The one aspect of a kitchen or bathroom that often draws the most attention to visitors is its worktop. Poor quality or – worse still – cracked or damaged worktops can be a major embarrassment.
Given this, how can the buyer ensure that quality and appearance will remain consistent over the long-term?
The first principle is to avoid any worktop that is merely covered in a laminate or a veneer; such surfaces are extremely vulnerable to chipping, cracking and staining very early on in their life.
This leaves a range of solid surface worktops to choose from, including hardwood, acrylics, aluminium and stone.
Unfortunately, all apart from stone have been shown to scratch, particularly where heavy duty kitchen work has been applied. In addition, hardwood has been known to warp when subjected to high temperatures.
Stone worktops are generally far more resilient but there are important distinctions between different types of stone.
Mined slabs of stone such as marble or granite can often contain freak variations in colour or pattern. In addition both can be porous, leading to the possibility of staining.
Processed stone on the other hand, such as marble-based Compac Marmol and Compac Quartz, is far more resilient and stain-proof; and will also guarantee a natural look without any danger of inconsistency in colour or pattern.
Quartz however probably tops the list among purchasers since, whereas there can be a dilemma between authenticity and function when choosing between marble or Compac Marmol, the natural beauty of quartz worktops is always assured – and indeed can only be achieved – through processing.