Kitchen worktops – features of choice
Tops of modern kitchen are the facade of the kitchen set, the apron of the working area and the countertop. It is these three whales that create the overall concept of the kitchen interior. But if the choice of the first two is dictated in the first place by their aesthetic component, and only in the second by the functional, then the countertop is a strict symbiosis of the two principles. It would seem that aesthetics are secondary in comparison with its operational characteristics. However, the mood of the person preparing the food is extremely important. And in order to ensure a good mood for the cook, the aesthetic component of his workplace is very significant. Therefore, the kitchen worktop must be beautiful.
What is the functionality of countertops?
The worktop is a monolithic or several-piece cooker mounted on kitchen cabinets. Its thickness depends on the material of manufacture and ranges from 2 to 7 cm. Typically, a countertop consists of a base (most often plywood) and cladding. Plastic countertops, which were very popular some time ago, showed themselves not on the best side – they turned out to be extremely short-lived. Now, thanks to the development of innovative technologies in the furniture market, a significant list of materials for the manufacture of countertops for kitchen sets is offered:
a natural stone
These materials are more or less resistant to high temperatures, to abrasion, are not afraid of moisture, do not accumulate fat and are easily cleaned. However, each of them has its own characteristics, positive and negative sides both in terms of operational characteristics, and in relation to their aesthetic component.
Wooden worktops – a tribute to tradition
wood table top photo
Wooden tabletops look the most organically in the style of Provence and loft. They look quite simple, so they fit perfectly into the eco-style. Their soft, warm texture brings comfort and peace to the interior of the kitchen. However, despite the fact that the wood is carefully sanded and coated with special oils, it is not strong enough and is subject to mechanical damage in the form of dents and chips due to strong physical impact. Modern processing methods protect the wooden tabletop from moisture as much as possible, however, its operation still requires careful handling. Over time, it darkens beautifully, but still the time of its operation is not as long as the countertops made of other materials. Hot objects can ruin her appearance.
Laminated chipboard worktops – a symbiosis of strength and decorativeness
This is the most budget option. The protective transparent layer with which the laminated countertop is covered makes it thermo-, light- and wear-resistant. In addition, its positive operational characteristics include invulnerability to mechanical shocks, the chemical effects of solvents, cleaning products, and other aggressive substances. Laminated countertop is also resistant to scratches, high temperatures and sunlight. Due to its heat resistance, this type of worktop can be used near a stove without the risk of ignition and deformation. Places for cutting in built-in appliances and sinks must be carefully treated with sealant.
Natural stone countertops look luxurious. They are made of sheets of stone blocks, which are attached to the special equipment finished features. Since their manufacture is very laborious, the cost of countertops made of natural stones is quite high. They are very dense and hygroscopic. Their disadvantage is a lot of weight. In addition, they are not recoverable. Therefore, using a wax pencil, it is impossible to eliminate chips. Given their porosity, after installation, a natural stone countertop must be treated with a protective compound. Otherwise, the stubborn stains from the liquid can be removed only by polishing it again.
The beauty of these countertops is that, realistically repeating the drawing of natural stone, they do not deform and do not get dirty, they are heat-resistant and hygroscopic. These countertops are easy to maintain and have an unlimited service life, which makes them the most practical option. Thanks to the greatest variety of textures and color schemes, countertops made of artificial stone harmoniously fit into any kitchen set.