Need to know... NEW WORK­TOPS

Country Homes & Interiors - - ROOM ELEMENTS -

■ CON­SIDER YOUR LAY­OUT Straight runs are eas­ier to fit, but cer­tain sur­faces have their lim­i­ta­tions. With nat­u­ral stone, any piece mea­sur­ing more than three me­tres will re­quire a join, so it may be worth look­ing into seam­less ma­te­ri­als if your kitchen has cor­ners.

■ SIZE MAT­TERS Chunky work­tops, usu­ally up to 60mm, can add def­i­ni­tion and struc­ture and con­trast with more stan­dard depths. Slen­der work­tops, as thin as 10mm, will cre­ate a lighter feel. Con­cealed light­ing un­der the rim will give a float­ing ap­pear­ance.

■ ON THE EDGE Colour and tex­ture are usu­ally top of the list when it comes to choosing a work­top, but con­sider the edge pro­file, too. From a flat style to more elab­o­rate de­tail­ing, there’s plenty of choice. Most ef­fects can be achieved in any ma­te­rial, but very square edges may be prone to chip­ping or splin­ter­ing.

■ MIX MA­TE­RI­ALS For depth, you may want to use more than one work­top ma­te­rial. Cer­tain sur­faces are bet­ter suited to some ar­eas than oth­ers – com­pos­ites would suit a sink area bet­ter than wood for ex­am­ple, while nat­u­ral stone looks stun­ning on an is­land.

■ BE AWARE OF HID­DEN COSTS While most lam­i­nate work­tops can be cut and fit­ted fairly eas­ily, more ex­pen­sive ma­te­ri­als such as stone com­pos­ites, gran­ite and some woods will need tem­plat­ing by an ex­pert. Every cutout you have – for a hob or un­der­mounted sink – will cost up­wards of £100.

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