What Is The Best Material For Kitchen Worktops?

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Best Countertops for Kitchens – Full Comparison

In our What Is The Best Material For Kitchen Worktops Guide, we detail the pros and cons of some of the best materials for kitchen worktops, including marble, granite, quartz, quartzite, Corian and sintered stone. If you need personalised advice based on your unique style preferences and needs, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

When it comes to choosing kitchen worktops, you’re spoilt for choice. According to Homes & Gardens, quartz is the most popular choice in 2024 for residential kitchen worktops. But as worktops represent a significant investment and can remain a prominent fixture of your home for years, it’s worth weighing up your options carefully.


The MOST Important Factors to Consider When Comparing Kitchen Worktop Materials

With so many different kitchen worktop materials available, narrowing down your options can be challenging. You will also need to concider carefully what are the most important needs for your individual kitchen. Residential kitchens will have different needs than commercial kitchens for example. Here are some of the key factors you need to keep in mind:


If durability is your chief concern, you might want to go with a material that’s known for its durability such as quartzite or quartz. Materials such as marble may look luxurious, but they’re much softer than alternatives.


Do you want your kitchen to be completely unique through the use of natural cuts of stone? Or do you want full control over the design and colours? Natural stones feature unique veins and swirls, but the design options when it comes to engineered stones like quartz are virtually limitless.


Engineered stones like quartz can retain their original appearance for years without professional maintenance. Non-porous natural stones such as marble, however, will need resealing periodically.


Naturally, price will be a key consideration when choosing kitchen worktops. Keep in mind that while premium natural and engineered stones may be more expensive to purchase than materials like ceramics or porcelain, they can often survive years longer.


Pros and Cons of the Best Kitchen Worktop Materials

Here’s everything you need to know about the most popular natural and engineered stone worktops so that you can decide which is right for you:


Quartz Worktops

Quartz is a premium non-porous engineered stone made up of around 95% ground quartz mixed with other materials such as polymer resins and natural pigments. This mixture is subjected to intense pressure and formed into slabs before being cut into shape to make kitchen worktops.

While pricier than other worktop materials, quartz is revered for its versatile looks and durability. As it’s an engineered stone, quartz countertops are available in just about any pattern, colour and texture. Quartz worktops can also be made to look nearly indistinguishable from other natural stones.

Despite being highly resistant to heat and scratches, quartz can be damaged by chemicals in harsh cleaners, though soapy water is usually enough to keep them spotless. You can also find eco-friendlier options than quartz if you’re trying to minimise your carbon footprint.


Pros of Quartz Worktops

  •         Diverse style options

As there are so many designs available, there’s bound to be a quartz worktop that’ll work wonders for your kitchen. When it comes to colours, patterns and textures, your options are virtually limitless.

  •         Non-porous

Being a non-porous material makes quartz highly resistant to stains and the growth of mould and bacteria. You don’t need to worry about spills causing any damage to your worktops.

  •         Easy maintenance

Because they’re resistant to stains and many forms of damage, quartz worktops couldn’t be more straightforward to keep pristine.

  •         Scratch and chip resistant

Quartz worktops are super tough. In fact, quartz scores a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, only surpassed by stones such as diamond and sapphire.


Cons of Quartz Worktops

  •         Price

Quartz is not the cheapest worktop material – but it has an extremely long shelf life. Price-wise, it’s more generally more affordable to high-end natural stones like marble and granite.

  •       Susceptibility to heat damage

Quartz isn’t as heat resistant as granite, marble or quartzite. Hot pans can cause discolouration, and high temperatures can cause the resin to warp or melt.

  •         Chemical sensitivity

Chemicals found in nail polish remover, bleach and oil-based soaps can damage the surface of quartz worktops.

  •         UV resistance

Quartz worktops are not suitable for outdoor areas with exposure to direct sunlight. If exposed to sunlight, quartz can damage and become discoloured. Therefore, if you are building an outdoor kitchen, it would be best to choose a different material.


Granite Worktops

Granite is a 100% natural stone that’s used to make worktops that are highly resistant to heat, chemicals, impacts and UV rays. On top of being durable and straightforward to maintain, granite is incredibly stylish. Being a natural stone means every worktop is completely unique. Moreover, granite comes in a range of colours and patterns.

While a long-lasting choice for kitchen worktops, granite is not the budget-friendliest option. Granite worktops also need resealing from time to time as part of routine maintenance. Fortunately, general upkeep is easy. With due care, granite can outlast many other materials.


