Creating a welcoming family kitchen is simple, right? All you need is to find materials that are tough enough to withstand football boots, dropped plates, splattered sauces, forgotten paintbrushes, a bicycle snuck indoors, and maybe a pet or two. Oh, and it should look great and not break the bank. Simple! At Surrey Marble and Granite, we’re definitely biased in favour of stone – but that’s partly because we’ve seen how well it stands up to our own little monsters!
Kitchen worktops: hygiene and easy to clean
Kids need feeding every day, multiple times a day, so it can feel like the food prep and clean up cycle never ends. Having a kitchen worktop that is hygienic and easy to clean makes your job a lot easier. Stone worktops are either naturally sealed or can be sealed in the factory so that they’re waterproof and don’t absorb stains, food particles or smells. This means that you can let your kids help cook and not worry about germs, let them dump their dishes on the counter and not worry about spills, and wipe it all up with dishsoap and water, and not worry about chemicals. Some engineered stones have additional benefits; as an example, Silestone has bacteriostatic protection built in. You can also choose matching or contrasting stone tiles for a backsplash, window sill or shelf, as well as using the same or a contrasting stone for a breakfast bar.
As kids learn to walk and then grow, they seem magnetically attracted to the sharp corners of things that are at their head height. At Surrey Marble and Granite we cut every slab in our on-site factory, so if you’re worried about sharp corners we can create a template for you with rounded edges.
Floors: easy to clean
Muddy shoes, wet coats, pet hair, breakfast cereal, spilled milk, play dough, trampled crayons, lost stickers, and spaghetti bolognese are just some of the more palatable things we’ve found on our floors lately. With kids, a floor you can easily clean is essential. While some laminates can buckle when mopped and other floorings can be damaged by water, stone is tough as, well, rock. From dropped cups to spilled wine a stone floor will bounce back. Engineered stones offer a wide range of colours beyond the natural shades of marble and granite. Silestone, for example, comes in paintbox-bright shades as well as neutrals. Stone floors are also more hygienic as they are easier to clean and can be more thoroughly cleaned. This can be lifesaving for anyone with asthma triggered by dust mites, pollen and other common allergies and is good news for kids who like to play at floor level.
We recommend choosing a rougher finish instead of a classic mirror finish for a family kitchen. Not only is it easier to keep looking great, it’s much less slippery. Stone floors are a bit harder than wood, so if something hits them hard, there is more likely to be more damage. However, they are still generally safe, even for little kids and toddlers. Bringing a baby home for the first time can make your home seem like a death trap, but it’s important to consider the risks in balance: stone floors at home are no more dangerous than a paved path in the park.