5 Reasons to Choose a Ceramic Worktop
Your kitchen worktops get put through their paces. Relentless food preparation, spillages, dropping heavy pots on them, sitting roasting hot casserole dishes on them, chucking car keys on them after a long day at work. The list goes on. They are part of the kitchen that takes the most amount of abuse.
So, when it comes to choosing a kitchen worktop, there are certain factors that you want your chosen worktop to rate very highly on in order that it doesn’t end up stained, scratched and looking in poor condition.
From an aesthetic perspective, you also need to think carefully about your worktop as this is the key to tying the various design elements of the kitchen together into one stylish looking room.
For the best results, you’re looking for a worktop that is durable, stylish, practical, easy to maintain and comes in a range of styles and colours to suit your specific needs.
And thankfully, it just so happens there’s a material that aces every one of these tests.
A durable worktop is an excellent choice for two reasons.
For a start, who would want to choose a worktop that starts to deteriorate and fall apart after a few short years? No one. As mentioned, your worktop is the workhorse of your kitchen, taking all sorts of potentially damaging treatment. Ceramic is an extremely hard material meaning it will last for a very long time even in the busiest of kitchens.
Secondly, supposing you do go for a weaker alternative and after a few years your worktop is covered in scratch marks, stains and burns, what are you going to want to do? Replace it, of course, which is an expensive and disruptive process. Choosing a ceramic worktop means you don’t even have to consider such a scenario, saving you significant sums of money in the long run.
For many years, ceramic has been used to create beautifully ornate tiles for kitchens and bathrooms. More recently, thanks to developments in manufacturing processes, people have been making visually stunning worktops from ceramic.
Ceramic worktops lend an air of luxury to any kitchen, with their smooth, easy on the eye appearance. While it is certainly versatile enough to work wonders in any style of kitchen, ceramic works particularly well in sleek, modern kitchens where the elegance of the material is really accentuated.
Ceramic worktops boast a seriously enviable CV when it comes to resisting damage from things.
Think drawing a sharp knife down your ceramic worktop will scratch it? It won’t. Think placing a roasting hot dish on your ceramic worktop will burn it? It won’t. Think acidic food will stain your ceramic worktop? It won’t. Ok fine, my ceramic worktop will be tough. But surely, it can’t resist an open flame fired directly at its surface? It will.
Ceramics are made by combining various elements such as clay, water and powder, shaping them into the desired arrangement, then ‘firing’ them in an oven at ridiculously hot temperatures. This process results in a material which has incredible strength, allowing it to resist scratches, heat and chemical damage.
In contrast to many natural stone worktops, such as slate, another great characteristic of ceramic is that it’s fully non-porous. This means neither water nor any other liquid can permeate its surface and cause unsightly staining.
Making a mess is to be expected in kitchens, especially if you enjoy doing lots of cooking and baking or if you're introducing your little ones to preparing meals. Naturally, this will result in many different foods, drinks and oils being spilt on your worktop.
Thankfully, the same features of ceramic that make it tough, also make it easy to look after.
Ceramic’s non-porous surface means all those potentially harmful substances sit right on the top of the surface rather than seeping down into the material itself. This makes it super easy to simply wipe away all the mess, leaving a squeaky clean and undamaged worktop.
When wiping down your ceramic worktop, nothing more than a damp cloth is required. For more stubborn spillages, just add a small amount of pH-neutral washing up liquid to your cloth. Many manufacturers also advise avoiding harsh chemical cleaners which often contain high concentrations of acid. This simply isn’t required for your ceramic worktop.
As ceramic worktops are man-made, an astonishing variety of colours, styles and finishes have been developed, allowing you the freedom to choose a ceramic that fits your exact taste and design requirements.
For a farmhouse in the country, with a Belfast sink and sturdy furniture, a good thick kitchen worktop is going to look best.
For an ultra-modern, city centre apartment with high gloss cabinets and a glass table, a sleek, minimalist kitchen worktop would work wonders.
Thankfully, ceramic worktops cater for both, with super-slim 6mm worktops available for the city centre flat, and 20mm worktops for the farmhouse, with some middle of the range thicknesses available as well.
In terms of colour, there is even more variety. If your kitchen is already quite dark, perhaps a lighter colour worktop is required to add that splash of colour and vibrance. Equally, if your kitchen is really light, with white or cream cabinets, perhaps a darker tone will provide a welcome contrast.
Put simply, there will be a colour of ceramic to suit your needs.
You can choose from naturally inspired colours, such as black, grey, white, stone or concrete. Alternatively, there are colours which are more similar to metals, such as copper, silver and rust.
You can also achieve a stone effect, with colours designed to look like materials such as marble, slate and granite. Finally, there are some bolder options, with bright tones including orange, green and blue.
You can also customise exactly how your ceramic worktop will look by applying different finishes. The traditional satin finish provides a matt effect with a nice even texture throughout the worktop. A silk finish essentially upgrades the satin finish to achieve a material that is far softer to the touch and has a shinier appearance.
For a different look altogether, you can go for the river-washed effect which gives you a more rustic, aged look, with an element of roughness to the finish. This finish is especially suited to marble or stone effect ceramics.
Finally, a polished finish takes elements of silk and river-washed finishes and combines them. A polished finish gives you the depth of character of a river-washed finish but adds a silky shine to give you a truly luxurious looking worktop.
The final say
It is no exaggeration to say that ceramic worktops are in a class of their own. They tick all the right boxes in terms of practicality, and they have the style and variety to look amazing in any type of kitchen.
If you want a kitchen worktop that will look and perform just as well in twenty years’ time as the day it’s installed, look no further than a ceramic kitchen worktop.