Below the surface – the great debate about kitchen worktops

Choosing the right worktops for your kitchen might sound straightforward enough. But actually, it can turn into a bit of a challenge. It’s so easy to be influenced by trends, advised by friends or lose hours browsing on Pinterest. The main debate often centres on Solid Surfaces vs Laminate Materials. We’re often asked which is better. Well, we believe both surfaces can be suitable and sustainable within a home. The real question is - which is better for you and your home?

To find the answer, you need to lead with your head, not your heart, and ask yourself:

 

  • How much can I spend?
  • How much maintenance am I willing to do?
  • What material do I most like to touch, see, show off or work on?

Price

Price is the main concern for any project and is where many go wrong. The best thing to do is talk it over with the experts – our showroom staff. Think about the length of time you plan to stay in your house. The longer that is, then the more durable and upscale worktop you should buy - the “cost per year” becomes a bargain as the years pass.

 

However, don’t throw your money away, especially if you’re on a budget. If you love gadgets in your kitchen, then invest in these instead of a more expensive worktop. In our current kitchen ranges of Senses, Axiom, GetaLit and GetaCore, the cost difference is between £100 - £300 for solid surface and laminate products, so think about where your priorities lie.

Maintenance and use

 

Next, think of your lifestyle. Although maintenance on most worktops is minimal, not cleaning spills, knife scores and hot pad stains can cause permanent damage, or will at least be difficult to reverse.

 

Solid surfaces can stand the test of time, as they can be sanded down to remove any blemishes. However, if you’re busy with young children, it may be easier to go for a laminate surface until they’re a bit older.

Look and feel

If budget and maintenance can’t help you decide, how the worktop looks and feels is the true dealmaker. Texture, aesthetics, glossiness, “warmth,” natural appearance, touch and how it fits in with the design of your kitchen and home, will all contribute to your final answer.

 

While laminate surfaces offer far more design alternatives synthetically (woods, stone, print), solids are often seen as the more luxurious and classic option.

 

Ready to start shopping?

You’ve got until the end of March to shop our Westag ranges at their current discounted price range, with splashbacks beginning at just £72 inc. VAT. Click here to view the range.

 

Pictured: GetaLit 'Wind Oak Beige'

Pictured: GetaLit 'Wind Oak Beige'

Pictured: GetaCore 'Miracle Sand'

Pictured: GetaCore 'Miracle Sand'

Pictured: GetaLit 'Moon Star'

Pictured: GetaLit 'Moon Star'

Still deciding? Here’s a quick round up to the great Solid v Laminate debate.

SOLID SURFACES

 

For:

  • Non-porous, making them ideal for food preparation as they don’t hold onto bacteria.
  • Not easily stained or damaged - light scratches can be buffed out; deep scratches and burns can be sanded out; and severely damaged areas can literally be cut out, replaced, then blended to be almost invisible.
  • Good range of colours and finishes, and can be customised for your kitchen.
  • Seamless appearance - they fit together closely and can be sanded once installed to reduce the visibility of seams. That means a clean look across your worktop surfaces, no matter the shape or size.

 

Against:

  • It takes a certified pro to fabricate and install a specific product.
  • More expensive compared to other surfaces.
  • Cutting on them will leave scratches – especially visible for solid colours or high-gloss finishes.
  • Cold feel.

LAMINATE SURFACES

 

For:

  • Inexpensive, durable and come in lots of colours.
  • Resist grease and stains, and clean up quickly with soap and water.
  • Easy to install. Simple enough you can do-it-yourself, and cheaper for a professional to install than other worktop materials. Can also be installed over an existing laminate countertop.
  • Long lasting - about 10 to 12 years, or longer if you take good care of it.

 

Against:

  • Can be damaged by hot pans and sharp knives. Abrasive cleaners can also dull the finish.
  • If water penetrates seams, the substrate can expand and the laminate bulge.
  • Surface damage is difficult to repair.

However, all of the above can be avoided through proper installation and use.

You’ll find samples of all our solid and laminate kitchen worktops in our showrooms. To find your nearest branch, click here