Kitchen top

Post from Editorials

Choosing the top for the kitchen is not easy. Here are some suggestions on how to navigate among the various proposals that the market currently offers.

Kitchen top
Arch. Raffaella Pierri
Arch. Raffaella Pierri

Kitchen top, an important choice

piano cucina When choosing the kitchen furniture, special attention must be paid to the choice of the material of the top, which is the work plan which, in addition to finish aesthetically the top of the bases, is the most stressed surface.

It starts usually from the identification of the model of the kitchen, then taking into account the style, classic or modern, then move on to the type of finish of the doors, in wood essence or other materials. It is very important to the third phase, in which we analyze the technical details for the choice of the elements that compose it: materials for countertops, appliances, pull-outs and so on.

About the top, precisely, beyond the purely aesthetic component, it should be clarified that must be chosen carefully because it must be able to resist to stresses of various kinds: wear normally connected with the work during the preparation of food (scratches, dents, etc .), contact with more or less corrosive liquids (acids, alcohol, steam), any small incident like that to rest inadvertently a boiling pot straight from the stove.

Top in laminate

The top in postformed laminate is definitely the cheapest option. Among the most common materials, in fact, the laminate typically offers guarantees both from the technical point of view, with acceptable performance, and from the aesthetic point of view, relying on numerous decorative effects. With the laminate, in fact, you can mimic wood or natural stone such as marble and granite, you can mimic the lacquer with glossy and matte finishes and you can count on more modern finishes which include the decoration of the doors.

The top laminate appears to be a little lacking in performance level in the presence of too much moisture. Therefore, caution in critical areas such as, for example, angled joints if the kitchen is not linear, and washing and cooking areas where the holes for mounting the sink and stove are certainly points subject to infiltration swelling. Attention to the use of knives or hot pots directly resting on the floor.

The best producers of kitchen units in recent times use, mostly the versions technically safer as the unicolor laminate top of different thickness, with the square edge.

Wooden top

The wooden top (picture company Piano Top Cucina) whether this is solid wood or laminated veneer panel plywood, is a solution back in fashion thanks to the whole trend of modern use of natural materials. Those who love the wood and also chooses it also for the kitchen is aware of the sensitivity of this material and will love the scratches as he will like to touch the beauty and warmth that helps to create the environment.

Piano cucina: piano cucina in legno
In fact, despite the treatments to react at its best in any situation that may arise in a kitchen, the wood used for the top is still a delicate material, suffering scratches and the violent heat of the flame of the stove or the pot too hot and it is subject to movements due to temperature changes of the environment.

Tiled top

The tiled top is indicated especially in models of classic or rustic kitchens. Many companies provide both the customized tiled top of the kitchen, including holes for built-in household appliances, and the marine plywood top base on which you will apply the client's tiles. This last possibility is a convenient solution in case you wish to resume on the top the same coating used, for example, on the floor or the wall, to even out the decoration of the entire environment.

Top in marble and granite

Natural stones like marble and granite are certainly the most elegant choice for achieving the top. It is also a choice that implies a special care of these materials, because of their stickiness acids and corrosive liquids in general, both natural (lemon juice, coffee, etc.) and artificial (detergents), which can affect the surface gloss.

Piano cucina: Top Kitchen, Top in marmo o piastrellato
Even oil stains are a potential hazard, because, despite the treatments that undergo, these materials remain porous, reason for which are now replaced by mixtures of natural material and resins precisely to obviate these drawbacks.

Also applies in this case the same as for the wooden top who loves these precious materials is aware of having to take care of in a more careful to preserve the appearance and the endless variations decorative natural, difficult to reproduce with other technical materials and for this particularly appreciated.

Top in concrete

Among the latest additions, the top concrete solutions are proving to be an excellent alternative to other materials, especially in models of modern kitchen. The cement is resistant to scratches and shock and it resists well to strong heat. The most often used finishes are certainly the smooth ones, easier to clean, although there are available finishes more decorated for a particularly soft feel.

Piano cucina: PIano Top Kitchen, Top concrete
The polished concrete is made of a mix of marble dust and cement on a substrate of sand and cement. It can be molded into various forms and this is another feature in its favor.

Top in steel

The use of stainless steel for the work surfaces is now widely accepted as one of the best solutions, from all points of view. No coincidence that this material is associated with the image of the restaurant kitchens, canteens, hospital facilities and so on.

In this case, in addition to the version of the stainless steel top with the stove and the sink both recessed, there is the option to have the latter completely welded to the top. Even the surface finish of stainless steel top is varied, ranging from the mirror to the satin finish for versions decor microdecor.

Who chooses the steel normally is oriented to modern, high-tech, pays close attention to functionality and is aware of having to deal with a material to some extent by a delicate aesthetic point of view, although cleaning operations are easy, thanks to the normal products on the market.

