Which Worktop Is Right For You?
When upgrading your kitchen the two big tasks are deciding on your appliances and your worktops. Some make the mistake of dedicating a lot of their budget into appliances and who can blame them? A premium new oven or sleek induction hob can really make or break a kitchen.
However, your kitchen worktop will be around for a lot longer than your latest appliances. As such when starting to design your new kitchen with us, our dedicated design consultants will help walk you through the best options for your new kitchen installation.
While colours and finishes can vary across the spectrum, with hundreds to choices, the main choice you’ll want to consider at this stage is which material for your worktop will work best for you. The most common worktop materials we install include:
Likely the first material that comes to mind when you think about a luxury kitchen, and there’s a good reason for that. Not only is granite extremely tough but it will also add some value to your home, as it is associated with the finest classic and contemporary kitchens and is desirable for anyone looking for a new home. As a natural stone, there is also plenty of unique colour and pattern options ensuing that no two granite worktops are the same.
That being said granite worktops cannot be repaired if they are ever chipped, which while not common can happen over years of use. Furthermore, as the natural surface of granite is porous the worktop needs to be sealed every few years to keep it in the best condition.
A great choice for a higher budget contemporary kitchen. In terms of durability, quartz is unmatched and will certainly last for a long time and always be a draw as soon as you enter the kitchen. They require no sealing and rarely chip or scratch so are the best option for a hassle-free kitchen worktop.
That being said this high performance does come at a higher cost, and the overall look of the finished product is certainly more at home in a modern kitchen so this is also essential if you are considering quartz.
Long associated with the classic country kitchen style, even today wood can make an excellent choice for a long life kitchen worktop. As an aesthetic in your traditional kitchen, you can’t get better, the wooden surface will improve with age and become truly unique. It can also be sanded to reduce any abrasions.
That being said for a flexible working kitchen wood poses a few drawbacks, chiefly that you can not cut or place anything hot on the surface without damaging it. You will also need to oil the wood fairly regularly to foster that beautiful aged look and protect from water damage.
If your kitchen has never been remodelled before then you likely currently have a laminate worktop. Favoured by home builders because of it’s lower cost and ease of installation if your current worktop is damaged and you’re looking for a simple replacement then laminate can work well. It’s also easy to clean and take care of providing you are careful with hot or sharp objects.
However, at AJ Ball we find most customers, just like us, don’t like to do things by halves. When it comes to upgrading your kitchen we largely recommend other options as we design our kitchens to last for decades to come. When using a laminate worktop you need to be careful of hot pans or knife marks that will cause permanent damage to the surface.
Which Flooring Is Right For Your New Bathroom or Kitchen?
When choosing the flooring for most areas fo your home the choice boils down to appearance and budget. However, given the nature of both the bathroom and the kitchen, there are other factors to consider when installing replacement flooring.
Both areas are prone to excess moisture, in the bathroom this can be from the bath or from the steam of a running shower whilst in the kitchen steam and humidity from cooking can affect the flooring as well.
Likely the best choice for most homes, such is the flexibility of ceramic tiles that you could use them in any area of your home with few disadvantages. The durability of ceramic means that not only do they perform well in high traffic areas but are also resistant to water and dirt making them ideal for bathrooms and kitchens.
The main drawbacks are somewhat minor, you certainly need your ceramic tiles installed by a professional that is no question as mistakes can be expensive and when done properly they will last decades. The only other notable drawback is that ceramic tiles are cold and can be harsh to walk on after a hot shower, or when making food barefoot.
Having much of durability of ceramic tiles, using natural stone floor gives a slightly different aesthetic and can create a more eye-catching floor to boot. Certain stones may also need to be sealed to ensure they remain at their best for as long as possible.
The main drawback of natural stone flooring is the price you pay, given its nature per tile it is likely your most expensive option and also certainly a flooring that requires professional installation.
Before you jump to judgement you may want to bear in mind that vinyl has come on hugely over the last few decades! Previously seen as a little cheap looking and not to even be considered, the modern styles you can now get can give a great finished when installed correctly.
Modern vinyl flooring is also thicker and much more resistant to damage over time. This in addition to the classic benefits of vinyl flooring, such as the great water resistance.