Kitchen worktops have a dual role to play; always on show and often in use, they need to work practically and stylistically. Here, Simon Boocock, Managing Director of CRL Europe, explains why ceramic is a good material choice for kitchen worksurfaces.
Surfaces such as worktops are highly visible. This means that from an aesthetic viewpoint, the style and colours chosen really do matter. The kitchen is also high-traffic areas of course, so practicalities are just as important. Materials that are easy to wipe clean and can withstand high temperatures and spillages must prevail.
For work surfaces in the kitchen, heat and stain resistance are important, which accounts in large part for the growing popularity of materials such as ceramic. Extremely hard wearing, it is non-porous, stain, scratch, heat and shock resistant and also very strong and simple to care for, making it an ideal material for kitchens. Ceramic can be chosen in a wide range of colours and patterns, as the Ceralsio collection from CRL Stone demonstrates, making it a versatile option for kitchen design in contemporary and classically-styled properties alike.
From a style viewpoint, large slabs can be used to create astonishing vertical surfaces on kitchen walls and offer endless possibilities for floors and countertops, visually expanding spaces with fewer design interruptions. Visual appeal is one of the main drivers for the popularity of marble-inspired patterns in the kitchen. The elegance of marble accounts for much of its appeal, yet the material itself is not overly suited to the kitchen environment, due to its high maintenance needs. Alternatives such as ceramic offers the opportunity to embrace this trend, therefore, both from a style and functional perspective. While it can be chosen as imitations of natural materials such as marble and wood, ceramic doesn’t need to be sealed which means maintenance is straightforward.
Revised classy marble and granite patterns displaying elegant veins used on kitchen worktops create a sophisticated ambience that is the epitome of luxury and sophistication. The ancestral charm of stone makes it one of the most popular materials in contemporary design, with materials like ceramic ensuring that this look is solid, durable and extremely versatile. CRL Stone surfaces, for example, are designed to interpret both more minimalist tastes as well as the more refined and stylish ones.
And with industrial styling being a hot look in contemporary interior design, surfaces made from ceramic enable materials commonly associated with professional kitchens to be included, making a powerful statement with their sheer simplicity. Packed full of modern style, concrete effect big slabs inspired by the simplicity and strength of this industrial material, for example, are an ideal choice for creating a minimalist look and feel. Composite surfaces that celebrate the dramatic effects and contrasting colours created during the ageing process of raw metal, with a bold and arresting appearance, are perfect for urban and industrial settings.
Mixing dark and light tones on worktops is very much on trend and creates an individual look that is particularly effective across large and open-plan spaces. Using different surfaces for different areas of an open-plan kitchen also helps differentiate – important in today’s multi-functional kitchen living areas. Some ‘zones’ within the larger space, such as where food is to be prepared, may require a more durable or water-resistant surface than others too, providing another opportunity to mix and match materials appropriately.
Overall, the latest trends in surfaces for the kitchen give creative freedom while ensuring the finished space works on a practical level too.
For more details call CRL Stone on 01706 863600, or visit www.crlstone.co.uk