Marble has always been a very popular choice for stone worktops because it is absolutely beautiful and offers a pretty much unrivalled spectacular display and range of colours and patterns. It’s versatile enough that it can be used around the home and can often be found in bathrooms, fireplace surrounds and flooring. If you are considering it for your worktops in the kitchen, it is reasonably heat resistant and the superb smooth finish of marble is also easy to clean.
However, due to its porous nature, marble will naturally absorb more liquids and is more susceptible to staining, especially from acidic liquids, red wine and oils. Also as it is a softer stone than other natural stones such as granite, sharp knives can easily scratch the surface, and heavy pots or mugs can end up chipping the surface. We always advise clients that marble tops will age over time rather than staying pristine like quartz but that’s what makes them so special.⠀
Whilst some rarer types of marble can be expensive, more common types such as Carrara marble are some of the least expensive natural stone worktop materials.Quartzite
These types of material provide a unique and memorable look with the similarities of beautiful marble and the strength of granite. A smooth and durable surface ideal for internal applications with great effects such as feature walls, panel cladding, splashbacks and floorings. Not to be confused with man-made Quartz, this is a natural Quartzite built up work surface. As you can see, it has a beautiful natural look which is full of character. It is very hardwearing making it a great choice for a statement kitchen work surface.
Quartz is engineered with extremely hard pure quartz crystals. Quartz worktops are growing in popularity because of their many good qualities as well as the fact they look great. A great choice for a busy family home, it keeps its good looks and survives the impact of nicks and chips that can occur with daily wear and tear, minimising short and long term maintenance.
It is also non-porous and therefore hygienic and stain-resistant, doesn’t require sealing and is really low maintenance and easy to clean. It stands up to juice, oil, wine, tomato, coffee and other sources of stains in the kitchen and has the same durability as concrete and granite, but is a bit more forgiving, so it won’t chip or crack as easily.
There aren’t many cons to this engineered stone other than you may prefer the more natural look of granite, marble, slate or wood for your home.Caesarstone (a renowned brand of Quartz worktops)
Caesarstone is a lovely cool, tactile material with the added benefit that it is extremely low maintenance and durable. It will withstand virtually all the challenges of everyday life and doesn't need sealing, treating, polishing or any other form of maintenance, except a simple wipe clean with regular detergent and water. It's also highly adaptable and can be cut to fit nearly any space or design – curved or shaped. It comes in a huge variety of styles and colours – in fact it is difficult to think of a colour you will not be able to find!
While Caesarstone is scratch and chip resistant, this certainly does not mean that it cannot be damaged at all. If you drop something heavy directly onto the surface, then you can still chip any edges and corners.
Caesarstone may be more expensive than some other stones out there on the market, however you will never have to replace your kitchen worktop. In fact, every Caesarstone countertop comes with a certified 25-year warranty. Therefore, your Caesarstone is a real investment piece for your home.Silestone (a renowned brand of Quartz worktops)
This Spanish brand is another leader in this industry and has over the years become the synonym for quality. It has very similar qualities to the ones mentioned above for Caesarstone as it too has a non-porous surface meaning it is highly hygienic, easy to keep clean and very low maintenance. It is however, sensitive to harsh chemicals such as ammonia or bleach. As with Caesarstone, every Silestone worktop comes with a certified 25-year warranty.
No other material can bring so much warmth, life and natural feeling like solid wood.
Introducing wood into a kitchen softens the look and gives a characterful feel but you do need to be careful where you use it. For example, it would not be practical around a sink area. Wooden worktops need a little care and attention to ensure they stay looking great and in that respect they can require more maintenance than other more practical worktop choices.
One option is to couple the wood with a more user-friendly worktop surface (like the concrete shown in this picture) and use it more sparingly in less vulnerable positions.
These are by no means all your options to consider when thinking about your kitchen worktops. There are many other materials such as Granite, Concrete, Dekton, Corian, Glass, Stainless Steel etc. Take your time when choosing and think about what is best for your home. Each worktop has it’s pros and cons, so make sure you know exactly what worktop fits your requirements and lifestyle. We are here to help you consider all the choices and very happy to answer any queries you may have.