What are the best countertops for cooking?
Kitchen countertops are one of the most important decisions you’ll make when designing or refurbing your kitchen. Not only do they influence the aesthetic and overall feel of the space, but they can also be the making of a great chef. Though, get the wrong kitchen countertop, and you’ll likely end up with culinary nightmares and the type of colorful language witnessed in Gordon Ramsay’s kitchen.
On the flip side, the right countertop can be the perfect addition to your prep space. So, what types of countertops should a serious cook consider?
Sophie is a home interiors writer and all-around design aficionado. We asked her to investigate the best countertop choice if you love to cook. This is what the experts told her.
What makes a good countertop for cooking?
‘It’s important to ensure your chosen surface will be long-lasting and durable,’ says Jonathan Stanley, Vice President of Marketing at Caesarstone. ‘Kitchens are busy places, and the worksurface, more than any other part, really takes the brunt of this.’ You need to choose a countertop that can stand up to what you dish out.
‘A kitchen should be both ‘aesthetically beautiful and utterly practical,’ adds bespoke kitchen designer Tom Howley. ‘The right countertop elegantly ties a kitchen design together… and should confidently support you through a future of cooking and entertainment.’ It shouldn’t just look the part, but play it too.
Which countertops are least likely to stain?
(Image credit: Brittany Ambridge. Design: Michelle Gerson)
‘Maintenance is one of the most important elements when choosing the worktop material for your kitchen,’ says Tom. ‘For those who like a spotless space, being able to wipe away spillages easily is a priority.’ Quartz is one of Tom’s go-to kitchen countertop materials, principally for its characteristic low-fuss and hardy qualities. The engineered stone is a combination of quartz stone particles and resin. ‘Quartz surfaces are durable and non-porous, making them less susceptible to staining, so cleaning up oil, juice, or coffee is as simple as one swipe,’ he explains. ‘And as well as being durable, quartz comes in a vast range of nature-inspired patterns and beautiful colors.’
Another countertop favored for its high-performance features, and design versatility is porcelain. Perfect for high-traffic areas, porcelain countertops are hard-wearing, highly resistant to heat, chemicals, and acidic or alkaline substances, and will not fade or discolor over time. ‘The high-quality non-porous surface resists stains and scratches, and it is extremely hygienic and easy to clean, saving both time and effort,’ says Mor Krisher, Caesarstone’s Head of Design.
‘Solid surfacing countertops are a great option for at-home chefs,’ says Gerri Chmiel, Senior Design Manager at Formica. Solid surface is a budget-friendly alternative to stone and a favorite mid-range countertop material. Composed of dense polyester, acrylic, and resin, solid surfaces are non-porous, resisting stains and bacteria. ‘Solid surfacing options are also very durable and don’t require regular sealing,’ says Gerri. ‘And, on the off chance they do occur, most scratches can be buffed out of the surface, as the countertop is the same color and material to its core,’ she adds. ‘Cleaning up messes is a breeze, as you can use a mild soap or simple household cleaner on most solid surfacing options.’ Solid surface is not heat resistant, so she warns chefs to be mindful of hot pans and dishes and recommends using a trivet to protect the surface.
Which countertops can I put hot pans on?
Chefs work with high temperatures in the kitchen, so as well as being low-maintenance, stain-resistant, and hygienic, the perfect kitchen countertop should also be heat-resistant.
Porcelain is a reliable kitchen countertop in this camp. Since it is made from clay, fired in high temperatures, porcelain can withstand extremely high temperatures. Other alternative countertops, like quartz, granite, and marble, are also heat-resistant. However, while they are less likely to be damaged by hot pans and trays than other surfaces, it’s always wise to err on the side of caution and use trivets or cooling racks – some surfaces can crack unexpectedly when exposed to extreme heat, even if they’re virtually shatterproof.
Which are the most hygienic?
