How durable are ceramic worktops? Can you put a hot pan on quartz? Read below as we answer all your questions.
Ceramic worktops are still a relatively new product on the kitchen worktops market. To this day, they remain an enigma – are they made of traditional, brittle ceramic or not? Are they durable, as durable as granite worktops? Are they cheaper than quartz worktops?
If these are the questions that flood your mind, then please relax, as we invite you to read our blog post below. We hope to quench your thirsty mind and help you comprehend the context around these perplexing kitchen worktops that are quickly climbing the ranks of modern kitchen design. We will dissect thoroughly these products and focus on their pros and cons, attempting to establish why ceramic countertops are so popular among UK and European interior designers, architects, or casual homeowners.
Spoiler alert: we love these kitchen worktops, and we cannot wait to share our reasoning!
By delving into the pros and cons of ceramic worktops, we will try to answer what design options they offer, why they are so versatile, durable and what else they offer that people may not even know.
Q: ‘First and foremost: What are ceramic worktops?’
A: Ceramic worktops, often referred to as ‘sintered stone worktops’, are a solid surface material that brings together the best qualities of natural and synthetic stone.
Made from a blend of natural minerals, pigments, artificial agents and advanced technology, these worktop materials are created through exposure of this material melange to intense heat and pressure. This extreme heating and pressure environment creates ultra solid, ultra durable, stain and scratch resistant surfaces.
Thanks to this process, ceramic slabs are created measuring roughly 3m x 1.4m. Slabs of various, visually stunning designs: from marble look styles to plain colours, but also concrete or metallic mimics.
These sleek and stylish work surfaces are then worked by specialist stone kitchen worktops manufacturers into ceramic worktops, that they then install at clients’ property.
Q: ‘What makes ceramic worktops stand out? Why are they so special?’
A: Ceramic worktops offer a multitude of advantages over more traditional materials like laminate or quartz worktops. Before you buy, you should consider the following pros and cons:
- Variety in Thicknesses: Ceramic worktops come in various thicknesses, allowing you to choose the perfect depth for your kitchen, but not only. With the slabs being available in 6mm, 8mm, 12mm depths, you can utilise this thin stone to clad most surfaces around your home. Whether you prefer a slim and sleek look of your worktops or a more substantial, thicker ceramic layering for your walls, thanks to sintered stone, this customisation is now possible.
- Lighter and Applicable for More Projects: It certainly also helps that ceramic tops are ultra light, so even if you clad fragile furniture or cabinets, they won’t be weakened by sintered-stone surfaces. Thanks to their unique composition, ceramic stone is much lighter than traditional stone surfaces, like granite or quartz. This quality makes them suitable for a broader range of projects, including vertical applications such as splashbacks or ceiling cladding.
- A Kaleidoscope of Colours: One of the most exciting aspects of ceramic worktops is the vast range of hues offered by suppliers. From classic neutral, homogenous types to bold and vibrant veins, speckles or other patterns. The palette is enlarging year by year – thus far around 300 ceramic worktop colours can be purchased. This versatility ensures that you can find the ideal design to complement your kitchen’s aesthetics and thus create a space that truly reflects your personality, or the vibe of the interiors.
- Varied Textures Offered by Dekton, Neolith, or Marazzi: Leading brands such as Dekton, Neolith, and Marazzi offer a captivating array of textures (Riverwashed, honed, polished, ultra-matte etc), adding depth and character to your kitchen worktop. Whether you desire the natural feeling of rough stone, the rugged charm of granite, or a wholly unique pattern reminiscent of exotic wood grains, these brands have got you covered.
- Cost Considerations: Unfortunately, it’s true that ceramic worktops can be a tad more expensive compared to laminate worktop or quartz worktop alternatives. A small kitchen project from 12mm ceramic surfaces can cost £2.5k, or more. However, when you consider their durability and long lifespan, they prove to be a worthy investment. They have it all, after all. Stain and scratch proof surface that is resistant against heat, liquids, oil splashes. And it’s a solid, strong surface. Plus, their timeless appeal and truly original designs like the metallic ranges add value to your home and enhance its overall aesthetic.
