Engineered worktops: all you need to know

Dekton Bromo worktop

Show of hands: who’s dreaming of a marble worktop? I am, for sure – but I freely admit that I’m unlikely to ever get one. While it looks gorgeous, marble needs a lot of care. That in itself isn’t the problem, but it can easily stain (put down a lemon a second too long – boom), scratch, and otherwise damage.

In my worst interior-related dreams, I see myself slipping with a knife and taking a small chunk out of someone’s marble worktop. While that’s, mildly put, unlikely to happen, I’m highly aware that for me, it would have to be a lookalike design – so engineered worktops are perfect for me.

An engineered worktop it is, then. Made from manmade composites, these surfaces come in a wide range of styles, looking like marble, granite, or entirely different natural materials.

They may also be called solid surfaces or simply referred to as composites, and as you may have guesses they are incredibly practical. Non-porous, highly durable, and resistant to almost everything, from stains and scratches to heat.

engineered worktops
Neolith’s Zaha Stone design, a reinterpretation of Iranian grey stone, was created as a tribute to renowned architect Zaha Hadid. It comes in four different, silk-finish slab sizes. Price on application.

How to buy your worktops

It’s always good to visit showrooms or design studios, as you’ll be able to see the worktops in person – and you’ll get to touch them, too, which I always think is a bonus.

Work closely with your kitchen designer to calculate the exact measurements, based on how and where you’d like to use the material.

Many of these manmade surface are not pre cut, but are made to order. This means you’ll often have to wait a little longer, so take this account – but this also means you can create design features such as waterfall edges without joins.

And while they look like the real deal, so far none of these worktops fully mimics the look of real marble or stone.

Manmade surfaces open up a whole host of new possibilities – think a concealed hob. How, you ask? Lapitec’s Bianco Assoluto Satin finish kitchen worktop, for example, is compatible with Vimar’s Eikon Tactil controls. If built into the worktop and paired with inset burners, this technology creates a seamless integrated hob. Price on application.

However, they come extremely close – a small price to pay for fewer stains and less maintenance, if you ask me. (But then again, to circle bag to the beginning, I’m the first one to admit that I’m simply not suited to marble.)

How about the pricing?

These engineered worktops are often pricier than natural stones, plus they need highly trained specialists to install – but you can expect to pay from around £300 per sq, plus installation.

So, which of these engineered worktops will you go for?

You may also enjoy: How to design a kitchen island

Featured image: Dekton worktops can be created with bespoke drainer grooves or edge profiles, resulting in a sleek, unified look. Pictured is Bromo from the Natural collection, from £450 per sq m, which was inspired by slate.

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