Choosing a countertop is never a simple task. It marks the point of encounter between aesthetics and function, both very important. Today’s proposals for countertops satisfy the widest range of tastes. They are available in technological materials like Corian® or Fenix NTM®, industrially inspired stainless steel, classic quartzes, marbles and stones, and new materials such as coloured glass and increasingly more hard-wearing laminates.
The kitchen countertop contains the sink and cooktop, two fundamental elements to the functioning of any kitchen. It is also the space for cleaning, prepping, cutting and mixing foods, resting hot pots and pans, plating food and storing small kitchen appliances and everyday utensils. The best countertop is robust, water repellent, resistant to heat and humidity, hygienic and easy to clean. In practical terms, choices must also consider tactile pleasure, because the countertop is constantly being touched and brushed up against by anyone working in the kitchen. Above all, it is necessary to consider how the kitchen is used, its irrenouncable characteristics and desired aesthetic. The final choice aims at the ideal union between aesthetics and the technical characteristics of selected materials.
A comfortable kitchen requires the right counter height to make work easy. This result is easily achieved thanks to the possibility to adjust the dimensions of the countertop, the height of the cabinets, the baseboard, the cabinet feet and the frame supporting the top. In general, a kitchen countertop is situated between 88 and 94 cm above the floor. Taller configurations can be achieved using suspended base cabinets. Another decisive aspect is the depth of the countertop, to ensure the necessary space for preparing foods and storing utensils. Again, there are a range of different dimensions. In general a wall facing countertop is between 60 and 80 cm deep, while an island or peninsula countertop ranges from 70 to 120 cm.
There are a few fundamental accessories that guarantee the functionality of the countertop. Electrical outlets are a must, whether wall mounted or, in an island or peninsula kitchen, inserted in pop up housings that can be hidden away when not in use. When the cabinetry rests against a wall, a protective backsplash helps protect against humidity, essential above all near the sink and cooktop. Another handy solution for wall facing kitchens is to use one or more containers built-into the top, located behind the cooking area or sink, ideal for storing utensils, plates and cups, all in plain sight.
Laminate. Resistant, hygienic, waterproof, though it can be very sensitive to heat. This economic material is available in a vast range of colours and finishes. Finishes include highly realistic replicas of wood veining and natural stone patterns.
Fenix NTM®. Treated with nanotechnologies it is anti-fingerprint, hygienic, soft to the touch and resistant to water, impact, scratches and solvents. Micro-scratches can be repaired to preserve the inherent elegance of this material owing to its super opaque colours.
Glass. The glass used for our shelves, polished or matt, is treated to be resistant to scratches and impact and be easy to clean. The beauty of this material remains unaltered over time and does not absorb dirt or stains.
Okite®/Silestone®. A very robust and compact surface that resists against scratches, heat and stains. Hygienic and easy to clean, it is available in numerous finishes with fascinating chromatic variations.
Dekton®. A sophisticated mix of the best primary materials used to manufacture glass, ceramic materials and the highest quality quartz create a highly resistant and very durable material.
Marble or Stone. These high quality natural materials, from economic to expensive, are resistant to scratches and heat, with the added value of bringing a touch of warm authenticity to any kitchen. They are ideal, by contrast, when paired with contemporary lines and forms.
Corian®/Betacryl®. Resistant, repairable in the event they become scratched, hygienic, non-toxic, compact and warm to the touch. Corian® panels can be bonded together with no visible joints. Available in range of colours, in addition to classical white.
Stainless Steel. Extremely hygienic, perfectly resistant to staining, more prone to scratching. A vintage version is also available for those seeking an aged look. The sink and cooktop can be seamlessly bonded to the countertop to create a perfect minimalist aesthetic.
Peltrox®. All the advantages of stainless steel coupled with the warmth and aesthetic of pewter, which remain stable over time, at a very advantageous price. Eventual scratches are less visible with respect to traditional stainless steel.
Looking for more information all in one place? We have prepared a comparative table listing the key characteristics to be considered when choosing your kitchen countertop.
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