A worktop is one of the most essential parts of everyone’s kitchen. It is where you place your hot dishes, where you marinate meat and where you scoop up a bowl of ice cream after a long and weary day.
So naturally you wouldn’t want to spend loads of money on a worktop that doesn’t suit your tastes; especially if you are already on a budget. When it comes to picking up cheap worktops, you need to be very careful and make sure that your worktop satisfies all your requirements.
Before you can get started with deciding what worktop to buy, you’ll need to find out what your requirements are. These requirements, for example, could be:
1. Durability: Does your worktop need to be scratch and heat resistant?
2. Ease of Maintenance: If you pick a wooden or laminate worktop, will you be willing to take the trouble to make sure that it is adequately maintained? If not, you will need something more durable.
3. Cost: This is probably going to be the deciding factor when picking up budget kitchen worktops. For those of you who are Do It Yourself(DIY) enthusiasts, then installing the worktop by yourself can save you a pretty penny.
4. Material: Although the choice of material of your new worktop can directly influence the price, we believe that the customer should know all of his/her options. When it comes to worktop material, there are quite a few options to choose from when you walk into a home furnishing store today. Some of the good options are granite, glass, ceramic, stainless steel, Corian, quartz, laminate and wood.
When it comes to price, materials like granite, stainless steel, quartz, Corian and ceramic are quite expensive, costing upwards of £350 per square meter. Therefore you will have to come to terms with the fact that your budget kitchen will not be able to use them for worktop material.
However, just because some options are not viable doesn’t mean that alternatives like laminate and wood aren’t fantastic in their own way.
Laminate worktops are without a sliver of doubt the best worktops for Do It Yourself(DIY) fitting. Laminates are made up of a kind of resin-impregnated wood that is finished to suit the buyer’s needs.
One of the most critical features of laminates is that it can mimic an extensive range of finishes right from polished wood to jagged granite. Laminates also are usually waterproof and come at cut-throat prices.
Some of the other advantages of buying cheap worktops made of laminate are
1. It has antibacterial properties: By nature itself, laminate has self-disinfecting features making it a very environmentally friendly and safe option.
2. Very easy to clean: Laminates are made to be easily cleaned and waterproof
3. Easy to Maintain: Laminates need to be checked from time to time for any superficial damages and for waterproofing. Both of these things are easy to do and can be done by the homeowner itself
4. Suitable for any kitchen theme: Laminates come in different colours, styles and finishes
5. Hard and heat resistant up to a point: If you’re worried about hot pots, there’s no need to be. Only be careful with sharp knives. Once a scratch gets in, it’ll be a trouble to remove
In spite of all these advantages, laminates also have a few weak spots. These cons are:
1. Peeling: Over time, due to water damage and ill-use laminates are prone to peeling and wearing off. This can be stopped through a thorough maintenance routine
2. Burning and melting: Some of the extremely cheap laminates can burn or melt when subjected to high temperatures such as that of a cooking pot and other hot vessels. Before you finalise your purchase make sure that the laminate material you pick is heat and scratch-resistant
3. Cost: Laminates are incredibly cheap. They can cost as less as £40 a square metre. Add this to the money you will save if you choose to install the worktop yourself the cost gets even cheaper.
Another cheap worktop material for your kitchen is hardwood. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for a modern look or a classic look because hardwood worktops suit everything. Each timber undergoes a series of processes to create a hard-wearing surface that is ideally suited for kitchens.
Wood is much cheaper than certain stone options and also adds great aesthetic appeal to the place. However, if exposed to direct sunlight, they can fade or become deeper with oiling.
Some of the other advantages of using hardwood worktops are
1. Variety: Wooden grains come in different patterns and colours. The contrasting shades and hues will add great appeal to your kitchen.
2. Looks great over time: Another feature of these worktops is that with time they do not fade or lose value over time. If anything, there is a significant rustic appeal which wooden worktops bring to the table
3. Scratches can be sanded off: This is one feature that other worktops can’t give you.
In order to keep their good looks, there is a little pain that needs to be dealt with when it comes to wooden worktops. Here are some of the disadvantages
1. Maintenance required twice a year: If you want to preserve the quality of these worktops, they need to be subjected to maintenance often. This adds to the additional cost of ownership.
2. Can be stained and scratched: Water rings and scratches can appear on wooden worktops over time. This is something that no amount of care can prevent. Maintenance is required in order to avoid this from ruining your worktop.
3. Costs: When compared to laminates, hardwood worktops are definitely more expensive. However, they still come at attractive prices. Wooden worktops start off at £110 per square meter, and they go up to very high rates.
There’s no denying that there are a few tradeoffs involved when you pick a budget worktop. However, in the end, the money you will save will make it worth the while. Just because laminate and hardwood worktops do not cost as much doesn’t mean that they are of cheap quality. With careful use and regular maintenance, these worktops can last for very long making them all the more worth it.