Best kitchen worktops

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Hi guys,

I had a worktop fitted about 6 years ago and I am now renovating the property.

It seems the base material is actually woodchip as in so many types of furniture. Need new worktop.

I have done some searching and read reviews but find it difficult to make a choice as the best ones seem to have good points, yet have serious drawbacks; not heat resistant, for example.

Do you know of any good quality?. Not too many cons?.

Thank you.
 
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How is not being heat resistant a serious drawback ? Heat will damage most worktops .
 
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The most practical for most people is still laminated post-formed chipboard - reasonably durable (expected life with reasonable treatment c.10 to 15 years or more, but avoid high gloss like the plague as it scratches easily), waterproof when correctly installed, very good range of patterns and colours, will withstand spills of stuff like oil and curry/tomato (which can stain almost all other materials exceot stainless), and the most affordable option by far. But you can't put a red hot pan directly on it without unrepairable damage (you have to replace the whole top - getting into the habit of using a cheap trivet is very worthwhile for ANY kitchen). Uses inset sinks in the main

HPL (high pressure laminate, also called solid laminate) is quite thin, has a lot of the same advantages/disadvantages as post-formed laminate, cost is higher. Cleaner, more modern feel. Can be used to produce stuff like circular islands (not possible with post formed laminate unless you have a square cut edge). Uses inset or under set sinks

Solid surface/composite (e.g. Corian, LG Hi-Macs, etc) - available in a good range of colours, similar performance to HPL, seamless, thick worktops possible (actually these are marks/burns more easily but can be patch repaired and resanded/polished), relatively high cost (higher than granite) but can be formed into all sorts of shapes. Generally uses undermount or blended-in (solid surface) sinks.

Timber - the least serviceable material as it requires a lot of maintenance and it must be kept dry to avoid warping. Some species like oak are totally unsuitable for use with cast iron or traditional bare steel pans as they black mark too easily. Hot pan burns can sometimes be repaired. Can look great with a farmhouse kitchen and a Belfast sink, but otherwise I suggest avoid as it is the high maintenance option

Stone (generally granite, although slate is possible) - some (Chinese) v. affordable nowadays, but very heavy (so not always a DIY install). Can withstand hot pans, but you need to be careful to seal adequately to avoid oil and spicy food stains which can be permanent. Takes inset and undermount sinks and even seen granite used with Belfast sinks

Quartz - see stone v.similar but wide range of colours and generally more expensive, although prices of thinner grades bonded onto MDF or chipboard are coming down

Stainless steel - will last forever, but a bit industrial to my mind (not my taste, although I have installed a couple and they really last). Lowest maintenance option and can be repolished if it starts to look jaded

There are others, e.g concrete. Main things are do you want to DIY and what is your kitchen size/layout, and of course what is your budget?
 
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Thank you JobAndKnock.

I am not sure what sort of surface that laminate has.

However, (elsewhere) I had a Formica laminate Worktop installed some years ago and it is still in use.

Now, I will either look for that type of Worktop or consider steel.

The existing Worktop is 3835 X 38 mm with cut outs for sink and cooker hob.
 
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I have had steel worktops, They are probably the best option for kitchens, as nothing is a problem for them... hot pans, acid etc. Cheaper than stone etc. (Well used to be).

find a sheet metalworker to fabricate what you are after, I did, it was cheap back in the day.

That said, I’ve Now gone solid wood... takes a little more upkeep if I’m honest. But I can fit/work it myself, so horses for courses.
 
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I did some work on an apartment in a converted mill - all bare brick and exposed beams. The owner went for an unfitted kitchen where most of the units came in secondhand from a commercial kitchen company, with local steel fabricator modifying some of the units. The customer said it had cost less than a B&Q fitted kitchen, even with the mods required. It's not unknown for scrapyards to have items knocking about, too. Cleans up with a steam cleaner, polishes out with a "roller sander"
 
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Laminate with a post formed edge has probably the most advantages overall but isn’t that trendy these days.

When I used to make kitchens almost every customer had granite, Its great but the high gloss always looks smeared from water marks….like on a car windscreen.
 

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