Choosing the right kitchen worktop

Kitchen cabinets are arguably the most expensive carpentry works for home renovations. However, it is unwise to save on this aspect of your renovation and risk having to replace them after a few years. Bearing in mind that the kitchen is a place that is more prone to stains and wear, especially if heavy cooking for whole family is a daily chore, it is very important to choose the right materials for your cabinets and worktop. In this article, we have listed some pros and cons of common worktop materials.

Some standard dimensions

Based on a standard HDB flat height of about 2500 to 2700mm, the top hung cabinet is usually hung 1500 to 1600mm from the ground so it may have a height of 900 to 1200mm. Top cabinets have a depth of 300 – 350mm & usually it is used to keep lighter weight stuff.

The average height for bottom cabinet is about 860mm, but this can be adjusted to ensure a better fit according to the user’s height. Bottom cabinets usually have a depth of 600mm which is wider than the top hung to prevent accidental head injuries when working on the worktop.

Do ensure that there is at least a distance of 500mm between the top cabinets and your counter top, especially if you have a smoke extractor installed.

Common kitchen work top materials

Solid surface

A popular choice among young home owners, this is a more affordable material for a kitchen work top compare to natural stone. Solid surfaces are basically man-made stone made of acrylic or polyester and have a matt finish which can come with different profiles. Some are even made to look like marble!

Pros Cons
Relatively affordable

Seamless joints

No sealing required (non-porous)

Low maintenance

Bacteria resistant

Customisable colours


Prone to scratches but can be sanded

Heat resistance is not high

Suitable for: Regular home usage


Quartz worktops are partially man-made. It consists mainly of natural quartz, one of the hardest mineral available, while small amounts of glass or metallic flecks are added to beautify it. It has a polished finish and consistent colour and pattern.

Pros Cons
High resistance to stains and chipping

Scratch resistant

No sealing required (non-porous)

Low maintenance

Consistent colour and pattern

Heat resistant up to about 205°C

Bacteria resistant

More costly than solid surface top

Suitable for: Heavy cookers who do not mind spending a little more


Granite is a 100% natural material and is heavier and denser compared to its man-made counterparts. Due to it being a natural rock, there is less variety in terms of colour options and each slab of granite would have a different pattern. Its porosity will require high maintenance for periodic sealing.

Pros Cons
High polish finish

Scratch resistant

High resistance to heat

Most expensive out of the three

Less resistant to stains and chipping compared to man-made materials

Requires periodic sealing (porous)

High maintenance

Suitable for: Fans of natural stone and have a higher budget

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