Worktops are the main source of activity in a kitchen. You will need to consider this when deciding on the material and finish of your worktops. It is also unlikely that you will find a worktop that ticks all the boxes so it is important to consider what your priorities are.
High gloss or darker finishes will tend to show marks or scratches more than matt or lighter finishes. However the darker finishes tend to be more striking whilst lighter finishes offer a softer effect. It tends to be easier to create a desirable effect when the finish of your worktops contrasts with your doors. When the shade or finish of the worktop is close or similar to the doors the choice becomes more critical and less forgiving.
Laminate worktops are the most common found in domestic kitchens. They are available in an extensive range of designs and textures. The matt finishes are extremely durable and offer a practical solution for a busy kitchen. High gloss laminate worktops are prone to showing marks and scratches. As they cannot be repaired if scratched you should consider this option carefully before opting for a high gloss laminate worktop. Laminate worktops tend to be the most cost effective option when compared to other worktop materials.
Real wood worktops are warm and mellow and possibly the most eco friendly option.
They are available in a variety of grains however they do require regular maintenance with a coating of oil two or three times a year depending on the wear and use of the kitchen. Whilst they are not as durable as laminate worktops marks and scratches can be sanded out when treating with oil. Be careful of sitting water on real wood worktops as this will blacken the wood. There is a cost implication when choosing real wood worktops.