Small but Significant: Worktops
One of the final touches to a kitchen is the worktop. For many, choosing the right worktop is often about the material, but there is more to the work surface than just that. With more choice than ever we cover the options available:
Mix and Match
From wood, granite or laminates to Corian and quartz there are plenty of materials to explore. Corian and quartz stone provide the flexibility to add an instant splash of colour, sparkle and shine to a kitchen surface and they can be formed into any shape to add a personalised finish in your kitchen design. It is also easy to clean with no broken surfaces. Or for a timeless look and to add warmth, wood is ideal. Take care of it around water and oil it a couple of times a year to maintain its beautiful finish.
There are endless options for combinations; for example traditional timbers work very well alongside modern materials. Corian or steel looks particularly sophisticated when teamed with wood.
Use different materials to create separate activity zones for a supremely useable kitchen. For example, choose an accented corner surface or breakfast bar made of wood for eating, contrasted with Corian or quartz worktops for food preparation with integrated appliances, such as hobs or Tepan Yakis by Miele.
Painted glass breakfast bar areas can be created to provide a splash of colour and to define a particular area.
Shape and Size matters
Choose sweeping island worktops of 15-30mm thick, mixed with thicker drum worktops, or sink areas, of more than 50mm. Mixing different sizes is also a great way to define areas such as food prep, cleaning and eating zones.
The shape depends on the look and space you have to play with. In particular, designing for an open plan kitchen means that a designer can really experiment with space and shape.
If you do have room for a kitchen island, getting the shape right is fundamental. Curvaceous sweeping island shapes with lowered or raised table heights for face-to-face eating provide a softer alternative to the often-uncompromising look of a rectangular island.
For smaller kitchens, breakfast bars can be blended into the rest of your kitchen design in work surfaces such as granite, Corian and quartz. If you’d like your breakfast bar to be an addition to a unit, cones and cylindrical drums work well when there is an overlay of surface and allow room below to fit a couple of stools.
Unique raised chrome and glass breakfast bars can be fitted right on top of a workspace using angular supports, or cantilever arms, and require no extra space.
When it comes to profiles on solid surfaces, contemporary styles – shark’s nose and pencil radius are popular, traditional styles like bullnose and ogee tiered edge are also very popular and timeless. A ribbed effect profile against a smooth work surface, such as Granite, is a great way to add contrasting textures and an interesting focal point. Another option is to extend the worktop to the floor, this works particularly well on an island where the worktop continues vertically down one or both sides for a wrap effect. If you are looking for seamless, clean lines then this could be the perfect choice.
There’s more to a workshop than meets the eye; it can be transformed into one of the most hard working components of your kitchen. Integrated LED lighting can be incorporated under mounted or freestanding work surfaces to give bursts of light wherever needed. Appliances such as boiling hot-water taps, integrated directly into worktops are becoming very popular. From hidden extraction fans, integrated Tepan-Yakis and wok hobs, integrated chopping boards, to pop-up spice racks, the worktop is truly becoming a multifunctional space.
For more inspiration on worktops click here