When it comes to designing your kitchen there are so many factors to consider. We have already taken a look at your kitchen island in a previous post. Another important element is the materials that you use. This will essentially determine the look of your kitchen as well as the durability, maintenance levels required and safety.
When it comes to your flooring, you need to get something which won't be slippery when wet. You need to consider the traffic in your home, if you have a house full of children, a pack of dogs and a random cat that make its appearance pristine white floors might not quite cut it! Considering wood over tiles would be softer should you drop anything and also gentler on your legs if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Hard floors can make your legs tired, its a little fact not often considered in kitchen design. However, saying that, I have to admit that I am partial to the natural stone. Even though it comes with its own criteria. It needs love and attention in order to remain looking smart. It will need sealing at least annually and it still risks being stained or chipped but this is the nature of natural stone and should be loved for any signs of wear and tear it may show.
When it comes to worktops there are so many to choose from that its all down to personal taste and style at the end of the day. All of the choices have their pros and cons.
Marble is the ultimate in beauty and provides a glamorous finish to any kitchen (as in the above picture), but it is high maintenance. Its porosity allows stains to soak in easily and it can scratch and chip easily. It needs a lot of love and care or it can start looking jaded quickly.
Granite is a more hardy natural stone than the marble but. Its look varies greatly from ebony black to almost marble like whites and greens and browns in between. The major drawback is that granite detests citrus fruit and this can ruin the surface if not cleaned quickly.
Wood is a lovely warm and tactile surface as a worktop bringing character to any home. It has antibacterial benefits too and can be shaped to fit into any situation. It needs to be oiled regularly but this is worth it to keep the wood looking at its best.
Concrete worktops (as in the top image) give an industrial edge to any kitchen. It is hardy and can take anything life throws at it. Ensure you seal it to avoid stains and enjoy the low maintenance modern vibe.
Laminate is the most affordable of the choices. It comes in a huge array of colours, textures and finishes. Modern, fun kitchens will love the options available.
Stainless Steel is another industrial option. Often used in professional kitchens by the chefs. Stainless steel also has a antibacterial qualities, but if you are looking for a pristine kitchen this might not be right for you as the steel will develop a patina over time.
Man Made such as Corian, Silestone and Ceaserstone are composite stones made with a refined ration of crushed quartz and resin. These are becoming very popular in kitchens as they can mimic the natural stones but are more durable, heat and stain resistant.
There are new and exciting products on the market now too such as Dekton, see below, Neolith and Sintered Stone which I will talk about more in my next post.