Worktop Express Blog

As the heart of the home, kitchens have been evolving alongside our tastes in design. As a nation, once we discovered the benefits of a kitchen island, this feature became one of the most popular and sought-after additions to our cooking spaces. Let’s take a look at six great reasons to include an island in your home.

Inject Style into Your Kitchen

Nowadays, people are looking for sleek and professional kitchen that not only looks the part but also has lots of storage space. A kitchen island gives you this, and is also particularly helpful if you do a lot of cooking and want a space to use for other activities. Of course, an island worktop needs to be durable as well as stylish, and you are sure to find the right kitchen island worktop for you in our extensive collection.

Create a Versatile Living Spaces

If you are looking to zone your kitchen and dining areas, kitchen islands are an excellent idea. They can be various shapes including curved or L-shaped depending on how you want to separate your space. By introducing an island you can make a space feel like a dining room, family room or living room depending on your kitchen layout and island shape.

Add Value

Kitchen islands can add monetary value to your home by attracting the interest of buyers – particularly those paying attention to kitchens. Islands add a “wow” factor and improve the desirability of your cooking space. People may also be more willing to pay your asking price.

Maximise Space

If storage is at a premium in your home, a kitchen island can be a life-saver. Aside from adding extra worktop space, cabinets give you significantly more storage, plus, adding seating can create a stylish dining area.

Improve Family Time

As the heart of the home a kitchen makes a great place for children to feel engaged. A kitchen island is a great place to get kids baking and cooking, or they could always do their homework there whilst you’re preparing dinner.

Enhance functionality

A kitchen island can be used to add sinks and hobs to as well as other great kitchen features such as book shelves and wine racks. There are limitless ideas to explore with kitchen islands that allow you to inject your personality into your kitchen.

Are you thinking of including an island in your kitchen? We have a range of kitchen island worktops that are stylish and functional. Do not forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for even more stories like this or subscribe to our newsletter for updates and information about new products, special offers and competitions.

A common material used to make worktops is granite, however, this can be very expensive. Granite worktop alternatives exist to provide you with a cost-effective yet realistic emulation of the authentic material. In this blog post, we take a look at some of the characteristics of granite and suggest some alternative worktops that demonstrate comparable, if not superior qualities.

Advantages of Granite

Resilience and Durability

Granite is a very resilient material that is cut and polished to create a smooth surface. It is an igneous rock that forms naturally through the process of extremely high pressure and temperature followed by a period of cooling – resulting in a hard, dense and incredibly durable rock. Similarly, our black granite solid laminate worktops (pictured below) are constructed using high pressure and temperature to produce a highly durable work surface. This results in a worktop that is resistant to impact, wear and heat (to 180° for up to 10 minutes). Another quality that granite and black granite solid laminate worktops have in common is that they are completely waterproof – making them suitable for installing undermount sinks.

Aesthetic Appeal

Granite has a microstructure that is made up of numerous different large crystals such as potassium feldspar, quartz and biotite. This not only gives it an attractive granular appearance but also makes each piece unique – varying greatly in colour from black and white to pink and terracotta. When polished granite exhibits a gloss surface, which when combined with the intricate microstructure makes it perfect for using as a focal point in a kitchen.

Our selection of granite effect laminate worktops also demonstrates complex patination alongside a gloss finish. For example, the grey granite worktops (pictured above) emulate the popular speckled pattern and pale colouration of light grey granite whilst our black granite laminate worktops (pictured below) are predominantly black in colour with a more uniform pattern.

Disadvantages of Granite

Cost

Standard 3m granite worktops start from around £500 even before alterations or bespoke features are added. There are also additional costs of installation and delivery which when factored in greatly inflate the price of a kitchen makeover. Our granite effect laminate worktops start from £60 for a 3m worktop, saving you money to invest in other areas of your kitchen.

Installation

Granite worktop installation is a difficult task that not only requires specialist equipment but also highly skilled tradespeople. There is also a time factor involved when manufacturing granite worktops and if you require bespoke features, delivery can take several weeks. Granite effect laminate and solid laminate worktops do not require the same level of expertise during installation and can be fitted using a standard worktop router and cheap, easily accessible and installation accessories. We also offer speedy next day delivery on all of our worktops with a lead time for bespoke orders in as little as 5 working days, depending on the features you would like.

Are you thinking of buying a granite effect worktop? Let us know in the comments below. Do not forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for even more stories like this or subscribe to our newsletter for updates and information about new products, special offers and competitions.

