A word on worktops

Christmas is very nearly upon us, and as the festive season is synonymous with indulging in decadent food, we thought we’d take this opportunity to talk worktops. Not only do they serve an aesthetic purpose, but they also have interesting functional properties that should be borne in mind when choosing a worktop.

 

(NB: we have steered clear of the issue of heat resistance in this post, as we would always advise that a hot pan should never be placed directly onto any work surface. We triumph the trivet! But if this is something you’d like to discuss, please feel free to contact us)

 

Our Minerva ‘ice crystal’ display atop high gloss Crown Imperial units. Click to enlarge and try to find the join!

One of our favourite surfaces, and perfect for budding pâtissier/es, is the Minerva worktop, shown on our island display in our New Milton showroom. It’s a solid worktop, made from acrylic resin but is inspired by natural elements, giving not only the look, but the coolness of stone to aid delicate food preparation. Unlike stone surfaces like granite, it is not porous and is impervious to spillages, making it one of the most hygienic worktops available.

Most of our customers who have gone ahead with the Minerva surface are attracted to the seamless finish, as the joins are buffed out to become imperceptible. Therein lies the rub, however, as the surface has to be soft enough to allow such buffing, and this softness means it can scratch with heavy use. Fortunately, any scratches are easily buffed out and the worktop restored to its original splendor.

 
 
 
 

Sensa granite in ‘Orinoco’ on our Crown Lifestyle display with gala style doors

Regardless of the popularity of worktops like Miverva, it would be remiss to overlook stone surfaces such as granite, as they are still of great interest for their geological peculiarities. We deal largely with Sensa granite by Cosentino, and the striking copper/gold coloured veins that course through this stone on display in our West Moors showroom provide a good example of granite’s visual appeal. As granite is manufactured by nature itself, the details in the stone vary from piece to piece, and customers going ahead with granite are invited by our suppliers in Hook to visit their premises and select their own surface.
 
Again, granite’s cool temperature is excellent for those who are fond of working with pastry or dough, and Cosentino’s development of its own superior granite sealant, Senguard, has moved granite on considerably from its reputation as a stain absorbent surface. Senguard bonds to the granite to make it highly stain resistant, but also allows it to breathe, ensuring its resiliency. It is important to remember, though, that Senguard treated granite is still not entirely indestructible and will need further treatment after 15 years to keep your granite protected.
 
 
 

A solid oak worktop complements our English Rose display in ‘oyster’

Wood was once considered the best worktop in terms of food preparation, and though its place at the top has been usurped by solid worktops like Minerva and other stone products, it isn’t without its charm. One cannot deny the warmth it brings to a kitchen, and the natural European oak used in this New Milton English Rose display lifts both neutral and darker colour palettes alike. It does require care and attention, and whilst you can sand the wood down to remove stains, and use oil to treat the surface, products like balsamic vinegar tend to soak through. Consider this a caveat for all lovers of fine Mediterranean cuisine!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
As can be expected, the qualities of such high calibre products are reflected in the price, and if you are hoping to keep the expense of a new kitchen down, trusty laminate is a firm favourite. With a laminate worktop you are more limited in terms of additional features, such as undermount sinks, but the cost efficiency means these worktops allow for much more straightforward changes, should you wish to give your kitchen a ‘face-lift’ (more information about those on our services page), or if you aren’t quite ready to commit a particular style. They also do not require specialist fabricators to fit, which keeps the cost down even more, and are available in a wealth of colours and finishes.
 
 
These aren’t the only worktops we offer, we haven’t even touched upon quartz (a solid composite worktop made from granite shavings), but in the interest of keeping this short, we shall leave it here. Drop into either of our showrooms or give us a call should you wish to discuss worktops any further, we’d be happy to help.

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