When it comes to hygiene, few materials beat copper. Frequently touched surfaces, like kitchen countertops, door handles, and taps, are breeding grounds for germs. Copper and its alloys, such as brass, bronze, and copper-nickel, are inherently antimicrobial, which means they rapidly kill bacteria and viruses that settle on their surface. Brass and copper kitchen countertops offer additional protection against infections, alongside the usual surface cleaning and hand-washing practices.
‘Brass and copper are real show-stopping materials,’ says Sara Halman Thompson, owner of online artisan metal creators Halman Thompson. ‘The benefits of brass and copper as a kitchen worktop material are almost endless. ’ As well as their unique warm glow and antibacterial qualities, ‘these are metals that are durable, long-lasting, and easy to clean,’ she says. Since brass and copper are living finishes, their appearance will develop and change over time, producing stunning results, though the weathered look may not be to everyone’s taste, however this lived-in patina is a growing countertop trend. Although these kitchen countertops can be sealed with lacquer to maintain a uniform look and prevent staining, it’s worth noting this will neutralize the natural antibacterial properties of the material.
Aside from brass and copper, a good rule to stick by is the less porous the material, the more hygienic it is. ‘Quartz is perfect for kitchens as its non-porous texture inhibits the growth of bacteria, mold, or mildew, remaining safe and sanitary for ultimate cleanliness,’ says Tom. Porcelain and solid surface also slot comfortably into the “non-porous and hygienic” category.
(Image credit: Marco Ricca. Design: Michelle Gerson)
Which countertops are better for kneading?
If you’re big into baking or pizza and pasta-making, you’ll want a smooth, non-porous countertop that retains a low temperature, even in the heat of the moment. Quartz is the number one chef and baker-approved countertop in this department. We already know it ticks the box as a non-porous, stain-resistant, low-maintenance, and easy-to-clean material – which are undeniably crucial where lots of flour is involved.
But what makes it particularly favorable is its ability to retain a low temperature, and as all pastry chefs know, temperature matters. Quartz countertops keep their cool, so you can too, as there’ll be no melting butter, sticky dough, deflated flaky crusts, or Ramsay-style f-words!
So, which countertop is best for cooks?
Quartz ticks all the boxes for a chef-proof kitchen countertop. It’s durable, non-porous, heat, scratch, and stain-resistant, low-maintenance, easy to keep clean, and maintains a low temperature year-round.
‘Aesthetically beautiful and utterly practical, quartz allows you to achieve an aesthetic you will love without compromising on durability, making it the perfect choice for a kitchen design,’ agrees Jonathan. ‘Whether you’re after a bolder, dramatic style with a darker hue or looking to create a light, calming atmosphere with something softer, this material can offer just that.’ The surface not only looks the part but plays it too.
5 of the Best Countertops to Consider for Busy Kitchens
When you’re looking at replacement kitchen countertops, it can be tough to make a decision about which material is going to work best in your kitchen. If you’re working with a busy kitchen at home, here are five countertop materials that could be a good fit for you.
Replacing countertops you currently have with quartz countertops is an excellent option if you’re dealing with a busy kitchen. Not only is quartz a low-maintenance countertop material, but it’s also durable in the face of kitchen countertop hazards like hot pots, abrasive pads, and stains. In addition, quartz comes in a variety of colors and finishes that can match almost any kitchen theme out there. And if you love the look of granite but you’re sold on quartz, there are quartz countertops that mimic the natural look of granite.
Speaking of granite, this material is another great option for replacement kitchen countertops in your busy home. Each slab of granite is unique, but be advised that rarer colors and veining do cost more. And when almost 46% of homeowners tend to exceed their budget for a remodeling project, keeping costs down is a must. But for a cost-effective option, some run-of-the-mill granite will still look absolutely stunning in your kitchen. This material is also perfect for replacing kitchen counters because of its resistance to heat, scratches, and stains. It’s important to note that periodic resealing is needed to ward off more severe stains, though.
While this material isn’t as common as granite if you want to replace your kitchen countertops with it, it does offer some fabulous benefits. First, it’s incredibly resistant to any kind of heat damage. In addition, repairing small scratches in this material can be accomplished with a little bit of light sanding and some mineral oil. That being said, soapstone does scratch easily. If you don’t mind a few scuffs and you’re married to your cutting board then it shouldn’t be too much of a problem, but this does make soapstone a bit of a higher-maintenance material.
