This month, The Kitchen Design Centre of Manchester, Blackburn and Colne, offer their top 5 picks for new work-tops in a guest blog.

It can be difficult to choose a worktop for your kitchen. After all, it’s arguably the most noticeable kitchen design feature and getting it wrong will affect the entire room.

That’s why Kitchen Design Centre is here to help with the top 5 kitchen worktops for 2013…

1. Corian

Corian worktops are still very popular and considered by some to be the best solid worktop on the market.

Incredibly durable and hardwearing, Corian is solid all the way through and extremely difficult to damage. If it does get damaged though, it’s usually quite easy to sort out. More substantial damage can also often be repaired without leaving any evidence.

Largely because it’s non-porous, it’s also very hygienic – no dirt can avoid the cleaning cloth – and non-toxic too.

With 100 different designs in huge range of different colours, textures and finishes, it’s incredibly easy to find one to fit with your existing kitchen design scheme, whether modern or traditional.

The one downside is that it can be quite expensive if you’re on a tight budget.

2. Granite

Well known for its heat resistance, damage prevention and long shelf life, granite looks smart and sophisticated.

Resistant to wear and tear, it’s an extremely durable material, which will last for years, with very little maintenance.

The only cleaning that is really required is to use a damp cloth – this material does not stain easily. It’s also sturdy, so it’s not prone to damage and comes in a wide range of designs and patterns.

But consumers should ensure that granite works with their overall design before choosing it.

3. Silestone

Of the quartz natural stone worktops, Silestone is probably the best recognised. As you may know, quartz worktops are cleaner and safer than other types.

There’s also an additional level of ‘microbial technology’ for extra hygiene – Silestone is the only type to offer this patented antimicrobial protection.

Just like granite and marble, Silestone can be made into many shapes and thicknesses.

4. Laminate

It’s not cheap to remodel your kitchen…but you can minimise your expenditure.

This is one of the main reasons people choose laminate worktops – the cost. And, although it is one of the most cost-effective materials, it still looks great.

It’s available in many different finishes and colours, including the popular wood effect, managing to mimic natural wood very well, but is less expensive and much easier to care for than the real deal. You can also make it look like either granite or marble, but, again, without the extra cost.

5. Solid Wood

While in some ways, wood can be annoying in that it will stain, scratch and smoulder, it certainly has its benefits.

Wood naturally deters the growth of bacteria, which is great for hygiene. But in arguing a case for solid wood, we’d have to draw your attention to the aesthetics. Wooden worktops become more beautiful with age.

Unlike manmade materials, which can easily become stained and damaged over time, wood ages gracefully.

For help and advice with selecting your next work top – contact Kitchen Design Centre

Copyright Ian Taylor and The Tile and Stone, 2013. See copyright notice above.