Pros of Granite Worktops

  •         Unique natural appearance

As granite worktops are simply cut into shape from huge blocks of quarried granite, no two worktops look the same – but they all boast a premium, sleek and natural look with interesting natural patterns as well as solid colours.

  •         Tough and strong

Granite is one of the hardest natural stones, highly resistant to scratches under normal conditions. Knife drops and small accidents are common in the kitchen, but your granite worktops are unlikely to suffer as a result.

  •         Resistant to multiple forms of damage

Highly resistant to chemicals, heavy impacts, thermal shock, heat, fire and UV rays, granite worktops can sustain a lot of punishment without sustaining damage.

  •         Ideal for outside kitchens

Due to the high UV resistance, granite is one of the most used materials for outdoor kitchen use.


Cons of Granite Worktops

  •         Price

Granite countertops can be on the pricey side when it comes to the purchase and installation. However, they can survive decades with proper maintenance.

  •         Limited design options

Granite worktops are made from cuts of natural stone, so you might not be able to achieve consistency with certain kitchen designs.

  •         Resealing required

Unlike engineered stones like quartz, granite is not non-porous and will need resealing from time to time in order to remain resistant to spills.


Marble Worktops

Sophisticated and elegant, marble worktops are appreciated for their timeless appeal. Made from cuts of naturally occurring marble, all marble worktops feature unique veining and swirling. They also boast excellent natural UV and heat resistance. The main drawback of marble is that it isn’t as resistant to stains or chips as the likes of granite and quartz. It can also be a tad pricey and requires regular resealing. Still, if classic luxury is what you’re after, marble is hard to beat.


Pros of Marble Worktops

  •         Synonymous with luxury

Marble is widely recognised as a symbol of traditional luxury – it almost guarantees to remain a timelessly stylish focal point of your home for decades.

  •         Natural heat resistance

Marble’s natural ability to dissipate heat makes it an ideal choice for the kitchen, though it’s still advisable not to place hot plates directly on the surface.

  •         Workable worktops

Many people prefer soft stones like marble for preparing food.


Cons of Marble Worktops

  •         Price

As you might expect, marble isn’t the cheapest natural stone available. Plus, on top of the initial purchase price and installation fee, marble requires regular maintenance.

  •         Softer than some other stones

Although marble is durable, it is softer and more susceptible to impact damage than granite and quartz. It also needs resealing every year to prevent the surface from absorbing spills.

  •         Change in appearance

The colour and sheen of marble tends to change over time. While this is a positive aspect for some, it could prevent you from maintaining a uniform appearance in your kitchen.


Sintered Stone Worktops

Considered the next generation in engineered stone, sintered stone worktops are made out of natural stones without the addition of resins and chemicals. A mixture that includes quartz, clay, silica and feldspar is subjected to intense heat and pressure to form worktops that are incredibly stylish, durable and easy to maintain. The most well known sintered stone brands are Dekton and Neolith


Pros of Sintered Stone Worktops

  •         Almost limitless design options

Sintered stone worktops can be custom made to appear like natural stone or replicate a desired pattern. You can also choose from a broad array of colours and styles.

  •         Made of natural minerals only

While it’s an engineered stone, sintered stone worktops only contain natural stones and minerals that are subjected to high pressure to form slabs without the use of resins.

  •         Resistant to almost all forms of damage

Sintered stone worktops are known for their exceptional stain, scorch, scratch, chip, UV, frost, heat and chemical resistance.


Cons of Sintered Stone Worktops

  •         Price

Sintered stone worktops can be as expensive as premium natural stone worktops. However, they’re almost unmatched when it comes to longevity.

  •         Repair difficulty

Sintered stone worktops may be hard to damage, but even minor damages can be difficult to repair. You might require professional help to restore them to their original looks.


Quartzite Worktops

Made up mostly of quartz-abundant rocks like sandstone naturally subjected to intense pressure over time, quartzite is a 100% natural stone. Each worktop boasts unique veins, swirls and patterns that make it comparable in looks to marble, though this does mean you might not be able to create a consistent design in your kitchen. You may need to pay for resealing periodically, but quartz worktops can last a lifetime with correct maintenance.


Pros of Quartzite Worktops

  •         Unique natural beauty

Made from natural stone, each quartzite worktop is 100% unique, which can add character and originality to your home.

  •         Impressive hardness rating

With a Mohs hardness rating of 7 to 8, quartzite is one of the strongest worktop materials available. Being so hard-wearing makes quartzite an excellent choice for the kitchen.

  •         Ideal for outdoor use

As it’s naturally resistant to the sun’s UV rays, quartzite is an ideal material for outdoor worktops.


