Surrey Marble and Granite is currently open with a limited workforce to enable safe social distancing in line with government directions to safe guard our staff and customers.

SMG is open for visits by APPOINTMENT ONLY to ensure social distancing is maintained in our showroom and safeguard our staff and customers. Please contact the office on 01428 651940 to check availability and book.

Info
Fill out the form below to request a quote
Name*
Email*
Contact Number*
Address Line 1*
Address Line 2
Town*
Postcode*
Extra Info

I agree to receiving offers and services by email from Surrey Marble & Granite

I agree to Surrey Marble & Granite Terms & Conditions

The History Of Kitchen Worktops

Continuous counters are so common today that most people can’t imagine building a kitchen without them. At the start of the 20th century, however, they were a brand new design feature only seen in a few kitchens. What changed over the the last hundred years?

The first kitchen worktops

If you look at photos of kitchens taken before 1900, kitchen worktops don’t appear. Kitchens look sparse and empty, with plenty of blank wall space and typically a china cabinet, a table and a range. Sinks are optional and may have a pump or space for buckets to rest rather than running water. This is an era where 1.5 million people in Britain worked as domestic servants and those who couldn’t afford servants often couldn’t afford a separate kitchen, either.

By about 1920, kitchen worktops are starting to appear. They don’t dominate the room, like they do today, but you might spot a length of worktop around the sink or perhaps a china cabinet that has evolved space to work between the upper cabinet and the lower one. The worktops are typically made of wood and many don’t have built in cabinets underneath. To our modern eye, they seem to float in mid-air.

 

After the warhistory of kitchens

In Britain, the Second World War effectively gave the young women who had traditionally become domestic servants other choices. As a result, even the middle and upper classes started doing their own cooking and cleaning and wanted nicer kitchens. Rebuilding homes damaged by bombs and urban slum clearance in the 1950s and 1960s lead to more ordinary family homes being built with a dedicated kitchen intended for the family to use themselves.

As rationing ended and consumerism took off, Brits were looking across the Atlantic to the USA for design inspiration. Larger homes and an economic boom meant that American kitchens were worth admiring – and they all had worktops. Wood was still a popular worktop material, but vinyl, linoleum and other new materials were also coming into play.

Why kitchen worktops became essential

While the fortunate few were bemoaning the loss of personal servants after the Second World War, the vast majority of Brits were enjoying constantly improving living standards. You probably know someone who remembers growing up without running water, electricity or an indoor toilet.

As kitchen design stopped being about creating efficient factories for the great houses and started focussing on ordinary family homes, the kitchen worktop came into its own. Kitchen worktops aren’t just an effective workspace – they also help increase the storage in a kitchen in an attractive way. As gadgets and appliances evolved, kitchen counters developed to hold them and hide them. From early electric kettles and twin-tub washing machines to microwaves and tumble driers, we’ve replaced the servants of yore with handy gadgets.

 

Kitchen worktops today

history of kitchensA kitchen that’s the heart of the home, rather than a workplace, needs space for all the trappings of everyday life. While a cook in 1900 would have often had a kitchen maid, a pantry and perhaps another room for storage (or a dozen, in the grandest houses), today pantry, scullery and laundry have been replaced by the refrigerator, dishwasher and washing machine.

Today, you can design your kitchen to suit your own family and your own lifestyle. There’s a wealth of choice that our ancestors wouldn’t have been able to imagine. From wood and vinyl to precision cut marble, toughened glass and engineered stone your kitchen worktop – and what it holds and hides – can be a true reflection of your personal style.

Recommended Articles

Granite Worktops Brighton

Whether you’re planning a full kitchen makeover, installing a new granite worktop or just want some quick ideas to make your home feel a bit brighter while the weather outside is still grey, we’ve got great suggestions for you.

15.04.2016
no comments
Read More

Kitchen worktops are both practical and visually attractive, which is why they are considered as one of the most important aspects of the kitchen environment. Nowadays, there are great alternatives for those who care for the Earth, like plastic based and traditional quarried materials. The green kitchen worktops are known today as the best innovation especially for those who are conscious to the wellness of the surroundings.

08.09.2011
no comments
Read More

Marble and Granite worktops are a popular choice for many homeowners and businesses.  Considered a luxury feature, since luxury hotels around the world but proudly boast of their marble and granite worktops, tiles and other fittings.  However, after you have installed granite, sometimes through normal wear and tear, it can become quite dull.  In other words, not as striking as the day it was first installed.  All is not lost as it is possible to polish granite worktops and restore them to their former glory.

24.02.2012
no comments
Read More