When renovating a kitchen, one of the most important decisions is choosing which material you should use for your worktop. Worktops aren’t cheap and they take up a lot of space, all whilst providing a sturdy and attractive base for all of your kitchen needs. The ideal worktop really does need to be both durable and beautiful. There are many different choices to consider, all which fit different budgets, tastes and purposes. Two of the most popular choices for worktops are marble and wood, marble being a much more modern trend and wood being the more traditional option. Marble and wood both have many different pros and cons, but which one is better for you?
Wooden worktops are a classic choice, they look beautiful, but they do need fitting well and maintaining well. Here are some of the main pros and cons of wooden worktops:
Hygiene Isn’t Guaranteed
If your wooden worktop is not sealed properly then it is porous and bacteria will thrive inside it. Sealed properly though, it should resist mould and bacterial growth.
Oiling Is Needed
Wooden worktops need oiling before they are installed to prevent them from warping. This means you have to be extra-careful getting an expert in to install the worktop, as incorrect treatment before installation could result in the worktop quickly becoming tarnished.
Certain sink styles, such as Belfast style sinks, do not work with wooden worktops because they result in the edge of the wood being consistently exposed to water.
Durability Can Be Poor
Certain wood types can be prone to damage but you can get an indication of this before you make a purchase. The durability of wood is measured using something called the Janka Hardness Test which you can read about here. Iroko or Oak are thought to be amongst the most durable woods for worktops.
Wood Needs Maintaining
Wooden worktops do need maintaining in order to keep the surface sealed and as durable as possible. A good sealant regimen – as recommended by the manufacturer of the worktop you purchase – is a great idea if you want to keep your worktop in great condition for years to come.
Wooden Worktops Are Gorgeous
Wood is beautiful as a countertop material. It provides a natural and tactile aesthetic for any kitchen and it works with most colours and both modern and traditional kitchen styles.
Warmth Is Guaranteed
Wood is warmer than stone materials by touch and by sight. If you have an older property that is prone to being cooler, you might want to use materials that are warmer to counteract the natural environment provided by the building.
There Are Many Styles To Choose From
There are so many different types of wood to choose from, including beautiful woods like ash, rubberwood, sycamore, walnut, beech, maple and iroko, and each which have their own unique grain patterns and tones. Whatever your taste, there’s a wood type to suit your perfect kitchen style.
Certain Worktops Are Anti-bacterial
Certain wood fibres are known to be antibacterial, adding to the hygiene levels of your kitchen.
There’s A Wooden Worktop For Every Budget
There is a wooden worktop for you regardless of your budget. High-grade hardwoods are expensive, but there are plenty of cheaper options as well as mid-range options.
Damages Are Easily Rectified
Damage to a worktop made from wood is easily sanded out and fixed, so there’s no need to buy a new worktop in the case of a basic scratch or dent being sustained.
The Environment Can Benefit
There’s such a thing as green-appeal now when it comes to the property market, and properties with eco-friendly components are desirable to buyers. Wooden countertops can be made from reclaimed materials which makes them more eco-friendly, and it is worth remembering that at the end of your worktops life, if can be recycled and won’t have to go into landfill, giving it even more green credentials.
Marble is becoming a modern trend and is a popular material for all around the house. Marble worktops are becoming more common in kitchens, they look high end but can be expensive and prone to staining and scratching.
Here are the pros and cons of marble worktops:
It Can Scratch Easily
Marble is known to be easily scratched or chipped which means that heavy use can result in the worktop looking shabby very quickly.
Marble Is Porous
Marble is very porous and so, oils, liquids and anything that can be absorbed will be absorbed if you’re not careful. The liquids will not only stain the worktop but will be absorbed into it, making it almost impossible for the stains to be removed.
They Look Stunning
Marble worktops look very sleek and sophisticated and they will not be going out of style, so opting for this material means your kitchen will remain timeless in its aesthetic.
Cool Temperature Makes For Great Baking
If you have a home prone to being warm, you might want to use cooler materials where you can to balance it out and marble is always cold. If you’re a keen pastry maker or baker, a cold working surface will serve you well.
Heat Resistance Helps With Cooking
Although you should never put a hot pan directly onto marble, the surface is heat resistant which means it is more durable to higher temperatures than other surface materials.
It Can Be Budget Friendly
Some marble types, particularly those quarried from Italy like Calacatta, can be extremely expensive because they are so rare. However, there are plenty of affordable marble options such as Carrara, so it can be a budget friendly material.
It Is Easy To Get
Certain materials can be difficult to obtain in the shade you like, at the price you want, whereas marble is generally readily available because it is so popular.
Is Marble or Wood Right For Your Worktop?
Both options can be as expensive or budget friendly as you like, both require maintenance, and both look beautiful with both modern and traditional kitchen styles. However, it would seem that a more heavy use kitchen does lend itself to a wooden surface because wood is more durable, easily repaired and cheaper to replace. Marble might be more suited to a kitchen that receives less use because although beautiful, it is prone to staining and scratching and may well cost more to replace. Either option though, is guaranteed to give you a stunning kitchen aesthetic for many years to come, if maintained with due care.