Worktop Surfaces

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Worktop surfaces are an important consideration in any kitchen design. The worktop material selected will enable certain design aspects, such as curves or seamless joins but costs vary greatly, so the expense of the chosen worktop needs to be factored into the overall budget. We offer a range of materials to cover all budgets, from laminates to wood and non-porous HI-MACS® solid surfaces to quartz. Worktops need to be hard-wearing, reassuringly hygienic and easy to clean and maintain. The choice of worktop can affect the type of sink to be selected, enabling the choice of either an overmount or undermount sink. The fabrication of solid surfaces includes thickness of material, matching end panels, splashbacks and upstands, drainer grooves, sink and tap cut-outs and styles of edging. Today’s popular choice is hard-wearing quartz, which offers a multitude of colours as well as a choice of textures, all with substantial warranties varying from 10-25 years.  Slabs of quartz are available in striking natural patterns of veining as well as options with consistency in appearance. Another factor is timing, as laminates, woods and some solid surfaces can be delivered with the kitchen furniture and installed on site by the fitter, whereas Corian® and stone are templated, fabricated off-site and then installed, a process that takes around 7 working days.

Why Silestone Quartz?

High Resilience

Silestone® is a compound made of 90% natural quartz, making it extraordinarily hard and resilient. It is an excellent surface for kitchen worktops, bathrooms, floors and wall cladding, using the minimum number of joints.  Jumbo slabs are available for large kitchen islands.

Natural Quartz

Silestone® worktops are fabricated from natural quartz, one of the hardest minerals found in the earth, and small amounts of glass or metallic flecks are added to create variety, resulting in beautiful worktops. As a non-porous material, its texture does not allow bacteria to grow, resists against stains and doesn’t need to be sealed.

Stain Resistance

Silestone® is a non-porous surface and highly resistant to stains from coffee, wine, lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, makeup and many other everyday products.

Huge Choices of Finishes

Silestone® is available in more than 90 colours and 3 textures: polished, suede and volcano.

Why Dekton?

High UV Resistance

Dekton® is highly resistant to ultraviolet (UV) rays and has superior colour fastness so it doesn’t fade over time, making it the perfect choice for both interior and exterior applications.

Abrasion Resistance

Dekton® is even more resistant to abrasion than granite, which makes it the ideal surface for commercial applications and high-traffic areas such as flooring and facades. While other surfaces will show the effects of wear and tear over time, the Dekton® finish will last for the entire life of the product and will never need to be replaced or retouched.

Resistance to Freezing and Thawing

The low thermal expansion coefficient of Dekton® makes it resistant to thermal shock, going from heat to extreme cold. Its natural resistance to freezing and thawing make it the perfect material even for the most extreme cold environments.

High Scratch Resistance

Dekton® is a highly scratch-resistant surface. Domestic utensils will not scratch it. However, we do recommend that chopping boards are used to protect the utensils.

Stain Resistance

The new Dekton® surface is highly resilient thanks to its low porosity, resisting accidental stains from domestic use as well as from chemical agents. Tough stains such as wine, coffee, ink and rust can be cleaned.

High Fire and Heat Resistance

Dekton® boasts excellent resistance to high temperatures without compromising on its aesthetics or features. Hot utensils, electrical appliances, pots and pans can all be placed directly on the surface without causing any damage.

Why Bushboard?

Bushboard surfaces are made in the UK; they have been developing kitchen and bathroom surfaces since 1935 and the idea that everyone deserves great design whatever their budget underpins their approach to surfacing. Through the application of smart material technology, advanced manufacturing processes and clever installation techniques, they seek to maximise the design value in every project.

Encore is their signature range of engineered solid surface components, offering designer style at high street prices, being affordable and easy to install. Precision-made, they combine beauty and high performance. Easy on-site installation includes under-mounted and integrally moulded sinks.

Sleek and seamless, Encore is cool to the touch, incredibly hygienic and durable. All products are fully supported by their 10-year guarantee, so you can choose them with absolute confidence.

Why Minerva?

With minerva® there is no waiting for templates to be produced, as all minerva® worksurfaces are factory machined, finished by hand and then delivered ready for installation, it’s quick and simple.

The versatility of minerva® allows for any shape of your choice; both concave and convex curved corners can be easily cut on-site with standard woodworking tools by any experienced kitchen fitter.

With minerva® an imperceptible joint can be achieved with most décors, enabling smooth flowing lines.  Every joint is hygienic and seamless to touch. Their veined décors are completely unique and therefore visual difference between joints is to be expected.

Independent Testing

Stain Resistance – olive oil, coffee and blackcurrants in juice were tested on each separate worktop and placed in contact with the surfaces for varying periods of time. The samples were then cleaned according to the respective fabricator’s instructions and a visual assessment made of any staining.

Heat Resistance – to replicate a roasting dish, steel rings were heated to 170°C/gas mark 3, 200°C/gas mark 6 and 230°C/gas mark 8 and placed on the work surface for periods up to two minutes, after which the surfaces were examined and any visual or physical changes noted.

Scratch Resistance – knife cuts were made on the worktop surface by the controlled pendulum motion of a serrated bread knife. A visual assessment of the depth, width, continuity and visual impact of the cuts was made in each case.

Conclusions

Silestone Quartz and Granite are the only worktop materials giving consistently strong performances across the different tests.  Please note that Dekton was not available at the time of the tests.  All the other materials tested exhibited weakness in at least one area that could affect its ‘in use’ performance. The quartz and hard silicate minerals found in the Silestone Quartz and Granite generate high heat and scratch resistance and the resins contained within the Silestone Quartz, Laminate and Solid Surface materials provide exceptional qualities of stain resistance.

The Laminates provide extremes in performance.  The Gloss finish performed poorly on two of the three tests, while the Textured finish appeared to be much more resilient and performed in many ways similarly to the Silestone Quartz. However, both Laminate samples suffer from being softer and generally yielding low scratch resistance.  The Wood sample is clearly soft, which results in significant damage in most tests.  The sample was not oiled or lacquered and staining performance at least could be improved through this, although the strength will only marginally improve.