Need to know... NEW WORKTOPS
■ 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.