- Problem with Thicknesses: If you’re an avid fan of thicker kitchen worktops e.g. 3cm thick, then you might encounter an issue with ceramic kitchen worktops. Firstly, some brands, like Neolith, do not sell their stone products in 3cm thicknesses. Others that do, e.g. Dekton, only have a limited range of slabs and products in that thickness. To further that point, the thicker a ceramic slab is e.g. 20mm or 30mm, the more expensive it can get. So, if you’re keen to have a bulky, thick kitchen worktop, we’d definitely suggest going for a more accessible and price efficient option: quartz worktop or granite worktop material.
Q: ‘How do ceramic worktops fare in terms of durability and maintenance?’
A: Ceramic worktops excel in both durability and ease of maintenance. At present, they are considered as the toughest kitchen worktop products.
- Scratch Resistance: Ceramic worktops are incredibly resistant to any sort of impact damage, making them an ideal choice for a busy kitchen where knives, pots, and pans are incessantly sliding over your counter. You can confidently prepare meals and engage in culinary adventures without self-inducing anxiety about leaving unsightly marks or causing irreparable damage. This is where ceramic worktops really beat weaker materials like wood or laminate.
- Heat Proof and Stain Proof Qualities: These kitchen worktops are highly resistant to heat and stains, ensuring they can withstand the demands of a bustling kitchen. It’s no surprise that these tops are constantly embedded into professional restaurants. So, if your hot pans or acidic liquids come directly into contact with the surface, there won’t be any damage. However, please bear in mind that it’s always advisable to clean up spills promptly.
- Low Maintenance: Cleaning ceramic worktops is an absolute breeze! Simply wipe them down with a damp sponge, a dollop of detergent and voila. Their non-porous nature prevents the absorption of liquids, making it easy to maintain a clean and hygienic surface. Additionally, ceramic worktops are UV resistant, so over time they won’t fade or discolour even when exposed to direct sunlight. We’ve known of people that have had their ceramic worktops for over a decade, yet they still shine and radiate as if they were brand new.
Q: ‘Where can I find design inspiration for my ceramic worktop?’
A: When it comes to designing your kitchen with ceramic worktops, the options are endless. Here are a few ideas to spark your creativity:
- Explore Different Colour Ranges: Dive into the vast range of hues available and experiment with bold, unexpected combinations. Use lighter shades to create a bright and airy atmosphere or embrace deep, rich tones for a cosy and inviting feel. Or perhaps create an unexpected contrast, that will subvert everyone’s expectations.
- Texture Modification: The textured offerings from brands like Dekton, Neolith, and Marazzi provide exciting opportunities to create a unique and visually captivating kitchen. Mix and match different textures to form stunning visual contrast, or choose a single texture to make a bold and universal statement. We are very fond of kitchens with glossy worktops, but ceramic flooring with that rough, matte finish.
- Complete the Look: Consider the overall aesthetics of your kitchen and choose complementary materials, such as a ceramics Belfast sink, natural wood cabinets or door, panelled flooring, concrete elements or steel, industrial tones. Ceramic worktops pair exceptionally well with various materials, including glass, allowing you to create a cohesive and stylish space – indoor or outdoor.
- Contact Specialists: There are various UK stone manufacturing companies, like the one we linked above, who will try to help you. They usually have a showroom where you will be able to glance at samples of all the available ceramic colours. If you bring your cabinet door, you might be able to contrast the hues against each other. But the advice of the staff is also important: these are the people that know all the ins and out, the trends, fashionable designs etc. Their counsel, free of charge, will be vital to your thinking process. For more information, see our link above!
All in all, ceramic worktops are a game-changer in the world of kitchen design. With their hard-wearing properties, extensive colour choices, and innovative textures, they provide the perfect blend of functionality and aesthetics.
While they may require a higher initial investment compared to other options, like quartz or laminate tops, their long-lasting durability and timeless appeal make them a worthwhile choice for young, new home buyers.