It refuses to be so intimidated by the fact that, often, even simple drops of water might damage the appearance of polished steel. Enough, though, even a simple microfiber cloth soaked before in hot water and then wrung out well, every day to clean the top, using the effect-steam.

Piano cucina: Alpes Inox, Convivio
Piano cucina: Alpes Inox, Convivio
Among the leading manufacturers in this market I want to point out Alpes Inox and in particular the kitchen Convivio, made in island shape, with a great snack top to share together the kitchen space, starting with the food preparation until the consummation of the meals.

The material used is the 304 stainless steel with satin silver, the tank is the big size one welded to the top, the stove has 5 burner. The dimensions are L 310, P 125, H 90/95. The drawer 120 cm are equipped for cutlery and kitchen utensils and have the front available also in steel.

Top in composite materials based on quartz

Not everyone loves steel, which frightens above all the daily maintenance to maintain its original glossy surface. The other materials available by companies of the sector seek to combine aesthetics, functionality and, especially, ease of cleaning.

Piano cucina: Seieffe, Okite
Piano cucina: Seieffe, Okite
One of these, among the most popular, is undoubtedly the Okite®, produced by Seieffe® Industrie, essentially a quartz conglomerate (to the extent of 93%) and which preserves its hardness, polyester resin and inorganic pigments. The technical features are: high resistance to impact, abrasion, the action of common domestic acids and an optimal hygiene. It is five times stronger and more durable than granite, is easy to clean and it is not porous. Aesthetically it provides a wide range of colors, while the ease of processing allow its use for top kitchens of both classical and modern style.

Among the latest additions, Pietre Preziose is the new line that uses the transparency of the material to play with light to create striking effects that recall the colors of the sunset and sunrise. Okite-prontotop is instead the line of semi-finished products ready to use.

Piano cucina: Cosentino Silestone
Piano cucina: Cosentino Silestone
Again from quartz derives another material: Silestone® by Group Cosentino, obtained by compacting quartz (94%) and binder resins. It is the only topin quartz equipped with Microban Antibacterial Protection active, thanks to the fact that it incorporates a unique formula, based on silver ions of the latest generation, which inhibits the proliferation of bacteria.

Piano cucina: Cosentino Silestone Suede Texture
Piano cucina: Cosentino Silestone Volcano
This protection is maintained during the life of the product and is present in all the mass. Silestone is resistant to stains, abrasions, scratches and household acids, and it is available in a wide range of colors. It is very beautiful new finish Suede Texture, elegant in its velvety texture to the touch. Rougher version Volcano, for lovers of the textured surfaces.

Top made with other composite materials

Another material widely used both for the work tops and for other surfaces is the Corian® by DuPont™, homogeneously composed of 1/3 acrylic resin (polymethyl methacrylate, PMMA) and 2/3 of minerals (especially aluminum trihydrate ATH). Its main feature, which makes it preferable to other similar materials, is the ductility. It is able to be shaped to take any shape, and assembled with invisible seams. You can, therefore, achieve integrated sinks and splash guard on the floor of the kitchen, so as to accentuate the elegant look of a solid surface only (from which solid surface). This solution also allows to ensure deep hygiene and ease of cleaning, thanks to the concave joints without critical points.

Piano cucina: DuPont Corian, Pedini Kitchen Dune
Any damage, like scratches or cuts, can be repaired on site. Very hygienic, easy to clean, conforming to the air quality control for its adhesive systems, the Corian® exists in about 100 different colors.

HPL laminate top

Another type of material for the top is laminated HPL. A top in HPL is much stronger than a normal post-formed laminate top (the base of the cookers with rounded edge, so to speak) which in the presence of liquid (in the points by the sink, for example, or in the cut angle) often swells and leaves detach the layer of laminate that covers the chipboard core.

The one produced by Abet Laminati is a laminate of more than 2 mm, with a decorative surface on one or on both sides. It consists, in the inner part, by layers of cellulose fibers impregnated with phenolic resisns while the aesthetic superficial part is made of one or more layers of cellulose fibers impregnated with thermosetting resins.

Piano cucina: Abet HPL
The complex production process that involves applying high heat and high pressure, make this high-performance material, even in critical situations as may be those in a normal kitchen: steam, liquid, hot pots. The HPL is a compact material and non porous, very resistant to bending, tension, compression and impact. It is hygienic, with excellent resistance to fire, gas and noxious fumes, antistatic, resistant to chemicals and organic solvents, suitable for food contact. It can possibly be cut and machined to customer design.

As one of its features the resistance, the use of household appliances such filotop enhances the final appearance. For all these features it is particularly suitable for use both as a work plan for the kitchen, either as top for tables both fixed and extendable.

Post: Kitchen top
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