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Engineered vs Natural Work Surfaces: Which is Best?

Designing a new kitchen can be an exciting thing to do and there are many different styles to think about. You will have many different choices to make from cabinet colours to door handles and splash backs, but one of the most significant will be the type of work surface that you opt for.

Your work surfaces need to perform a practical task, but you will also want them to look great, and so you are likely to be faced with a choice of whether you want a natural stone work surface or an engineered one. In this article, we take a look at what each one means and the advantages that they offer to help you decide.

Engineered work surfaces

Engineered work surfaces have become incredibly popular because they offer a consistency in their colours and patterns that nature simply cannot achieve. Some of the most popular types of engineered stone includes Quartz, Silestone, Dekton, Porcelain and Composite stone.

There has been a massive growth in the kitchen market when it comes to engineered stone because of the number of options that you have available to choose from. As engineered stone is manmade by combining natural and synthetic materials, it can be put together using fragments of natural stone and added colourants to create any style that you could wish for.

Engineered stone is very durable, making it more resistant to everyday mishaps such as scratches, cracks and cuts. Its non-porous nature means that it is less susceptible to stains, and as it is easier to clean, there is less of a risk of bacteria. In addition to this, it can also stand a hot pan being placed directly onto it as it will not scorch or burn.

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Natural work surfaces

A natural work surface is considered to be a classic because it makes use of natural stone that has been extracted from a quarry in its raw form before being cut and polished to make your work surface.

Some of the most popular types of stone that are used in work surface design include quartzite, granite, marble and limestone. These are considered to be elegant and striking in their looks and also present a wide range of colours and patterns to ensure that every kitchen is unique.

Stone such as granite and quartzite is known for being incredibly hardwearing, whilst marble and limestone bring a very natural beauty to every kitchen.

These stones all offer a variety of colours from black, white, grey, pink, beige and yellow to name just a few. Many contain their own intricate patterns through veining which can produce a look that is either subtle or striking.

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How to choose your work surface

One of the most important considerations will always be your budget, so it is important to note that engineered stone often works out to be the less expensive option, both in terms of its production and its maintenance. It also offers a uniformity in its design, which could be considered a positive or a negative thing depending on your own personal taste and outlook.

However, the look of natural stone is difficult to match, and so this is still considered to be the most luxurious style that can last for a lifetime and never break down or go out of fashion.

Your kitchen is the heart of your home, and so you need to put a lot of careful thought into how you design it. The work surfaces that you choose will be there for many years, so you need to ensure that you choose a style that you will love.

Kitchen work surfaces by Tara Neil

If you are planning to change your work surfaces and require the expertise to help decide between engineered and natural stone, our kitchen experts are on hand to help.

We will consult, design and install a kitchen worksurface that is both practical and suits your kitchen style, whether this be contemporary, classic or something completely unique.

To get started, please contact us today and we’ll be happy to help, or visit our showroom in Reading, to see and feel the quality for yourself.