You might have bad memories of laminate countertops, but hear us out. Thanks to technological improvements, laminate countertops look better than ever. Not only that, but they’re also incredibly easy to install and fairly resistant to stains and heat damage. It’s important to use a cutting board when you have laminate counters, though, as they tend to get damaged pretty easily by cuts and scratches.So if you’re in a pinch and need to replace kitchen counters, laminate is still a viable option.
Butcher block countertops are typically made using wood, which can add incredible warmth to your kitchen. And for the most part, they’re just as sturdy as any other kind of kitchen countertop. They’re typically used by butchers, after all. A good varnish can help you improve stain resistance, but dings and scratches can easily happen. For many people, this just adds character, but for others, the maintenance of buffing out scratches isn’t really ideal.
When you’re looking for replacement kitchen countertops, there are plenty of options to choose from. You’ll be fine with any of these five choices, but make sure you consider the amount of maintenance you’re willing to perform.
Kitchen countertops, best prices
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OPTIMA Stone / Uncategorized / Artificial stone countertops – a fashion trend!
People who keep up with the times choose a modern style for their kitchen. The main characteristics of the modern style are clear contours, large working horizontals and original design. A fashionable trend is the combination of synthetic materials in tandem with natural elements. Natural materials are expensive in combination with the limitations of the properties of raw materials. For example, a tree is subject to moisture and high temperatures, and rocks are not easy to process, they have a lot of weight. Artificial stone has many advantages when compared with other materials, so our company accepts orders for artificial stone countertops.
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It’s no surprise that artificial stone countertops are becoming more and more popular. It perfectly combines practicality and presentable appearance. The most widely used countertop made of artificial stone Corian. Corian countertop is not affected by moisture and high temperatures. She is not afraid of accidental hits with heavy objects (for example, a frying pan), and scratches and cracks do not form on a perfectly smooth surface. If there are chips or serious damage, then it is quite easy to make up for the missing part. It is enough just to stick it on acrylic glue and grind the joints with a special machine.
This countertop is unforgettably easy to maintain! Even old stains are removed without traces, it is enough to wipe the surface with a damp sponge with a product.
These are not all the functional advantages of artificial stone countertops. But it’s time to pay attention to the aesthetics that artificial stone gives.
At high temperatures (from 150-200 °C) acrylic stone acquires plasticity and can be given any shape and configuration. Designers around the world have appreciated the possibility of decorating the interior of a kitchen with monolithic products of various shapes and sizes. An artificial stone can imitate not only any rock, but also create the illusion that you have a product made of wood, brick or concrete. There are almost unlimited possibilities for creating a unified style in the kitchen!
With all this, the “icing on the cake” is the richness of the color palette of our Corian artificial stone countertops. More than 100 color shades of raw materials and, mastered to perfection, surface imitation technologies for any material, allow expanding the range of countertops. And the services of the designer offered by us will help to give individuality and originality to a table-top for your kitchen.
On the OPTIMASTONE website you can find useful information, as well as place an order in a matter of minutes!
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IKEA kitchen worktops – 90 photos of the best new designs from the latest catalog
Author: IDEADECOR Studio
Hot pots and pans, spilled juice, everyday touches, rubbing kitchen worktops wear out. In addition to being the main load in the working kitchen space, countertops must continue to look good in the interior.
Before diving into samples of natural wood, engineered stone and marble, ask yourself a few key questions that will help you determine which materials are right for you.
Which top to choose
Natural wood finish
Photos of ikea kitchen countertops
Which countertop to choose
How do you plan to use your countertops? This may seem obvious, but it is the most important factor. Do you constantly meet guests and cook for a large family? Is the home kitchen the centerpiece of the home? Do you have a habit of throwing your keys and bag on the table as soon as you get home?