As the trend for contemporary style kitchens continues to grow in popularity, so do worktops with a thinner profile. Thin kitchen worktops are becoming the go-to choice for contemporary cooking spaces and with that in mind, we discuss our latest decors in this blog post.

22mm Worktops

Our range of slimline 22mm worktops offers a contemporary option for your kitchen. We have a selection of laminate and solid wood surfaces to choose from meaning you can easily find the countertop to suit your style.

Super Matt Thin Worktops

Our range of super matt worktops offers a luxuriously smooth finish surface. The most attractive feature of these super matt surfaces is the anti-fingerprint coating – guaranteeing a countertop that remains free from marks and smudges.

Available in pure white and anthracite grey, super matt worktops are not only highly durable and practical, they also have a luxurious aesthetic – an ideal choice if you are looking to inject a touch of opulence into your kitchen.

Grey Quartz Laminate Worktops – Brasilia

Grey Quartz laminate worktops feature an eye-catching polished stone effect The combination of gloss finish and marled grey colouring creates a luxurious look, which is accentuated by the iridescent flakes.

Solid Oak Worktops

With plenty of classic charm, oak is an enduringly popular timber to use as a worktop and we offer these surfaces at just 22mm thick. This gives a more contemporary feel compared to the standard 40mm oak worktops. Oak is also naturally robust and durable, so is ideal for installing in a busy kitchen.

Solid Laminate Worktops

Ultra-thin Solid laminate worktops measure just 12mm thick and are constructed from numerous layers of laminate. As a result, they are an incredibly practical option as they are completely waterproof, resistant to a high level of heat and are durable against abrasion and impact. Combined with their stylish slimline appearance this makes them perfect for busy households looking to achieve a contemporary aesthetic in their kitchen. See some of our most popular solid laminate worktops below.

Concrete Solid Laminate Worktops

Concrete Solid Laminate Worktops

An excellent option for a contemporary kitchen, concrete effect solid laminate worktops have the effect of a gently worn concrete.

Caldeira Zenith Worktops

Caldeira Zenith Worktops

Feature a selection of grey tones, Caldeira Zenith solid laminate worktops are mottled with a warm, earthy terracotta shade and have a textured matt finish.

White Marble Solid Laminate Worktops

White Marble Solid Laminate Worktops

Offering the benefits of a stone surface with the practicalities of solid laminate, this marble effect worktop is the best of both worlds.

Magma Zenith Worktops

Magma Zenith Worktops

Magma Zenith solid laminateworktops combines the beauty of stone with the practicality of a modern solid surface.

View the full range of solid laminate worktops.

What do you think of our thin kitchen worktops? Let us know in the comments below. Do not forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for even more stories like this or subscribe to our newsletter for updates and information about new products, special offers and competitions.

Here at Worktop Express, we love seeing our customers’ new countertops in their kitchens. In this blog post, we explore a kitchen case study from Dot and Charlie who live in Glasgow. Let’s take a closer look at how they have used their new worktop.

When Dot and Charlie wanted a new worktop for their kitchen, they decided to visit our Glasgow showroom for inspiration and to see first-hand the quality they could expect. With a mixture of traditional and contemporary features, such as traditional cabinet frontals and stainless-steel appliances, their L-shaped kitchen is a prime example of the mixed materials trend that is very popular.

This kitchen includes a central island which presented the perfect opportunity to utilise two different worktop styles. The countertop they chose was a full stave oak worktop. When compared to the solid black granite worktop, the effect is completely different in terms of colour and material.

The black granite worktops contrast beautifully with the pale wall cabinets but also complement the dark blue base cabinets. The oak worktop on the island mirrors the material choice of the solid wood cabinets and also helps to lighten the kitchen while softening the highly reflective surface of the granite worktop. The chopping board and black shiny domino induction hob on the island reflect the materials used in the work surfaces, adding continuity to the kitchen. To help create a flow throughout the space, radius corners have also been added to the island worktop.

What do you think of Dot and Charlie’s mixed material kitchen? Let us know in the comments below. Do not forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for even more stories like this or subscribe to our newsletter for updates and information about new products, special offers and competitions.

If you are looking to update your kitchen you might be considering replacing your current countertop with an oak effect or veneer worktop. But which should you choose? In this blog post, we explore these worksurfaces in detail and explain the benefits of each.

