How to choose a worktop

Creating the right kind of impact

What's the right worktop for you?

The worktop you choose will have a large impact on the look and functionality of your kitchen, so it’s worth asking some key questions before you decide. What look do you want to achieve? Would you prefer a smooth sleek finish over a rustic, characterful surface? How do you use your kitchen? Are you a cook who likes things kept out on the tops and strewn around or clean and tidy with everything in its place? Do you have a big, busy family? Enjoy entertaining? Or are you preparing meals for two? Asking these questions will help to determine how substantial and robust your worktop needs to be.

Consider mixing your materials. A neutral quartz to top perimeter cabinets and a statement veined piece on the island. Or a solid wood breakfast bar against a granite peninsular. Different materials can serve different culinary purposes and double as an effective way to visually define kitchen zones.

Below is a guide to the types of work surfaces we offer and the pros and cons of each. Ultimately, your choice will come down to how resilient you need it to be, how much maintenance it will need, and how it fits within the look of your kitchen scheme.

Villiers Kitchen Cooker


A solid timber top can add warmth and texture to the kitchen. A full stave surface displays the natural grain in a continuous pattern and adds character in droves. It’s a timeless choice, naturally antibacterial and, given the right care, can be robust and beautiful. 

It’s not a maintenance free surface though. It’ll need oiling at least once a year, to protect it from water damage, and be wary of hot pans, as it’s fairly easily scorched. Even hardwoods are quite soft in comparison to their stone counterparts, so scratches and stains aren’t uncommon. On the plus side, if you’re not inclined to put these marks down to enhanced rustic appeal, they can usually be repaired with a good sanding and re-oiling.

Villiers Kitchen Worktops
Arlington Kitchen Worktop | Classic Shaker

Granite is the most popular stone for worktops and gives a luxury feel to kitchens. Being entirely natural, there are vast ranges of colours and patterns. Each and every surface unique. If you like some sparkle- this could be a good choice. It’s tough and durable, resistant to heat and mould and can add a real wow factor to your space.

However, it is a porous material and will need sealing, ideally every 6 months. If it gets stained or damaged, it can be very difficult, sometimes impossible to repair. This is because it absorbs stains, taking them well below the surface. It’s also very heavy and although good quality cabinets will support the weight, it can put undue stress on them which could shorten the life of your kitchen.

Quartz is an engineered stone made from a high percentage of crushed quartz mixed with resin. It’s available in a huge range of finishes and is by far our most requested worktop. From plain to flecked, sparkly and veined, the colour is more even than granite, and the marbling more consistent, so it works well on long stretches of worktop. It’s extremely versatile- the consistent colourways are easy to match to the cabinetry and it mimics natural stone so effectively, it gives a high quality feel to the kitchen. It’s up to five times harder than granite and non-porous, making it exceptionally durable, very low maintenance and resistant to staining. As it’s unable to absorb stains, any marks that do occur are only ever on the surface and can usually be removed with a mild abrasive cleaner.

It’s best not to put hot pans on this though. If the resin burns, it’s unrepairable. We find the pros far outweigh the cons with this surface, and with these qualities, it’s no surprise quartz is a consistently popular choice.

We remain dedicated to using local suppliers as far as possible, and will always guide you through work surface choices as part of the design process. We have a good relationship with our local stonemasons who are always happy for you to visit their workshop, browse a huge range of samples and see the stone in production.

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