For a permanently used surface, you will need a material that is resistant to heat, stains and scratches, such as quartz. If you’re more of the type of person who considers a bowl of instant noodles to be a well-planned homemade dinner, then your countertop will likely hold up to a softer material like laminate.
Measure your kitchen and calculate the price per square meter you can afford. If conventional quartz is too expensive to install, consider combining it with other materials.
One such option is to use quartz only around the perimeter with another material such as wood on the kitchen island. Made from laminate or wood, IKEA pre-cut kitchen countertops are in the low price range.
Acrylic is a class of durable synthetic building material created by Dupont Corporation in the 1967 year. In 1980, this material began to be widely used as a material for kitchen countertops.
Acrylic countertops are durable, easy to clean and available in a variety of colors. Non-porous, water and stains do not penetrate deep into the surface. Therefore, with proper cleaning, mold, fungus and bacteria cannot grow on an acrylic countertop.
Easily repaired after damage – most defects can be professionally repaired, including thermal damage, scratches and chips.
- Easy to wipe clean.
- Looks like real stone.
- Easy maintenance.
- Can be installed without the help of a professional.
- 25 year warranty.
- May not support overly heavy sinks.
- The worktop is easily dented.
- Can be easily scratched when cutting if not taken care of.
Natural wood finish
Just because kitchen worktops need to be functional doesn’t mean that aesthetics have to be sacrificed. If you want a cozier look in your kitchen space that is perfect for a country style kitchen, then you should look into natural wood countertops.
The wooden surface heats up over time and changes its appearance. If you prefer a material that will remain smooth and unchanged for a long time, then you should pay attention to quartz.
All IKEA wood worktops are pre-cut, which means they can be taken home directly from the store. Ikea’s countertop catalog features solid wood options as well as less expensive thin-layer wood countertops.
These countertops are not made of solid wood, only the outer surface is covered with a thin layer of wood. But it looks and needs maintenance just like a solid wood countertop.
The combination worktop can be sanded. It is just as strong and beautiful, but much more resistant to external influences. The top surface is usually made of oak veneer.
But if you don’t tend to clean up all the time, if your kids are constantly littering and spilling, as they often are, this is not the best option, as wood countertops need regular maintenance. Laminate and quartz are able to withstand permanent damage.
- Wooden worktops create warmth and comfort in the kitchen.
- Match with a variety of styles.
- Can be sanded if required.
- Multilayer construction.
- Adds stability to the hull.
- Less sensitive to humidity.
- Less prone to bending, splitting or splitting than solid wood.
- Pretreated with hard wax oil.
- The wide plank design adds style to the interior.
- Strong and durable material.
- Darkens beautifully with age.
- 25 year warranty.
Disadvantages: May require special care.
The most economical worktop material is laminate. The material is lightweight, low maintenance and very durable. Grease stains and sticky products are easy to wipe off, making laminate countertops a smart choice for busy people.
In addition, with a wide range of color and finish options, laminate flooring can make friends with any style.
- Excellent price.
- Easy to clean.
- A wide range of colors makes laminate a versatile material.
- Easily scratched or deformed by moisture or heat.
- Bad laminate can look cheap.
- Some installation skills required.
- Needs regular sealing.
- Not as heat resistant as quartz.
- Not resistant to dirt.
- Requires rapid cleaning up of spilled water to avoid staining.
- Changes color over time.
IR EA offers Builder’s Quartz for custom countertops. This is the most expensive option that IKEA sells, but the countertop is well worth the money spent.
Quartz is extremely durable and will never scratch or stain, making it the perfect choice for any kitchen.
- Available in 26 colors and patterns.
- Can carry a lot of weight.
- The material is non-porous and resistant to scratches, stains.
- Moisture and heat resistant material
- Lifetime warranty.
- Low maintenance.
You can choose from five ready-made options or a completely custom design.
Undoubtedly, the quartz countertop will fit into any kitchen space.
- Significantly more expensive than other options
- Very heavy, basic kitchen design will have to support the heavy weight of the countertop.
Photo of ikea kitchen worktops