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Worktops must be hard wearing, heat proof, non-absorbant, stain proof and attractive.
Typical materials are:
Laminated worktops are good as they are cheaper than natural materials, these are the ones you will find in most modern developments.
Stone and other natural materials are not very green as they are not sustainable (they are mined) and also are heavy and need to be transported long distances.
Hardwoods such as oak, walnut, beech, African Walnut, African teak (Iroko), are great as they will age with time. They can also be worked after installation if the kitchen needs modifying. Unlike stone which is very difficult to move without cracking, and is usually replaced wholesale.
Each hardwood has a distinctive colour and patina, and this is all about kitchen design and your personal taste. They need to be looked after carefully, such as oiling and rubbing down regularly.
Concrete is quite trendy. It is cast in place, and is a skilled operation, so is quite expensive - more than you might think.
Solid surface worktops are made of engineered materials and are also known as composites.
The material used for the floor gives the kitchen a complete tone. You can pick various colors and material but make sure it matches well with your home theme. Most popular floor materials are:
Above: Kitchen laminate worktops and tiled flooring
Always go for the least hazardous and the most durable floor. Non slip and easy to clean are the things to look out for.
Wood is popular but often the immediate cooking area will be tiled for easy cleaning of spills. Gaps between tiles can be difficult to clean and might fill with unsightly dirt, so make sure they are well grouted with a same tile colour and easy clean grout.