Values versus costs
We are not that rich enough to buy cheap things my former teacher used to say with humour. This however is not the only reason to purchase quality goods. “Green” meaning sustainable has crept into our fridges, bedrooms, cosmetics and finally wardrobes some time ago. I cannot enjoy it the more. Let us together examine spaces where we start our everyday life. For example where we prepare morning coffee, snacks for children to take to school or simply drawers where we store gadgets for everyday use within easy reach.
The dynamic hub of the home where we experience the warmth and the joy of everyday life. The cupboards open and close a thousand times, drawers move around continuously on rollers during the preparation of a feast while the kitchen worktops have to cope with the load placed on them.
We are in such close contact with the kitchen that time becomes our friend. The kitchen is a reliable companion in favourable or unfavourable times.
At the initial stage of planning the kitchen little attention given to timelessness. We are not talking about design. It is however wise to consider whether our glossy red kitchen will continue to be a source of joy in a year or even five or ten years’ time. I am talking about material endurance of often used surfaces. Furthermore I am considering the ability of these materials to cope with daily ware .How to elegantly live in this hearth of the home in a harmonious way for as long as possible.
The worktop in my kitchen is laminated which is catastrophic. It gets used a lot because every day I spend an hour and a half to two hours here. Despite this it is only temporary. I approach it with extraordinary care so that it will be attractive to future tenants when we vacate the place. However, no matter how careful I am its best days are long over. This kitchen is no more than seven years old and yet there are areas around the sink and tap where moisture has accumulated and has swelled up. These are places where washed utensils have been placed on a wet dishcloth resulting in big ugly stains. An unfortunate cut has left a deep gash on the surface while the edges are coming loose and are frayed like a bookmark
If I were to propose a new kitchen one of my preferences would be a very solid and functional worktop with no lamination of any sort. More so because I am ecologically conscious. My reasons are as stated below.
~ Laminated worktops are made of wood dust compressed with glue and left to harden with other additives. The compressed cover is from melamine resins (which are basically plastic) finished with decorative paper.
Some of the disadvantages are:
* It reacts to high temperatures
* Vulnerable to mechanical damage
* Non repairable
* Cannot be recycled
* Looks cheap because as a matter of fact has just a ‘’wood like’’ look that can only be admired by does who have minimal taste.
Why then should we purchase quality worktops?
Because the kitchen gets a lot of ware and needs to be long lasting. A sharp knife can slip from the chopping board, hot pots, juice from red beets, stagnant water before being wiped off or an accidental thud of a baking tray from an unsuccessful baking attempt. Therefore I prefer natural wood to imitations and engineered or natural stone slabs to faux marble patterned at sixty centimetre intervals for reasons stated below.
~They are manufactured from 90% naturally occurring materials supplemented with resins that bind everything.
*they are water-resistant
*they are scratch proof
*they don’t crack easily
* they are antibacterial
*they can be installed with visible joints
*they can be used as wall facings adjacent to cooking areas
*they can be used as floor tiles
*they age well
*they have long-lasting endurance
It makes sense to purchase such a slab. It makes an ordinary kitchen look elegant. Just like the end and the beginning make a story the kitchen worktop is the finishing detail which can elevate the aesthetics of a kitchen or totally finish it off.
Forget cheap materials. Despite the apparent savings in cost for the present you might end up paying much more in the future.
Bára Perglová, a creative doer
‘‘I heart independent artists, dreamers, people with a positive vibe, Harry Potter and cleaning. And I do woodcarving.’’
Bára is a big fan of projects with an impact and helps create a purposeful content for them.
She writes, takes photos, and is creative with joy for Technistone and for you as you seen on her blog baraperglova.com. At the moment she is working on the YUY platform and is also the person behind HNST.LY an enterprise full of beautifully crafted products for the home whose story is continuously in the making. Oh, and she is writing a novel on sustainability. Something to look forward to!