Granite kitchen worktops are back in a big way. Why? Because the UK has finally woken up to the fact that flat plastic kitchen worktops is not only ugly but impractical. It’s true, of course, that an MDF (Medium Density Fibre Board) work surface covered with that horrible rubberised vinyl kind of marble effect stuff is a lot cheaper than granite – but it also lasts a couple of years at most before all the water in the kitchen starts getting inside it and rotting out the chip board. Granite is impervious to pretty much everything, up to and including being hit with a hammer (well, a small hammer anyway) – it cleans easily and well; it looks amazing; and it goes with virtually every kitchen decor.
Put like that, one wonders why granite kitchen worktops aren’t in every home. There are of course cost limitations – not everyone can afford to pay a quantity of money now for a stone work surface, even though that total price, when parcelled out over the years of unending good service the granite will give, costs less than the cumulative cost of replacing MDF every two years. There are also limitations according to the quality of the rest of the fittings in a kitchen. It’s not just about looks – low cost cupboards simply won’t support the weight of granite kitchen worktops, so installing them in a budget range kitchen simply isn’t practical.
What we are talking about here, of course, is two different types of investment. The kitchen with the quality and longevity of granite work tops and mid to high range cupboards and so on, represents a large single sum in terms of initial outlay – followed by absolutely no maintenance costs. Good quality kitchen fittings pretty much last forever – so it’s only a change of style that warrants a change of kitchen. Your other kind of kitchen, with low mid to budget range fittings, represents a significantly lower single sum to outlay. However, its absence of granite kitchen worktops and good quality cupboards means that it is extremely susceptible to wear and tear – which, in turn, means that it will need replacing on a regular basis. That makes a whole series of lower cost single sum outlays, which add up, as a whole, to the same or even more than the cost of just having a high quality kitchen installed straight off.
The return to favour of the granite worktop, and its associated quality items, is as much a reflection of the shift in British attitudes towards homes as it is a simple change in tastes. The UK resident is now spending an average of just over 20 years of his or her life in the same property. That means that he or she is buying, building and extending to last. New kitchen fittings need to be of high quality to last 20 years. Granite kitchen worktops, and all the associated bits and pieces, are that, and will do that. And that’s why they will always be in style.