Worktop Comparison

Wondering which Kitchen Worktop is right for your kitchen?

The kitchen work surface can take some rough treatment. Hot pans, knives household chemicals all take their toll. Also vital, is colour and texture. Getting it right therefore needs to be a priority; here are some comparisons to help alleviate the confusion. First some useful tips:

Solid Surface (Composite) Comparison Guide

We are asked daily as to which is the best solid surface brand worktop and why. Since we supply, cut and install every type and brand we are probably the best authority to answer that question. The table below is a generalization as to Choice, Quality and Price and reveals as a matter of fact that Tristone is quite probably Europe's best value for money kitchen worktops providing you find a coulour you like. It is as robust, durable and easy to maintain as Corian at lesser cost to you.

Regardless, we appreciate every order we are trusted with and will supply and install the new kitchen worktop you chose at Trade and to the best of our ability.

Surface Colour Choice Material Thickness Usual Finished Thickness Comment Stars
Apollo Slab Ice White 20mm / 30mm 20mm/30mm
Thick plastic
Easily Scratched
Temporary kitchen trend
Mid to high price
3 Stars
Apollo Quick Top 12mm 38mm
Chinese Made
Colour Variations
Delivery Problems
High Price
3 Stars
Corian Glacier White 12mm 12mm to any thickness
High Quality
Large Colour Choice
10 Year Guarantee
Expensive
5 Stars
Maia 3mm 28/42/50mm
Too thin
Joints may crack
Cannot under mount sink
no Drainer Grooves
Expensive for 3mm thich
2 Stars
Earthstone 3mm 42mm
Too thin
Joints may crack
Cannot under mount sink
no Drainer Grooves
Expensive for 3mm thich
2 Stars
Tristone 12mm 12mm to any thickness
High Quality
Large Colour Choice
10 Year Guarantee
Very Well Priced
5 Stars

Hardwood Worktops

choosing kitchen worktopFew things compare with the look and feel of natural wood. Hardwood worktops blend into almost any kitchen design. Be it contemporary or old farmhouse, wood can create the wow factor you're looking for. Hardwood worktops are extremely durable and versatile. Consider the very good condition of the Oak built ship the Mary Rose after lying at the bottom of the sea for hundreds of years. If solid hardwood worktops become scratched or water stained, its simple to re-sand, re-oil and restore as good as new. Here are some recommendations for keeping your hardwood tops in great condition:

  • Spills: Clean up spillages quickly especially on the lighter wood types. Treating with Danish oil will give you a waterproof barrier, but must be re-applied on a regular basis.
  • Fit for purpose: Although all hardwood worktops are great for any kitchen environment Iroko is particular good for fitting in areas where water is running freely, for instance; around sinks. Iroko is frequently the wood of choice for installing in harbours and docks as fenders and dock supports.

Laminate

The biggest advantage of Laminate Kitchen Worktops is low cost. Using modern techniques in photography, laminate kitchen worktops can now mimic almost any and other surface type, including slate, granite, quartz and wood. Whilst reasonably robust and waterproof, laminates cannot really to be compared in terms of durability against Corian, Granite, Quartz and other composite surfaces.

All our laminate products are of the highest quality and manufactured with the environment in mind. They are extremely versatile, easy to clean and resistant to most household chemicals. Can be fitted as a DIY project. Available with a choice of curved or straight edges types. Smooth, textured finish or gloss finishes. Can be complimented with upstands and splashbacks instead of tiling.

Granite

Granite is a 100% solid stone worktop Of timeless beauty. Suppled in various thickness, 30mm being the standard. Comes finished in both high gloss and honed matt finish. Extremely hard-wearing and difficult to scratch.

A completely natural product with colour and grain variation found mostly in the medium and lighter colours. Darker granites are more consistent in colour but are not guaranteed to be entirely free from this possibility. Granite worktops are among the heaviest (30mm worktop 2.6m x 600mm weighs up to 145kg/23 stone) of solid surfaces and a fact to be considered if the destination has access issues (e.g. top floor flat or townhouse with kitchen above ground floor level).

Best USE: In any area of the kitchen, including around the sink and next to the hob or oven. A large high gloss Granite worktop creates a stunning finish to an island unit or breakfast bar.

