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What are the best kitchen worktops?

We explore the pros and cons of the best worktop materials and give expert tips on how to look after them so they last for years to come.

Choosing a kitchen worktop is not only important to the functionality of your kitchen, but to the overall aesthetic of your home.

The right worktop should look and feel like it fits seamlessly into your design theme, while also being practical for everyday use. 

Typically, a good kitchen work surface will last you 10+ years - so material, style and colour are all major considerations.

But finding the best kitchen worktops for your space can depend on a lot of factors, such as personal taste, lifestyle requirements and, of course, budget. 

Here’s an overview of the different worktop materials to help you with your kitchen design project…

Magnet Kitchens 2021 Nordic Nature range with Fluted oak doors and Integra Hoxton Pebble cabinets with Dekton Aeri worktop

Quartz worktops

Quartz worktops are made from engineered stone, usually containing up to 93% quartz particles that are mixed with other materials, then formed into a slab. It has a contemporary finish but also offers a lot of variety in terms of colour and style. 

How much do quartz worktops cost?

Price range: £££

When thinking about quartz worktop pros and cons, price is an important factor. The cost of quartz can definitely add up for larger kitchens, but the total spend will also depend on thickness and slab size. 

Although this is on the more expensive end of the spectrum, quartz does offer some of the best kitchen worktops on the market, and it can give you great versatility when it comes to design.

What are the pros of quartz worktops?

  • Scratch and stain resistent - quartz has a non-porous surface that resists scratching and staining
  • Can be made to mimic natural stone - some quartz counters can be made to be convincing copies of natural marble (with similar veining) 
  • No need for sealing - unlike natural stone, quartz worktops do not need to be sealed every year to maintain quality and durability 
  • Slabs are uniform - this is another characteristic that wins over natural stone, with quartz being consistent in shape and having no imperfections 
  • Long-lasting - quartz ensures a fantastic return on investment and can add value to your home
  • Resistant to heat - this material stands up against heat and is also chemically resistant to acid


How do I look after quartz worktops?

Caring for quartz worktops is incredibly easy. As it’s non-porous and resistant to bacteria and staining, a cloth soaked in soapy water is usually sufficient for cleaning. This also means that harsh cleaners like bleach are not necessary. 

Integra Soho by Magnet. Ultra-contemporary design with sleek handless doors and available in 20 different colours.
Integra Hoxton Kitchen from Magnet available in metallic midnight blue. Smooth slab doors and a painted effect finish.

Granite worktops

Granite kitchen worktops are a stylish, beautiful and luxurious choice. One that has been a favourite in homes for many decades. The look is timeless, with a striking organic element of natural swirls, veins and unique colouring. 

How much do granite worktops cost?

Price range: ££

Granite is a great middle-of-the-road material that offers one of the best solutions for hard-wearing kitchen worktops at a great price point.

What are the pros of granite worktops?

  • It’s a hardwearing material - granite promises durability and longevity, which is ideal for kitchens that get a lot of use
  • Antibacterial properties - this option is naturally resistant to bacteria, making it safe for the whole family
  • Adds value to your home - granite worksurfaces are sought after and can increase your overall property value
  • Great colour selection - there’s a huge choice when it comes to colour and design
  • Heat-resistant - like quartz, granite is considered to be heat-resistant (but using trivets is still recommended)

How do I look after granite worktops?

Taking care of your granite kitchen is relatively easy, and surfaces can be cleaned with a soft cloth, warm water and mild soap/specialised granite sprays. Make sure you use cleaning solutions that are pH-balanced and avoid applying harsh chemicals or abrasive sponges. 

Winchester kitchen by Magnet. A wood grain effect affordable alternative to solid timber built from hardwearing MDF and available in 5 colours.

Marble worktops

If you want to create a sense of opulence in your home, marble is an excellent choice. It’s long been linked with luxury and can instantly elevate a standard kitchen into something special. 

Due to the natural markings of marble, every slab is unique, giving your space a point of difference - this is why marble is such a huge favourite for homeowners. 

How much do marble worktops cost?

Price range: ££-£££

Marble kitchen worktops are high end worktops in a similar price bracket to quartz. However, they can work out to be a little bit more cost-effective depending on the type of marble and thickness of slab you choose. The stone can last a lifetime too, making it a great long-term investment. 

What are the pros of marble worktops?

  • The look of luxury - marble kitchens are often seen as an aspirational feature in home design, making them a popular choice for kitchen upgrades
  • Timeless beauty - when looked after in the right way, the quality and appearance of marble endures a lifetime 
  • Increases home value - the modern marble kitchen is sought-after by buyers, so can help to boost the saleability of your property
  • Affordable options available - there are marble countertops in the mid to high price range, meaning you could get a premium look for less
  • Loved by chefs - a marble countertop naturally stays cool, making it ideal for rolling dough or pasta 


How do I look after marble worktops?

While it’s one of the best kitchen worktops for luxury seekers, the downside is that marble is a porous stone and can stain. It can also scratch if you’re not careful, making it a tricky option for busy family kitchens. Sealing is typically recommended every year. 

To clean, avoid acidic cleaners and opt for gentle pH-neutral solutions instead.

Corian worktops

Manmade from 1/3 acrylic resin and 2/3 natural minerals, Corian has a solid surface and looks great in a variety of colours. Corian is actually a brand name, but the term is commonly used to refer to any type of solid worktop containing polymer and natural minerals.

While Corian countertops will have visible seams when the surface area is particularly large (or if it has an irregular shape), most kitchens can get away with a seamless look. 

How much do Corian worktops cost?

Price range: ££

The cost of Corian kitchen worktops is lower than granite and more expensive than laminate, giving you an affordable mid-range option with hundreds of colours and styles to choose from. 

