If you would like to add charm to the kitchen area a little, you don’t have to get the entire thing remade to be able to have a significant impact. You can get a huge amount of bang for your buck as far as a cosmetic redesign by simply replacing the worktops. This can have a huge impact on the overall feel of the room and also make a difference in the functionality of the kitchen as well.
The polarisation in the thickness of worktops is still a major direction – there’s no middle ground, worktops need to be either deep or shallow,’ says Anjum Ahmed, product and marketing director at Magnet. ‘The slim worktop sector is dominated by glass and compact laminate, while thicker worktops tend to appear in oaks and dark timber or specialist materials.’
There is a huge trend for mixing materials,’ says Max de Winter, project designer at Poggenpohl. ‘It’s not unusual to find two, three or even four different surfaces in one kitchen. As kitchen and living areas are now more integrated, one material throughout the space would feel too overpowering. Instead, use a warm wood on a breakfast bar for example, stainless steel in a prep area and coloured glass as a highlight.’
Edging, be it glass, timber or coloured acrylic, is a top trend. ‘For a very modern look, style up a standard laminate with a contrasting edge in wood or stainless steel,’ suggests Jude Keenan, kitchen planner at John Lewis. ‘This is possible on both square and curved-edge tops.’
‘A big trend at the moment is a 50mm worktop with a 30 degree bevelled edge,’ says Boffi’s Steven Salt. ‘This can be in any material, and the tapered edge means the surface appears to be floating above the units, giving the ultimate minimalist look.’
The profile (ie the edge) of the work surface can also make a difference to the overall feel. The rounded edges of the Eighties and Nineties are a thing of the past, and the latest surfaces have a completely square edge, a pencil round (where the edge is just slightly rounded) or a chamfer where just a tiny bit of the corner is shaved off.
Firstly, you will need to have decided your budget. How much are you prepared to pay for your kitchen worktop? There are kitchen worktops to suit every budget, but obviously, the more you are prepared to pay, the larger your choice of kitchen counter top will be. If you are planning to redesign your entire kitchen, it is useful to work out the percentage of you total spend you are going to reserve for the purchase of your worktop.
Secondly, before deciding on your work top, you would be well advised to determine how the countertop will work in conjunction with your existing kitchen design. This is less important if you are replacing your entire kitchen, but it could be crucial if you are replacing your old kitchen worktop, but keeping your kitchen units. Is your new worktop in keeping with the rest of your design choices? You should be able to choose a countertop that complements your units and kitchen flooring.
The final point that is worth thinking about is how you are going to be using your kitchen worktops. Are you going to want to place hot items directly onto the worktop surface? Are you going to want to be cutting directly onto the counter? Would you be reluctant to spend time maintaining the look of the surface? The answers to these types of questions will certainly have a bearing on your final decision about which type of kitchen counter top to purchase. Fortunately, because of the incredibly large range of kitchen worktops available, whatever your preferences, there should be a countertop out there somewhere that is right for you.