What is the best material for a kitchen worktop? We are building a new kitchen, it's going to be white and modern. We like the look of stainless steel, but we are worried that it will scratch easily and need lots of polishing...would it be better to go with something like granite? Any other suggestions?
Anna, this is a big question and very open to personal preference. We really, really like butcher block; a large surface of butcher block is useful, healthy, and beautiful. This doesn't sound like it meshes with your current design, however.
A couple other surfaces that have always interested us are the recycled glass countertops, like the ones offered by Vetrazzo, and the poured concrete tops that manage to be both warm and sleek. See a gallery at Cheng Concrete of some of their custom concrete worktops.
But ultimately this is a personal preference. We have worked in restaurants with restaurant-grade stainless steel work surfaces and always enjoyed their slick cleanup (no grooves or nicks for food to get stuck in) and bright surfaces. Even small scratches just add to their warmth and appeal.
Readers - chime in with your own advice for Anna! If you comment, please be sure to say why you prefer a certain surface over another and what kind of experience you've had with it.
(Images: Vetrazzo and Cheng Concrete)