Oak Veneer Worktops

Our 635mm oak veneer worktops have been constructed from a core of robust composite wooden particle board. Atop this is a 3mm think veneer of prime grade solid European oak which covers all visible sides. The result is a worktop with the appearance and feel of solid oak. With the perfect combination of beauty, durability and affordability, oak veneer worktops enhance any traditional or contemporary cooking area with a timeless appeal.

Benefits of Oak Veneer Worktops

  • Requiring less care than solid timber, our oak veneer worktops are a low maintenance choice and are ideal for even the busiest household.
  • An oak veneer worktop measuring 3m x 635mm x 38mm costs £155.00 whereas a solid oak worktop of comparable dimensions costs £175.00.
  • Measuring 635mm wide, they are fully compatible with Ikea kitchen cabinets without the need for cutting.

Oak Effect Worktops

Oak effect worktops are constructed in much the same way as oak veneer worktops, however, instead of a layer of real oak veneer these surfaces have been wrapped in laminate overlays, before being sealed with heat under high pressure. The appeal of these countertops is that they replicate various styles of real oak but do not require the regular maintenance associated with timber.

Benefits of Oak Effect Worktops

  • With decors that replicate the authentic grain pattern and colours of natural solid wood, oak effect worktops are visually appealing.
  • An oak block laminate worktop that measures 3M x 600 x 38mm cost just £60 making them a highly affordable choice.
  • No other worktop is as low maintenance as a laminate work surface.
  • Our oak effect worktops are available in a wide variety of décors for traditional or contemporary kitchens.

Shop the Range of Oak Effect Worktops

Have you decided to choose an oak effect or veneer worktop for your kitchen? Let us know which one and why in the comments below. Do not forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for even more stories like this or subscribe to our newsletter for updates and information about new products, special offers and competitions.

There are a variety of natural countertops available, including solid wood. Although wooden surfaces can offer a quaint look, they are ideally suited to contemporary style kitchens too. Continue reading this blog post to learn more about our choices of natural worktops.

Light-Coloured Natural Countertops

Our light-coloured solid wood countertops are perfect for adding an airy feel to a room. Maple is the lightest of all of our timbers and with pale golden hues and superior density, is a popular choice for a busy contemporary kitchen.

As one of the world’s most sustainable timbers, Bamboo is not only ideal for a modern kitchen, it’s great for those who are environmentally conscious too. The 20mm wide staves are narrower than the other timbers in our range for a unique look.

Birch and ash are two species which are native to the British Isles and feature paler colourings. Combining any of these surfaces with dark cabinets and colour palette for a striking contrast.

Intermediate Hue Natural Countertops

For something warmer, we have a range of countertops which are slightly darker. Oak and Prime Oak are two worktops that work particularly well in contemporary kitchens, especially if they have a square edge. Both have a beautiful colour and interesting grain pattern. With an unmistakable caramel colouration, cherry worktops can be used to a splash of colour and warmth to any kitchen.

Caramel bamboo is an exotic timber with a beautiful amber surface that delivers warmth and character to a kitchen. Like the standard bamboo, this caramel version is ideal for a contemporary setting, especially one with a darker colour scheme.

Rubberwood and zebrano are also exotic woods. Rubberwood is another environmentally friendly timber which has a very tight grain and slightly red tinge. Zebrano is an exceptional timber which has golden colour inlaid with a dark, almost black grain pattern. This striking contrast makes it perfect for a unique kitchen.

The advantage of these intermediate colour natural countertops is that they can be paired equally well with both light and dark colour schemes.

Dark-Coloured Natural Countertops

Of all of our solid wood countertops, our dark timbers offer the most sophistication and luxury. For example, both our walnut and black American walnut worktops have dark brown colouration – the latter has the darkest shade. Like traditional oak, black oak worktops also have beautiful charm and sturdiness but with an added richness which allows it to fit seamlessly into a contemporary kitchen setting.

No other timber can compare to wenge. With an almost black shade, it is the darkest of all of our timbers and most suitable for lavish kitchens. Another two of our deep hued exotic timbers are iroko and sapele, which although not as dark as wenge, offer lots of charm.

Dark-coloured natural countertops can be paired with a light colour scheme for an intense monochromatic contrast or paired with other dark colours for a moody, sophisticated contemporary kitchen.

Which of these natural countertops would suit your kitchen the best? Let us know in the comments below. Do not forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest for even more stories like this or subscribe to our newsletter for updates and information about new products, special offers and competitions.

