • More affordable than other stone worktops.
  • Must be professionally installed.
  • Only sold by specialist retailers.
Maintenance
  • No regular maintenance or sealing required.
  • Clean using a non-abrasive sponge with soap and warm water.
Price
  • Medium/High

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel

What is it?

Stainless steel is a resilient, waterproof material making it extremely popular in commercial kitchens.

Benefits
  • Strong and durable.
  • Hygienic – great for chefs.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Doesn’t stain.
  • Waterproof.
  • Heat and acid resistant.
  • Lightweight.
Drawbacks
  • Cold surface. 
  • Prone to scratches.Shows fingerprints.
Maintenance
  • No regular maintenance or sealing required.
  • Clean with stainless steel cleaner and baby oil for extra shine.
Price
  • Medium

Laminate

Laminate

What is it?

Laminate is fantastically cost-effective and can be designed to mimic other worktops that might be out of the budget.

Laminate worktops are created by fusing together multiple layers of impregnated paper with heat and pressure, bonded to a substrate. 

Hacker and Axiom are leading laminate manufacturers, offering a vast selection of quality countertops.

Benefits
  • Affordable.
  • Hygienic.
  • Can be designed to mimic other worktops.
  • Easy to maintain.
  • Quick and easy to install.Available in a vast range of colours.
Drawbacks
  • If damaged, water can seep in.
  • Can crack and scratch – use a chopping board. Not heatproof.
Maintenance
  • No regular maintenance or sealing required.
  • Use a chopping board when preparing food to prevent scratches.Clean using warm soapy water and a soft cloth or sponge – avoid using anything abrasive.
Price
  • Low

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Watermark, Experts in Luxury Bespoke Kitchens & Bathrooms.

A family business boasting over thirty years of experience in bespoke kitchens and bathrooms. With values built on customer satisfaction and trust, Watermark offers a truly remarkable experience from start to finish. A team of skilled designers and cutting-edge craftsmen work seamlessly together to deliver immaculate kitchen and bathroom renovations to suit each unique vision. Watermark believes in affordable luxury that complements your lifestyle. 

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+44 (0)1844 338137
Email
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