Cons of Quartzite Worktops

  •         Price

Quartzite worktops can be expensive because it’s a rarer material than many other natural stones. However, thanks to its desirability, quartzite can add value to your home.

  •         Limited colour and pattern options

Because quartzite is a natural stone, its appearance isn’t customisable like engineered stones. Natural variations in swirling and veining may also make it challenging to achieve a consistent appearance in your home.

  •         Needs resealing

Quartzite worktops are easy to clean and maintain, but they need resealing every year or so.


Corian Worktops

Widely considered to represent the epitome of engineered stone, Corian is stylish, versatile, extremely durable and long-lasting. They’re also seamless, allowing you to create continuous designs between fixtures in your kitchen. Corian isn’t as heat or scratch resistant as quartz or many natural stones, but it’s often less expensive. Plus, it’s much easier to repair than many other materials.


Pros of Corian Worktops

  •         Admirable design versatility

Corian is one of the most customisable engineered stones on the market, available in a broad spectrum of colours, patterns and textures to suit any style preference.

  •         Non-porous

Corian worktops are non-porous, which means they’re easy to clean and highly resistant to stains and spills without needing to be sealed or resealed.

  •         Easy repairs

Corian worktops are softer than some other materials like quartz and granite, but they’re much easier to repair. Chips and cracks can often be sanded out of Corian worktops, while damaged quartz worktops often need replacing in their entirety.


Cons of Corian Worktops

  •         Heat and scratch susceptibility

Corian is more than tough enough to withstand the daily activities of a typical kitchen. Still, it’s less heat-resistant than many natural stones and engineered alternatives like quartz. It’s also a softer material than many alternatives, making it more susceptible to scratching and chipping.

  •         Fading and discolouration

Corian is prone to fading and discolouration over time, particularly if exposed to direct sunlight.


Wood worktops

Wood is a timeless material with the ability to fit into many different interior design styles. There are several popular wood varieties that are popular to use as kitchen worktops such as oak, maple, beech, teak and many more. As a natural material, wood has a natural allure and is quite durable when maintained. 


Pros of Wood Worktops

  •         Appealing natural appearance

Wood is a naturally beautiful material that can come in different tones and with its own unique patterns and veins. Many wood varieties are highly sought after, giving a luxurious look and a distinctive warmth to a kitchen. 

  •         Durable

Wood worktops are quite durable and can last many years if taken care of. It is important to seal your wooden worktops and use the correct cleaning products to avoid permanent damage.

  •         Economical Price

Some wood varieties are considerably more affordable than other materials. A wood worktop may be ideal for a budget style kitchen where price is the most important consideration. For example; a bamboo worktop is highly affordable.


Cons of Wood Worktops

  •         Can damage easily

Wood is softer than stone and is susceptible to scratches, chipping and burning. There is also a chance of water damage if the wood is not sealed properly which can lead to rotting and mould. Damage from pests could also be a concern, so you should check if there are those risks in your area.

  •         Flammable

Wood worktops pose a threat of catching on fire much easier than materials like stone. In a kitchen environment where open flames and heat is used daily, it is an important consideration to factor in the flammability of the material you choose for your home.

  •         Expensive wood varieties

Some wood can be highly expensive to buy such as maple and oak. These premium types of wood attract high prices and may be difficult to source.

  •         Sustainability concerns

Some homeowners might avoid some wood varieties due to environmental and sustainability concerns. On the positive side, wood is still a natural product and is recyclable and reusable.


Best Kitchen Worktop Material: The Bottom Line

So What Is The Best Material For Kitchen Worktops? The best material really depends on your style preferences and practicality needs.

If you want your worktops to be unique, consider a natural stone such as quartzite, granite, marble or consider wood.

If you’d prefer to create a uniform appearance in your kitchen, you might prefer engineered stones like quartz and Sintered Stone that are highly customisable. 

If you really want natural stone worktops but don’t want to splash out on marble or quartzite, granite worktops might be the perfect choice for you.


Browse Our Range of Premium Stone Kitchen Worktops

At Paramount Stone Specialists, we’ve been supplying and installing bespoke natural and engineered stone kitchen worktops for homeowners in the UK for over 25 years. On top of kitchen worktops, we design and install stone fireplaces, splashbacks, vanity units, custom furniture and much more.

If you need help selecting the most suitable kitchen worktop for your home, don’t hesitate to call us on 01482 585600 or email info@paramountstone.co.uk. Alternatively, browse our product pages today to see what’s available.

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