What are the pros of Corian worktops?

  • A wide choice of designs - you’ll find a wide range of modern colours and patterns to match your home’s aesthetics 
  • Non-porous surface - unlike natural stone, Corian surfaces will not need sealing every year
  • Wireless charging - Corian can be used to conduct electricity, which gives you the option of adding wireless charging features for phones and tablets 
  • Will not fade - being resistant to sunlight, Corian maintains colour opacity and will not fade or discolour over time
  • A durable option - generally, this material is hard-wearing and will last for years to come 


How do I look after Corian worktops?

One of the disadvantages of Corian worktops is that they can be prone to dents and scratches. It’s also not as heat resistant as quartz, granite or marble so always use trivets for hot pans and baking trays. Clean the surface with warm, soapy water or an ammonia-based household solution. 

Luna Kitchen from Magnet. An affordable handless look with integrated J Pull doors for a stylish and modern look.

Ceramic worktops

Often selected as an alternative to marble, ceramic worktops offer the same high-end finish but with a glossy or clay-like surface. The overall look is contemporary, giving your kitchen area a clean and modern aesthetic. 

How much do ceramic worktops cost?

Price range: ££-£££

Due to the complex manufacturing process, ceramic can be expensive like quartz or marble. However, as it’s a low-maintenance material, it’s a worthwhile investment that will prove to be cost-effective over time. 

What are the pros of ceramic worktops?

  • Similar to marble - you can get beautiful ceramic worktops with marble-inspired finishes 
  • Slimline and seamless - you can get thinner-looking slabs with a thickness starting from as little as 10mm
  • Highly durable - ceramic creates hard-wearing kitchen worktops that are heat and moisture resistant
  • Does not need sealing - compared to marble, ceramic worktops are much easier to care for


How do I look after ceramic worktops?

Although ceramic is a low-maintenance option, it can still be prone to scratches. To maintain the condition of your worktops, avoid using highly acidic cleaners or detergents containing bleach. Opt for a microfibre cloth over abrasive sponges to prevent scratching.

Minerva worktops

Minerva is a brand of synthetic countertops that is sometimes compared to Corian. Manufactured using state-of-the-art technology, it has colour running throughout, with a silky-smooth finish. 

How much do Minerva worktops cost?

Price range: £-££

Compared to Corian, Minerva can be a much more affordable alternative. At the same time, it offers you a slightly more deluxe option than lower-budget countertops. 

What are the pros of Minerva worktops?

  • Wide range of colours - just like Corian, Minerva kitchens come in a huge range of colours and styles
  • Stone-inspired worktops - if you love granite or marble, Minerva can offer a similar-looking finish at a much lower price range
  • No need to seal - made to be non-porous, meaning it won’t absorb stains and is easy to care for


How do I look after Minerva worktops?

Minerva provides you with a convenient and fuss-free kitchen surface. It does not require special cleaning solutions, and most dirt will wipe off with a damp cloth and soapy water.

Laminate worktops

Made with a plastic overlay and design layer bonded to man-made board, laminate kitchen worktops can mimic just about any finish. Whether you dream of weathered wood or lavish marble, laminate can achieve a similar style without the high cost.

How much do laminate worktops cost?

Price range: £

As the most affordable kitchen worktop on the market, laminate is a good choice for anyone with a more modest budget. 

What are the pros of laminate worktops?

  • Water-resistant - laminate counters are easy to maintain due to them being resistant to moisture 
  • Antibacterial properties - this is a highly practical option that doesn’t harbour germs, making it safe for the whole family 
  • Can mimic other materials - if you still want to add a designer element to your kitchen, choose laminate that is made to look like more expensive worktops
  • Versatile - laminate worktops suit any style of home, ranging from contemporary to the more traditional 
  • Highly durable - benefit from low-cost yet hard-wearing kitchen worktops that won’t easily scratch or crack


How do I look after laminate worktops?

Despite promising strength and durability, laminate can peel and may even burn or melt if exposed to extreme heat. To prevent damage, keep work surfaces dry and always use trivets when placing hot cookware down. 

Ludlow kitchen. Our latest Shaker door, with a modern country-style. Available in all 20 Magnet Create colours.

Wood worktops

Timber worktops come in so many varieties, giving you an easy way to personalise your space and find a look that works with your interior concept.

Wood fits in seamlessly with traditional kitchen styles, while also working well with more modern design concepts.

How much do wood worktops cost?

Price range: £-££

Due to the diverse range of wood worktops out there, the price may vary. But generally speaking, timber is more affordable than stone. Wood also ages well, making it an affordable investment that can last for years to come. 

What are the pros of wood worktops?

  • Different styles to choose from - timber worktops come in a variety of wood grains and colours to match your home 
  • Antibacterial properties - if maintained properly, wooden counters can offer antibacterial benefits
  • Timeless design - not only do wooden worktops coordinate with both classic and contemporary homes, but they age well, giving you a beautiful kitchen now and in the future


How do I look after wood worktops?

Unlike some of the other man-made materials out there, wood requires bi-annual maintenance with oil products - this will prevent rotting and discolouration. Clean with a soft cloth and warm water after every use, and make sure trivets are placed down to avoid splitting or warping. 

Our design service

Starting with your first, free consultation, your experienced Magnet designer will be by your side to walk you through the design process and give expert advice at every step. Same-day appointments are available on a limited basis.

Our design service

Starting with your first, free consultation, your experienced Magnet designer will be by your side to walk you through the design process and give expert advice at every step. Same-day appointments are available on a limited basis.

In-Store Design Consultation

Meet with your designer at your chosen showroom.
90 min
3D kitchen design & quote

Virtual Design Consultation

Meet with your Magnet designer on a video call.
60 min
3D kitchen design & quote