Get the right counter for a space with this kitchen worktops buying guide from Howdens. Styles to suit any decor. Specialist granite fitting available. Skip to main content
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            Kitchen buying guides

            Kitchen worktops buying guide

            There are many factors to consider when buying a new counter, from the colour and material to the finish and cost. Read on to discover the features and benefits of each option to understand which one best suits your space. Or get started straight away, by exploring counters in our collection.

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            What are the different types of counters?

            Quartz

            These work spaces are manufactured from manmade resin and natural minerals for a solid material that is extremely durable and low maintenance. The shiny, polished finish gives a luxe look – great for making a design statement. It also offers a more consistent pattern compared to granite.

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            Solid wood

            Adding warmth, these counters are made from real timber for a natural feature that will bring organic character to a home. The woodgrain pattern can be customised with stains and refreshed with sanding over time. They also need regular oiling to keep them looking their best.

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            Laminate

            These work areas are constructed of chipboard that is wrapped in laminate to recreate the look and feel of naturally occurring materials in a low-cost and easy-clean alternative. There are many options available – such as timber, marble, stone and concrete effects – to suit different schemes and emerging trends.

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            Compact laminate

            Made from laminate, this material has a solid core that is less susceptible to water ingress, making it a great option for a long-lasting washing area. It has an ultra-thin edge, for a slimline look. Available in a variety of stone effects, these counters are fitted without edging strips, saving time on fitting.

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            What are the different colours?

            White

            Keep your space bright by opting for white counters. As well as expanding a neutral scheme, this shade reflects light around a room and can make it appear more open – great for compact or dark areas.

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            Black

            Create a dramatic design by choosing black counters that bring bold tones to a room. The dark shade will span trends and helps to minimise marks and stains – making it easy to maintain.

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            Grey

            A popular colour within home interiors, versatile grey can complement a pastel palette or soften bolder hues. With grained, matt and gloss textures available, this shade offers plenty of options for a custom look.

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            Oak

            Adding natural accents to a space, oak counters can be tailored to suit many interiors and are a safe bet when designing a cooking area. Oak also offers several timber effects from ash to walnut.

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            What are the different types of finish?

            Gloss

            This high-shine and polished finish brings an opulent look to an interior. It is highly-reflective – great for bouncing light around to make smaller areas feel more open and inviting.

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            Matt

            Offering a sheen-free appearance, matt work areas work well in pared-back schemes or for softening dark tones. This muted finish also shows fewer marks, keeping it looking clean and tidy for longer.

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            Textured

            Some laminate counters come with wood or stone-effect finishes that replicate the feel of natural materials. This is a great way of creating a premium look for less and adding visual interest to a space.

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            Smooth

            Smooth counters offer a stone-like finish to a work area. Its organic influence and slick surface is quick to clean, making it a sound choice for households who want a hygienic space.

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            What are the different types of profile available?

            What to consider when planning a new work area

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