With the help of many volunteers, Jamie’s Farm transformed this farmhouse in the heart of South Downs National Park. Credit : Anna Yanovski

One of the biggest problems affecting young people in the UK today is social and academic exclusion. Jamie’s Farm is a charity that was set up to help disadvantaged young people flourish. In this blog post, discover how interior design guru, Sophie Robinson, transformed a seven-bedroom farmhouse into a hub for children to stay, receive guidance and to socialise.

About Jamie’s Farm

Jamie’s Farm offers young people a residential stay and follow-up programme which utilises farming, family and therapy in order to help them succeed academically, socially and emotionally. To do this they build partnerships with schools and charities. Children visiting Jamie’s Farm are given support that is focused on improving self-esteem, relationships and behaviour.

The Facts

  • In the UK, 35 children are excluded from school a day.
  • Only 1% of those children go on to get 5 good GCSEs.
  • 50% of excluded children have a recognised mental health problem.
  • The majority of the prison population is made up of those who were excluded from school as children.
  • Today there are 43,000 young people who would benefit from Jamie’s Farm.

Sophie Robinson and the Project

This kitchen, with its white walls and cabinets, has been designed to be light, airy and welcoming. Credit : Anna Yanovski

Sophie Robinson is an interior design guru who has worked across media and retail for the past 20 years. Over four days and with the help of over 20 design professionals, Sophie transformed a farmhouse on a 200-acre plot on the South Downs National Park. Members of the local community also pulled together and contributed items for the house. Jamie’s Farm had this to say:

“The impact this has had on the charity is huge. Designing the space has been done with the children’s wellbeing in mind and a positive atmosphere exudes throughout the property. This ambience is empowering and aims to uplift the children as soon as they set foot inside.”

How Worktop Express Helped

In total over 40 brands, of which Worktop Express was included, donated furniture, furnishings and accessories. We gave our oak floating shelves which are well suited to a farmhouse setting. Positioned between two windows, these shelves establish symmetry along the wall. Here, they have been used to display a range of colourful cups and bowls and we think you’ll agree, they look fantastic.

Our floating oak shelves have been installed to house a range of colourful cups and bowls. Credit : Anna Yanovski

To learn more about the great work being done at Jamie’s Farm, visit jamiesfarm.org.uk. Do not forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for even more stories like this or subscribe to our newsletter for updates and information about new products, special offers and competitions.

Creating a unique kitchen can sometimes be tricky. However, the unusual worktops in our range are perfect for this exact requirement. In this blog post, we look at a few of these styles and the effect they have on your kitchen.

Blue Sparkle Laminate Worktop

The first of our unusual worktops is the blue sparkle laminate worktop. This vivid countertop has a high-gloss, reflective finish that has been infused with glitter-speckles and iridescent flecks. A décor from our Andromeda range, it not only reflects the light but catches the eye too. Definitely not one for the traditional kitchen, but when incorporated into a contemporary design will bring vibrancy and fun.

Red Sparkle Laminate Worktop

Staying with the Andromeda range, our next surface is the red sparkle laminate worktop. Retaining the same high-gloss, reflective quality and sparkly particulates as its counterpart, this red version is equally as vibrant. Pair it with dark coloured cabinet frontals and you can achieve something extremely contemporary. It works particularly well when designing in colour blocks and, as with all our sparkle range, is low maintenance and hassle-free.

Sealand Pine Laminate Worktop

Our Sealand Pine laminate worktops have a weathered effect giving them the appearance of driftwood. The various shades of brown, white and grey all add to the worn appearance of this rustic style worksurface and might appeal to those who want to create a coastal themed kitchen. It’s definitely more of a naturalistic décor and suitable for those looking to reconnect with nature.

Galaxy Gloss Laminate Worktop

The surface of this distinctive grey glitter worktop has been entirely embedded with glitter and yet has a smooth, high-gloss finish. The result is a sparkling statement countertop that demands attention and draws the eye as soon as you enter the room. Galaxy gloss works particularly well when used with stone effect splashbacks where the contrasting textures complement each other beautifully.

Zebrano Worktop

Zebrano is one of our most exotic solid wood worktops and, as the name suggests, has a heavily striped grain pattern. It’s a sought-after timber much loved for the dark brown striations against a background of rich golden brown. To accentuate this unique grain, we suggest the full stave zebrano option for an even more dramatic effect.