Best LOOK: Granite is a luxury material that is timeless and complements traditional and contemporary styles alike. Choose from the classic polished high gloss finish or honed matt for a more contemporary look. Honed matt will incur additional cost.

CARE and Maintenance: Very low maintenance. Clean using a damp cloth and a mild detergent.

SEALING Required? None - However, using a stone seal product can protect against stains caused by food and drinks such as coffee and tea. If choosing to seal your worktop, do so approx. every 6 months.

DURABILITY: One of the hardest substances on earth, Granite is extremely hard wearing and won't scratch under normal use. Although Granite is naturally porous it is one of the least absorbent stones and cleaning up spillages immediately will reduce permanent damage. Particularly take care with wine and citric acids. Hot pans should not be placed directly on a Granite worktop, use pan rests/hob bars.

DESIGN Flexibility: Granite can be cut into a number of different shapes and sizes, including curves and radius corners, using the latest in modern technology. However, unlike Corian, it cannot be moulded to form integrated sinks or coved upstands as it is a 100% natural stone product.

PRICE per linear metre (600mm worktop width): - Prices start from £107.00 (inc VAT) per linear metre - This is a material only price and excludes fabrication work, delivery and installation. However, you should still find our granite worktops highly competitive.

Quartz

WHAT is it? Quartz worktops are made from minimum 90% crushed stone mixed with acrylic resin and colour pigments. In some cases crushed mirror particles are added to give a sparkle effect.

Why people buy Quartz: Little specialist care needed. Non-porous and easy to maintain. Durable and hard-wearing (rated 7 on the 'Moh's Hardness Scale'). Heat, scratch and stain resistant. Crystalline Quartz particles reflect the light giving aesthetic beauty and style.

Why people choose another surface: Quartz worktops are heavy (30mm worktop weighs approx. 72kg per square metre) and can have similar transport/install access issues as Granite. Unobtrusive, but visible joints. Uniform colour/design cannot be guaranteed due to the natural stone element of the material - However, this can also be the attraction of the material as each worktop will be slightly individual!

Best USE: Ideal for kitchen worktops Quartz combines natural, durable quality with luxury and style. Quartz can be used in any area of the kitchen. Non-porous, hygienic and long lasting are perfect qualities around sink units and food preparation areas.

Best LOOK: Available in an extensive range of colours and designs, there is a Quartz worktop to match every colour scheme. Choose from a standard high gloss finish or if you prefer a matt look check out our Zodiaq Quartz Concrete Range. This is the product to choose if you are looking for that 'sparkle effect' as some designs incorporate crushed mirror particles which catch the light and 'sparkle' as seen in many showrooms and high street retailers.

CARE and Maintenance: Very low maintenance. Clean using a damp cloth and a mild detergent.

SEALING Required? None

DURABILITY: - Stain and scratch resistant. Although heat resistant to 250oC, we strongly recommend the use of pan rests/hob bars. Non-porous, hygienic surface rated 7 on the Moh's Hardness Scale.

DESIGN Flexibility: Quartz worktops can be cut into a number of different shapes and sizes, including curves and radius corners, using the latest in modern technology and is available in a finished thickness of 20-100mm. Like Granite, however, it cannot be moulded to form integrated sinks or coved upstands due to the high percentage of natural stone content.

Quite probably the best value for money solid surface stone tops available.

Corian

WHAT is it? Corian is constructed using approx. 70% crushed stone mixed with acrylic resin and colour pigments. Due to the higher levels of acrylic resin Corian has a warmer feel to it than Granite or Quartz and can be moulded and formed into curved shapes including fully integrated sinks.

Why people buy Corian: Easy to maintain and repair if necessary as stains and scratches can be sanded out. Seamless joins make a smooth, hygienic and tactile surface. Corian can be moulded to create contemporary designs and can incorporate fully integrated sinks and drainers. Worktops are lighter in weight than stone as the solid surface is 13mm thick and moulded over an MDF subframe.

Why people choose another surface: Higher cost bracket - Corian is the Rolls Royce of kitchen worktops and it therefore one of the more expensive solid surface materials available. Template and installation is carried out by DuPont certified installers. Scratches can be polished out with the supplied care kit and bigger chips can equally be readily and invisibly repaired.

Best USE: In wet areas. This is the choice for a seamless integrated sink and worktop run! Also works well in bathrooms and for vanity tops, shower walls and virtually as any design feature you could imagine.

