Here at Cullifords, our stone yard is filled with a huge array of slabs that are used for kitchen surfaces. From eye-catching marbles to exotic quartzites and ever-popular granites, our team of experts are able to guide you through the very best choice for your kitchen project. With such an array of factors to consider, we’ve spoken to our Director Oliver Webb to discuss the pros and cons and everything in between when it comes to choosing the ideal kitchen surface.
A fantastic material for kitchens and arguably one of the most popular choices for worktops, a granite surface is both durable and functional. Granite covers everything from the hardest materials such as Lundhs Real Stone, to softer materials such as Cosmic Black and Matrix, which are schists. The beauty of granites as a natural stone is the colours and variance you get from them and the real natural feeling you get from their touch. Each block will bring a hint of individuality and unique style to a kitchen.
Offering a huge variety of shades and patterns, harder granites such as black granite and Lundhs’ Larvikites or Anorthosites will not need sealing but in all other cases it is sensible to do so, although not always entirely necessary. Softer granite will perform well as a kitchen worktop if it is well sealed and we have rarely, if ever, experienced problems with staining on these stones that could not be removed by a poultice. Good sealant will stop the ingress of water, oils and other liquids on all natural stone and day-to-day cleaning can be done with a light soapy solution. There are also specific granite cleaners on the market you can use should you wish to spend a little extra on the care of the worktop. Every so often, a deep clean with something like Litofin Wexa will help to remove any residues that have built up on the surface of the granite worktop – Fairy liquid for example is very oily, so will overtime create a film on any surface. Granite worktops will very rarely scratch with normal daily use, but the schists and softer granites may show some markings with a knife if you really try. Although the majority of granites should be able to withstand hot things being placed on the surface, there is always a slight chance of thermal shock, so it is best to use a trivet or chopping board. There are however harder materials such as the Lundhs Real Stone that are strong enough to withstand the heat of hot pans – these surfaces are after all from igneous rock deep down in the earth’s centre!
Quartzite Kitchen Surfaces
As the trend for more marble-effect worktop surfaces has developed, quartzite materials have been quarried more and more. Whilst all types of quartzite make for a hardwearing and sound worktop choice, similar to granite, the harder quartzites will be more resistant to scratches and other daily wear and tear than the softer ones. A softer quartzite worktop will need to be treated with a little more care than a harder quartzite but are still a good choice for worktop surfaces. Commonly harder than a marble and often wonderfully wavy, a quartzite is the perfect choice for those looking to make a statement either on walls, central islands or kitchen worktops.
Marble Kitchen Worktops
Marble can add a true elegance to a kitchen and as with other natural stones, a marble surface will give you a real sense of naturalness. Due to current trends, it is mainly the Carrara marbles such as Statuary, Calacatta, Arabescato and Carrara itself being used for work surfaces but this doesn’t mean that there aren’t other good marbles out there that can be used. Marble comes in a wide variety of colours and patterns. There are beautiful hard green European marbles as well as stunning Indian and Portuguese stones that are used frequently on the Iberian Peninsula, that perform similarly to the Carrara marbles. As with all the work surface material groups, there are some harder types and some softer ones. When it comes to durability, marbles in general will over time develop a patina from small scratches and possible staining if the sealant does not work well. The benefit of having a marble work surface is that any stains that do appear can be removed with a poultice and it can be re-polished in situ if needed.
Engineered Quartz Worktops
Engineered quartz worktops perform really well as kitchen work surfaces, and this is indeed their main application. Thanks to their ability to create and change with the current trends, the colours are constantly evolving and being quartz, the surfaces are extremely hard. Here at Cullifords, we’re proud to be the exclusive UK supplier of Radianz premium engineered quartz surfaces. Made in Korea and China with exacting Korean attention to detail in quality and design, the premium quartz surfaces offer the most natural looking marble-effect products on the market.
A high-density, non-porous composite surface, the Radianz materials are suitable for a number of applications. Delivering the sophisticated feel of natural stone, the premium quartz also boasts scratch and heat resistant qualities. Available as a large slab of 320 x 160cm with a thickness of 2 & 3 cm, Radianz promises more flexibility for installation and a stunning continuation of delicate detailing. For a Tuscan Carrara marble feel, Radianz’s Lucern Lake is the perfect choice whilst the Denali Cloud offers stunning brown veining similar to other Calacatta marbles from Italy. Both extremely popular choices, it is due to the success of these colourways that the marble effect ranges have been recently introduced as a new collection.
Overall, engineered quartz worktops are stain resistant and the surface is very resistant to cutting on and although they are not impervious to UV, so over the years will fade a little and lose their lustre, they are a fantastic option for the kitchen worktop.
Designed specifically for use in the kitchen and bathroom, SapienStone is a full-bodied porcelain imbued with veining that gives its surface an unmatched and more realistic look. As exclusive distributors of SapienStone in the UK, we have started to notice the gradual increase in popularity of ceramic worktops. Extremely durable to heat and staining, SapienStone worktops are crafted from ceramic clays and mineral colourings and are available in a range of colours and finishes catering to a variety of tastes from the ultra-contemporary to a more traditional style. The material is UV resistant and can therefore be used outside, one of its key unique selling points. The pattern is made from a photograph meaning that the colours can vary with market demand easily, making it a versatile choice for the kitchen worktop. At just 12mm, ceramic is ideal for creating a very sleek-looking finish to a kitchen worktop.
A leading stone supplier and wholesaler with access to many of the world’s finest surfaces, we pride ourselves on our unrivalled expertise and vast product range. Explore our current stock on our website or get in touch to arrange a visit to our Kingston-upon-Thames yard.