Which of these unusual worktops would you consider in your kitchen? Let us know in the comments below. Do not forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for even more great inspiration or subscribe to our newsletter for updates and information about new products, special offers and competitions.

Laminate worktops are stylish, affordable and durable but are they versatile? Many of our customers ask, “can laminate worktops be curved”, and the answer is yes. Carry on reading this blog post to find out more.

The Benefits of Curved Laminate Worktops

There are several advantages of fitting a curved laminate worktop in your kitchen, each one benefiting different lifestyles and personal preferences. A smooth countertop helps with the flow of a kitchen, especially within small spaces. It also adds interest and can be used in replacement of a rectangular kitchen island. From a functional perspective, there are no sharp corners for small children to bang their heads on.

Types of curved laminate worktops

We offer a laminate worktop cutting service that allows you to add bespoke curves to a laminate worktop. A few options are outlined below.

Radius Corners

Curved corners on a worktop are a stylish and popular option for contemporary and traditional kitchens alike. We cut radius corners to between 50mm to 300mm on square edge surfaces only – this is due to incompatibility of round edge worktop fabrication. This service is ideal if you have a corner cabinet or want to create a softer look in your kitchen.

This example shows exactly how stylish a laminate worktop can look with a curved edge. The contemporary kitchen cabinet doors have a pleasing shape which is accentuated by the radius corner of the pale marble effect laminate worktop. It draws the eye and helps to create a focal point within the kitchen.

Radius Ends

Providing a perfectly rounded finish, a radius end is ideal for a kitchen island or a breakfast bar, and much like radius corners offer a modern look for a contemporary kitchen. You can choose to have this bespoke feature on any of our square edge laminate worktops.

How to Order a Curved Laminate Worktops

To order a curved laminate worktop, visit our laminate worktop cutting service page or our online bespoke worktop tool which also saves you 10% on all fabrication services. Alternatively, you can also contact us via fabrication@worktop-express.co.uk if you would like to send a fabrication diagram through to our team.

Does a curved laminate worktop sound appealing? Let us know in the comments below. Do not forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest for even more great inspiration or subscribe to our newsletter for updates and information about new products, special offers and competitions.

The sparkle worktops in our Andromeda range have a high-gloss finish with reflective metallic pieces embedded into the surface. In this blog post, we look at different ways to style Andromeda worktops in your kitchen.

Black Sparkle Andromeda Worktop

This stylish worktop has been paired with pale cabinets to allow the surfaces and splashback to stand out. Here, you can see a black sparkle Andromeda worktop with a slightly rounded edge, however ABS square edges are also available for an even more modern feel. Black works incredibly well with a huge variety of colours, but we recommend lighter shades to let the beauty of these black glitter surfaces shine. For more inspiration, view our black sparkle laminate worktops -Andromeda gallery.

White Sparkle Andromeda Worktop

Our white sparkle Andromeda worktop is just as contemporary but adds a light an airy touch to a kitchen. In this example, we can see the advantage of pairing it with a darker colour to create drama. It also shows how cabinet doors made from a similar high gloss material complement the surfaces for a sleek look. To see more examples of white sparkle Andromeda worktops in various different kitchen settings, take a look at our white sparkle laminate worktops – Andromeda gallery.

Grey Sparkle Andromeda Worktop

A versatile choice for any kitchen, our grey sparkle Andromeda worktop is compatible with a wide range of colours. Here, it has been paired with white cabinets for a contemporary look – this combination would work particularly well in a smaller space. View our grey sparkle laminate worktops -Andromeda gallery for more ideas.

Blue Sparkle Andromeda Worktop

Blue is a bold and striking colour – used for a worktop it catches the eye and becomes a centrepiece in any kitchen. Although you can combine blue sparkle worktops with other colours, we think that they work best with neutral shades like white or grey. They both have their advantages – why not see which combination you prefer using our worktop visualiser.

Red Sparkle Andromeda Worktop

Much like blue, red is a vivid colour, and red sparkle worktops, like the one pictured here, inject vibrancy into a kitchen. They are ideal for creating a striking look and are great when combined with white or black. These surfaces can be great for achieving a retro look – use with white, high gloss cabinets and chrome fittings if this is the style for you. For more red sparkle inspiration view our red sparkle laminate worktops – Andromeda gallery.

Which of these Andromeda worktops would look great in your kitchen? Leave your comments below. Do not forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest for even more great inspiration or subscribe to our newsletter for updates and information about new products, special offers and competitions.

Shop the Range