Best LOOK: - Over 105 colours to choose from - choose bright hues for modern kitchens, white for architectural designs, and paler shades for traditional rooms. You can even contrast colours in different worktop sections or incorporate accents and inlays for a truly individual look.

CARE and Maintenance: Easy to clean. Use a damp cloth and mild detergent for general cleaning. For stubborn marks use a mildly abrasive cleaner such as 'Barkeeper's Friend' (available from supermarkets). Each of our worktops comes with a full care and maintenance kit to get you started.

SEALING Required? None

DURABILITY: - Excellent impact resistance and difficult to stain Corian is non-porous and hygienic. Do not place hot pans on the worktop, we strongly recommend the use of pan rests/hob bars. As it is a solid colour through the surface material, it will not rot or delaminate and any scratches can be easily polished out.

DESIGN Flexibility: Can be formed into any shape with seamless joints, ideal for wrap-around islands or worktop end panels. Corian is the leader in design possibilities with finished thickness available up to 100mm and the option of fully moulded sinks to complete the smooth, seamless appearance.

Corian Look-alikes

WHAT are they? Composite worktop materials, like Corian, are man-made by mixing acrylic resins and natural minerals. Modular composites are available off-the-shelf from a number of manufacturers in a range of sizes and styles which do not require professional template/installation. The surface material of these products is thinner than Corian, but is extremely similar in look, feel and functionality.

Why people buy Corian look-alikes: No templating or professional installation required. Joints are unobtrusive and near seamless creating a hygienic made to measure kitchen work surface which is easy to care for and allows for a lower budget than Corian. Off-the-shelf availability reduces delivery lead times. Most composite surfaces can be easily repaired.

Best USE: A very practical and beautiful choice that can be used anywhere, including next to hobs and around the sink. Straight worktop runs or layouts designed around the modular structure. Ideal when you want a solid surface worktop to be delivered quickly which you can install by yourself without the higher price tag of Corian.

Best LOOK: - Dramatic colours such as grey and blue look fabulous in modern and contemporary kitchens. If your kitchen design is quite traditional, consider neutrals such as cream.

CARE and Maintenance: Wipe up spills to prevent marks. Keep clean with a soft, damp cloth and a mild detergent.

SEALING Required? None

DURABILITY: Composite is very tough and resistant to impact. Like Corian, it is non-porous and hygienic. Do not place hot pans on the worktop, we strongly recommend the use of pan rests/hob bars. The solid colour throughout the surface material allows any scratches to be easily removed. Unlike laminate the worktops are completely impervious to moisture and will not rot or delaminate.

DESIGN Flexibility: Modular composite surfaces create a 3 dimensional solid stone appearance with the advantage of seamless joints and, in some cases, fully integrated sinks. Different manufacturer's have different design options so choose one that suits you.

Recommend Maia as best value for money for supply only and Apollo Magna if template and installation is required.

Quick Reference Worktop Comparison Guide

  MATERIAL
FEATURES Granite Quartz Corian Modular Composites
Non-Porous No Yes Yes Yes
Seamless Joints No No Yes Yes
High Gloss Finish Yes Yes No No
Mid Sheen Finish No No Yes Yes
Matt Finish Yes Yes Yes Yes
Design Flexibility Limited Limited Yes Check Individual Ranges
Sparkle Effect Yes Yes No No
Square Upstands Yes Yes Yes Check Individual Ranges
Coved Upstands No No Yes No
Belfast Sinks Yes Yes Yes No
Undermounted Sinks Yes Yes Yes Check Individual Ranges
Moulded Sinks No No Yes Check Individual Ranges
Drainer Grooves Yes Yes Yes Check Individual Ranges
Pan Rests Yes Yes Yes No
Thickness of Surface Material 30mm 20-30mm 13mm 2-6mm
Available Worktop Thickness 30mm 20-100mm 38-100mm Check Individual Ranges
Requires Template1 Yes Yes Yes No
Manufacturer's Limited Warranty 2 Years2 10 Years 10 Years Check Individual Ranges
  1. Worktops must be professionally templated and installed to include the appropriate manufacturer's warranty.
  2. Warranty only covers cracking of material and colour variation resulting from the material itself within the first two years. Accidental damage is not covered. If there has been no material defect within the first two years, the Granite is expected to last for many years due to its natural stone quality.