Which kitchen worktops are best + how much do kitchen worktops cost?

Real oak kitchen worktops in our  Howdens kitchen

Real oak kitchen worktops in our Howdens kitchen

If you’re wondering which type of worktop is best or how much a kitchen worktop costs, then you’re in the right place.

Choosing a worktop type is possibly one of the toughest decisions of your renovation. A worktop can completely change the look of a kitchen, and due to the surface area involved, the colour can also alter the light in the room. Your choice can also significantly change the cost of a new kitchen, so you need to make it the right one.

When we chose our Howdens worktops, the decision involved ‘somewhat heated’ discussions because of the multitude of factors; the cost, the look, the future maintenance requirements all come into play. That's why we're sharing our discoveries throughout our open plan kitchen diner renovation so that you can make an informed decision about worktops without spending house having to hunt for the information like we did. If you’re going for a Howdens kitchen like us, remember that Howdens prices are kept under lock and key until you get an appointment with them and start designing so it’s worth expediting this process for accurate worktop costs.

By the way if you’re trying to find out how much does a new kitchen cost? or costs for a new kitchen extension, we have guides to help you on that also.

Worktop options

When we were deciding on which type of worktop material to use in our kitchen these were the options that presented:

  • Real wood

  • Wood-look laminate

  • Corian/Acrylic

  • Marble

  • Granite

  • Glass

The difference between these options is huge so it’s good to understand these so that you can determine which worktops are best for your kitchen - and your lifestyle.

Laminate worktops for kitchens

Laminate worktops are a popular choice for busy families because there’s no way that cup rings, sticky fingers or accidents are going to effect the look of this hard wearing choice. Seemingly limitless options are available in terms of aesthetic and they are so easy to maintain.

laminate kitchen worktops


  • Can't be sanded

  • If it's poor quality it can peel at ends

  • Not as desirable as stone/wood


  • Very durable

  • Doesn't get scratched easily

  • Good for pets or allergies

  • Easy to maintain

  • Heat resistant

  • Available in lots of styles & colours

Real wood worktops for kitchens

A premium option which gives your kitchen that added visual edge that will look good for years to come whilst remaining naturally antibacterial. You might be wondering “are wooden worktops practical?”, well from personal experience although wood worktops are amazing to look at, they do come with their issues to be aware of…

Real wood kitchen worktop  and oak kitchen worktops


  • High maintenance – requires oiling to give water protection

  • Water splashes and rings can appear if not dried up quickly

  • Can become black around sink

  • Can become stained, scratched or scorched


  • Gives the kitchen a premium, stunning look

  • Can be sanded, stained

  • Gives a rustic look

  • Antibacterial if maintained

Corian worktops for kitchens

Corian is an extremely solid and durable surface composed of acrylic resin and mineral filler. Seamless joints can be achieved, creating an expansive and inventive worktop design where the only real limit is your imagination.

Corian kitchen worktops


  • Expensive


  • Easy to maintain

  • Heat, scratch resistant

  • Luxurious, adds value to house

  • Can create a seamless look

Marble worktops for kitchens

Marble is a premium surface that adds an element of class to a kitchen. Due to it’s softness it is easier to add design elements like tooled edges. It’s soft, porous nature means that care is needed to protect it from scratches, cracking and staining.

Marble kitchen worktops


  • Prone to scratches

  • Expensive materials

  • Expensive to cut/fit


  • Premium look

  • Cool temperature (good for rolling

  • pastry)

  • Luxurious, adds value to house


Glass worktops for kitchens

A durable worktop that introduces a modern, clean look to a kitchen.

Glass kitchen worktops


  • Shows finger prints and water marks


  • Very durable

  • Easy to clean

  • Can be cut to any size

  • Wide choice of colours

The cost of kitchen worktop materials

Like most things in a kitchen renovation, the cost is probably the biggest driving factor, and with worktops, the cost can easily spiral, especially if like us you have a large surface area to fit worktops to.

Below we've put together an idea of the sort of costs you might expect for the different worktop materials mentioned above:

The cost of kitchen worktops

One thing to mention - Don’t forget upstands - although not always necessary, they are a desirable feature and can enhance the look of your worktops and overall kitchen aesthetics.

Kitchen worktop installation costs

Then you have finishing and installation on top of the materials and a rule of thumb for budgeting for most worktops is to double the amount that you have spent on materials themselves. So for example if you paid £300 for some laminate, then the installation costs could be around £300. However, the cost may be much more for materials like granite where the cutting and preparing is a much more involved process.

Howdens worktops

How we can help you

Fi and Neil kitchen worktops

Thank you for reading this post, we’ve got loads more to show you if you're renovating a kitchen / house. Here are just some of the ways you can engage with us:

  • Join our free Happy Home Club (a place for renovators & lovers of all things home)

  • Check out our How to Renovate a House Online Course where you’ll find detailed advice just like this, all in one place

  • Check out our Advice page for more great hints and tips

  • Or browse our shop for planners, tools and resources to help you plan your renovation with ease.

Thanks for reading!

Neil & Fifi