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    Best worktops for rentals

    What you choose will depend on your budget, the type of tenant you’re aiming to attract and how much use your kitchen will get. Most landlords will opt for laminate worktops because they’re cheap, but consider as an alternative cracked glass worktops or stainless steel worktops, both of which are more durable.

    Here are the pros and cons of some of the most popular worktops with typical prices based on a worktop 3 metres long, but remember to factor in the cost of fitting, which will be more expensive for those materials that require a template to be made after the kitchen has been fitted, as well as professional cutting and shaping.

    Laminate

    Pros: It’s super-cheap and comes in a range of colours and in either matt or gloss and in granite, marble, slate or wood effect, it looks good and is less likely to suffer water damage than wood. You can buy it off-the-shelf, saving you time, and it’s easy to cut to size.

    Cons: It is less durable than many other more expensive materials, it scratches and burns easily (think of students dropping hot pans on to it) and will warp if water gets around the edges. It generally starts to look tatty after about 5 to 10 years. If using laminate, avoid white worktops, which stain more easily, and consider one with a faint pattern or shimmer to disguise scratches.

    £20+

    Wood

    Pros: It’s quite affordable (depending on the type), it looks good and it adds warmth to a kitchen. You can buy it ready to install, so it’s quick and easy.

    Cons: It’s not as heat resistant as other materials, it’s hard to maintain as it requires periodic sanding and re-oiling to keep it looking good, it will go mouldy if left wet and could warp when used around sinks. In fact, if you are going to have a wood worktop, we recommend you use something else in wet areas.

    £99+

    Crackle or cracked glass

    Pros: Cheaper than glass but more stylish and durable than laminate, it’s a great material to use in budget kitchens that are going to get a lot of use as its stain, steam, heat and impact resistant.

    Cons: It’s more expensive than laminate and not as hard-wearing as glass.

    Price: £125

    Stainless steel

    Pros: It’s on trend, durable, easy to wipe down, hygienic and heat and stain resistant.

    Cons: It’s cold, scratches and smears easily and it is much more expensive than laminate. It’s a good idea to mix with wood worktops, using stainless steel around the sink and oven and wood elsewhere.

    £460

    Quartz

    Pros: Looks like granite, but it’s a lot cheaper

    Cons: It stains easily, although it can be scrubbed up with Bar Keeper’s Friend, and it’s only heat resistant up to about 160C. As it looks like granite, tenants might make the mistake of putting a hot pan on it, which would be a BIG mistake! It needs to be made to measure after the units have been installed, so can add a week or 2 to the length of the job. The price will vary depending on the  thickness of the worktop (save money by going for the thinest top) and the number of holes that need to be cut.

    £550+

    Toughened glass

    Pros: Looks fabulous, it’s very modern and durable, won’t stain, it’s hygienic and can be painted any colour. It’s the most heat-resistant worktop material, being able to withstand temperatures up to 400C.

    Cons: Pricey. The cost of the glass is only part of the price, to which you have to add the cost of cutting sink holes, shaping the edges and adding things like tap holes and draining grooves.

    £800+

    Granite

    Pros: Tough, durable and will last forever, as long as your tenant doesn’t smash it with a sledge hammer.

    Cons: Expensive, so should only be used in small areas or in high-end rentals. Again, it has to be made to measure, which takes time, and you’ll be charged extra for cutting out the sink, draining grooves and shaping the edges etc. It’s only heat resistant up to 200C, so better than wood or laminate but not as good as glass.

    £900+

    Corian

    Pros: Tough, durable, stain-resistant, stylish and can be moulded to fit without ugly joins, and t’s available in many colours.

    Cons: It’s pricey and only heat resistant up to about 180C. You need to have a template created after the kitchen is installed, so there will be a delay in fitting.

    £1300 + (this price includes delivery and fitting)



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