Choosing The Right Countertop For Your London Kitchen

When it comes to a kitchen refurbishment, the one point that gets many of our clients stuck is choosing the right kitchen countertop surfaces. From style and colour to durability and function, there are so many factors to take into account. If you’re struggling to choose the right countertops for your London kitchen, here is how you decide. 

Questions you need to ask when choosing a countertop

Butcher block kitchen countertop

Before you make any decisions, you should narrow down your choices by asking yourself the following questions:

Who is going to install your countertop? 

Professional installers are the best option to give you a great finish. On the other hand, you could DIY, but unless you’re a professional builder, you probably won’t achieve that seamless look you’d like from your new kitchen. 

How much space have you dedicated to the countertop?

Between oven towers, pantry cupboards, and that appliance garage you fell in love with, there’s usually not much space for counter space. 

Have you planned enough space for your kettle, appliances, dish drying rack, microwave, and all those other things you need out on your countertops? As well as plenty of room for food prep and washing up? 

If you’re building a kitchen extension, remember to include a nice long run of counter space. 

Are you good at cleaning up after yourself immediately? 

Marble kitchen countertops may look fantastic, but they are tough to clean. If you spill oil or sauce on the countertops, you’ll need to clean it up immediately to keep them looking crisp and clean. If you’re likely to leave cleaning until after dinner, you’ll need a lower maintenance material (we’ll look at different types of kitchen countertops below). 

What colour and texture do you want? 

From solid oak to pristine marble, there is a colour and texture to suit pretty much every style. If you don’t at least narrow it down, you’ll be drowning in choices when it comes time to choose. 

Think about which colours will go with your cabinets and if you’d like to add texture or keep them smooth. 

What kind of budget do you have?

The cost of kitchen countertops in London varies widely depending on the size, thickness, and material you choose. Here are some average costs in London to give you an idea of what to expect:

  • Granite – £270/m2
  • Marble – £315/m2
  • Quartz – £475/m2
  • Ceramic – £450/m2
  • Wood – £100/m2

Choosing the right kitchen countertop material

Kitchen countertop samples

Whether you want a modern, seamless look for your countertops, or a warmer, country style for your kitchen refurbishment, you’re probably wondering what is the best material for kitchen countertops?

Quartz

Quartz kitchen countertop

Quartz kitchen countertops look and feel just like marble, but are much more resistant to stains and heat, making it a good choice for those who love cooking regularly alone or with kids who tend to make a mess. It’s a man-made option so can also be customised to different spaces with ease. 

Pros

  • Stain and scratch resistant
  • Low maintenance
  • Looks just like marble

Cons

  • Not heatproof
  • Expensive

Ceramic

Ceramic kitchen countertop

Ceramic worktops have a matte, textured, non-porous surface that is completely stain and heat resistant. It’s incredibly easy to keep clean and looks great in both classic and modern kitchens. However, they are one of the most expensive options because of their durability. 

Pros

  • Heat and stain resistant
  • Easy to clean
  • Hygienic

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not scratch resistant

Glass

Glass kitchen countertop

Crushed glass countertops are more affordable than quartz or marble, but it’s still an expensive option. Most people go for this option because they love the texture effect of the crushed glass which gives a beautiful speckled effect that’s at home in any modern kitchen. 

Pros

  • Heat and stain resistant
  • Non-porous
  • Looks unique

Cons

  • Prone to chipping
  • Difficult to repair

Granite

Granite kitchen countertop

Granite kitchen countertops are a more affordable and hard-wearing alternative to marble. Granite comes in a range of colours and finishes to suit almost any kitchen and is easy to keep clean. It does need to be treated every so often, but this is easily done with granite cleaners.

Pros

  • Low maintenance
  • Variety of colours and finishes
  • Scratch and heat resistant

Cons

  • Needs to be treated

Marble

Marble kitchen countertop

Marble is incredibly popular because it looks beautiful and it’s so unique that no two slabs have the exact same veining. It’s also incredibly versatile, looking great in modern or classic kitchens with either shaker or modern cupboards. 

Pros

  • Timeless and beautiful
  • Unique veining

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Very high maintenance
  • Stains easily

Corian

Corian kitchen countertop

Corian is a great option if you’d like your countertops moulded around your sink to give that seamless finish. It can also be moulded up the wall or over the edge to give the most seamless overall look. However, you do pay for this privilege and the cost of Corian is one of the highest. 

Pros

  • Invisible joints and seams
  • Moulded edges and sinks

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Not scratch or stain resistant

Wood

Wooden kitchen countertop

Solid wooden kitchen countertops are usually made from oak or walnut. They look fantastic in country-style kitchens paired with shaker cupboards and a warm colour palette. Compared to stone kitchen countertops, wood is also relatively cheap.

Pros

  • Naturally warm
  • Characterful
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Hard to clean
  • High maintenance

Laminate

Laminate kitchen countertop

Laminate is an affordable option that can easily mimic real wood countertops. Laminate kitchen countertops are also heat and stain resistant, and extremely low maintenance making them a great option for busy families with kids. 

Pros

  • Most cost-effective
  • Low maintenance
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Prone to chipping
  • Prominent joints and seams

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel kitchen countertop

Stainless steel countertops are most at home in modern kitchens that are used regularly. There is a reason these are used in commercial kitchens – they are extremely hard wearing and easy to clean. They are also relatively cheap compared to stone alternatives. 

Pros

  • Strong and durable
  • Heat and stain resistant
  • Hygienic

Cons

  • Cold to touch
  • Too commercial looking for some

Still Not Sure What to Choose?

Getting a new countertop is certainly a big investment. The important thing to remember is to take your time and assess your needs, your budget, and exactly how you would like to use your kitchen. If you’re struggling with making the decision, feel free to reach out to us and we’ll be happy to help!

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