Kitchen Worktop: What Surface to Choose to Combine Beauty and Durability?

In this article we offer a practical guide to choosing the most suitable ceramic kitchen worktop for your space. We’ll take a look at different aesthetic options and assess the benefits of porcelain stoneware as a finish. Finally, we’ll explore the type of ceramic technology used to produce worktops that are beautiful, durable, practical, and easy to clean, ultimately able to satisfy both aesthetic and technical requirements. Because a kitchen worktop isn’t only subjected to extreme stress, but also plays a crucial role in establishing the interior design of what is perhaps the most important room in the home: the kitchen.

The kitchen worktop is crucial to both the functionality and aesthetics of this space. Selecting the right one is a very important decision in which various factors must be considered. For instance, its functionality depends on the characteristics of the material it's made from. A worktop must be:

  • resistant to scratches, impact, heat, and stains (common occurrences in the kitchen);
  • waterproof to repel liquids and avoid damage over time;
  • easy to clean and sanitise, to ensure an environment that can be tidied quickly and effortlessly;
  • appropriately sized for comfortable use;
  • of a suitable height to prevent back strain during food preparation.

There’s also a whole other series of aesthetic characteristics to consider: the worktop must blend in visually with the style of the kitchen and the home, reflecting personal preferences in terms of appearance, colour, and surface finish. Porcelain stoneware is a material that meets all of these technical requirements, while also offering a wide variety of aesthetic options.

Before getting into its appearance, let’s take a closer look at the technical reasons for choosing a stoneware kitchen worktop.

What Are the Benefits of a Porcelain Stoneware Kitchen Worktop?

In just a few years, thanks to its beauty and durability, porcelain stoneware has become one of the most popular materials for worktops. But what are the benefits of choosing a porcelain stoneware worktop?

First of all, stoneware is known for its resistance to scratches, impact, and heat, even making it possible to place hot pots and trays, directly from the stove or oven, on it without risking damage. Furthermore, it is waterproof. Since it doesn’t absorb water, it also prevents oils and other liquids from seeping beneath the surface, thus preserving the beauty of the worktop. It is, therefore, very easy to clean and sanitise on a daily basis, a topic which we covered in detail in an article dedicated to cleaning porcelain stoneware.

Due to its chemical-physical properties (which come from its raw materials and high firing temperature), stoneware is resistant to mould and bacteria. Additionally, some manufacturers have developed special antibacterial technologies that make the ceramic even more inhospitable to bacteria. Such is the case for Cotto d’Este. With PROTECT®, the company has developed a technology based on silver-ions that are permanently integrated in the ceramic, giving it 24-hour antibacterial protection throughout the product’s entire lifespan.

A porcelain stoneware kitchen worktop is destined to be long lasting, maintaining its aesthetic and functional characteristics for years. One last benefit that, in addition to the previous ones, can strongly influence the choice of a stoneware kitchen worktop is that ceramic is an eco-friendly material because it’s made from just a few, easily recyclable materials.

Now let’s explore the aesthetic options that this material has to offer.

The Right Look for a Kitchen Worktop

Choosing porcelain stoneware for a kitchen worktop means evaluating an element of design that will significantly impact the style of the space that is the heart of the home. The wide range of looks, colours, and finishes offers unparalleled creative freedom, thanks to which the kitchen worktop can be harmoniously integrated into any style, from modern and minimalist to traditional and cosy.

 

Stone-Look Kitchen Worktop

Stone look is made up of reproductions of various natural stones and invented textures, combined for different effects. It’s a look that adapts to a variety of interior design styles and makes a significant contribution by adding mineral strength to both furniture and monolithic work surfaces.

Marble-Look Kitchen Worktop

Meanwhile, marble look evokes a sense of timeless and noble beauty, an expression of classic elegance and modern sophistication that’s sensitive to the allure and mystery of nature.

 

Other Looks

When it comes to porcelain stoneware kitchen worktops, there’s no limit to the design possibilities. For a home inspired by a post-industrial minimalist style, a cement-look, in various shades of grey, or a metallic-look could be perfect. Meanwhile, for a more vintage or shabby-chic environment, a wood-look worktop could be the ideal choice.
And for those who love colour. In recent years, there has been a proliferation of large-format collections offering solid colours with textures inspired by pigmented cement or raw earth, making it possible to create various compositions depending on one's personal tastes.

Porcelain Stoneware Worktop: Yes, but “Laminated”

When talking about porcelain stoneware kitchen worktops, it’s important to specify that we’re talking about a particular type of porcelain stoneware: laminated porcelain stoneware. This distinction matters because it affects both the thickness and the formats of the material. The thickness is important because it determines the thickness of the worktop. Ceramics ranging from 3.5 mm to 6 mm thick present no limitations for the thickness of the worktop. Meanwhile, thicker ceramics (12 mm or even 20 mm) will dictate the thickness of the kitchen worktop. Why? Simple: in the first case, thin laminated stoneware is used to clad all the visible surfaces of a rigid, but unfinished, material; in the second case, thicker laminated stoneware serves as the worktop itself, and not merely a noble finish used to cover a core made of a different material.

Cotto d’Este was the first company to believe in this technology, specialising in the production of thin and ultra-thin laminated stoneware, known as Kerlite, since 2004. This solution provides architects and interior designers with over-sized slabs (100x300 cm and 120x278 cm) that are extraordinarily lightweight due to their reduced thickness (3.5 mm, 5.5 mm, or 6 mm). A truly universal surface for architecture: thin, lightweight, durable (thanks to the fibreglass mesh that improves resistance to impact), versatile, and easy to use.

Finally, it’s worth noting that Kerlite ultra-thin slabs are highly sustainable: the ingredients used to produce them (only water, earth, and fire), the reduced need for water and energy, and the reduced pollution produced from transportation make it one of the most sustainable materials available to designers. Furthermore, thanks to Panariagroup’s THINk ZERO project Cotto d’Este’s slabs are also carbon neutral.

Some Ideas for Kitchen Worktops by Cotto d’Este

Now let’s take a look at a selection of textures from Cotto d’Este’s catalogue of thin, over-sized slabs. These are particularly striking products that, when used to design a kitchen worktop, showcase all of the qualities that we’ve discussed in this article.

Let’s start with a stone look collection whose eye-catching patterns and complex grey palette immediately grab one’s attention. We’re talking about Pietra d’Iseo, a particularly exquisite reproduction of Ceppo di Gré which, when used to clad worktops or entire islands, creates a visually striking monolithic effect

The tactile nature of stone merges with the aesthetics of the rarest marbles in the colours of the Lithos collection, developed to offer the utmost freedom of design: kitchen worktops, work surfaces, vanity tops, and unique and elegant furniture become essential elements of seductive and sophisticated atmospheres.

For those who love marble, Vanity is a collection that exalts the aesthetics of the most elegant and minimalist marbles: subtle patterns, delicate veining, and soft contrasts characterise the six versions that range from bright white to deep black.

Another collection of marble-look kitchen worktops is StarLight, embodying a spirit that’s quite different from the previous one. Here, elegance and opulence, restraint and grandeur are carefully balanced not only in the individual textures, but in the entire range of products, which includes vastly different looks and embraces a broader spectrum of colours.

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