Many people today are deciding to add an extension to their homes as a way of gaining extra space rather than moving home. Adding a conservatory gives you year-round views of your garden, and conservatories today are greatly improved on those of 20 or 30 years ago. Other people might add a home office in order to get away from the family when working from home which, with the coming of the internet, more and more people do today.
Whatever you add by way of an extension will add considerable value to your home and will save the expense of moving to larger premises if you have a growing family. It also saves all the hassle of finding and buying a new home, and then moving – which is acknowledged to be one of the most stressful things we ever do. Furthermore, moving home often entails moving away from family and friends, whereas adding an extension doesn't.
Another extension which is becoming more and more popular is a kitchen extension. Times have changed in the 21st century, and people now not only cook in the kitchen, but eat there too, and many entertain guests in the kitchen. The problem with many kitchens is that they are quite often small rooms if they are in older properties, as they were originally only for cooking in and doing the washing up after a meal. Extending the kitchen gives you the opportunity to entertain your guests the modern way.
Of course, when you add a kitchen extension there are a lot of things to consider, such as cabinetry (the more the better), where to put the fridge and freezer, and a very important matter is that of the worktops.
If you are extending the kitchen you can have an island which can be used for dining, but how do you select the perfect worktops? There are so many choices.
One very popular material is natural stone. Marble and granite are natural materials and have a number of benefits. Quartzite and limestone are also natural stones. One of the beauties of natural stone is that every piece is different. The stones come from different places around the world and will be composed of different materials. So, for example, granite, which is an igneous rock is mainly composed of quartz, mica, and feldspar, but may contain small quantities of other materials which will affect the colour and patterns of the stone. The result is that you can get granite worktops in blues, greens, blacks, whites, browns, and reds, which provide you with a very wide choice for your kitchen worktops.
Marble is largely white, but can contain greens, browns, and reds as well. It can even be totally black, as in the marble Belgian Black. Marble is a softer stone than granite, and needs a little more care, but many people love it for the amazing look of luxury that it provides.
Then there is quartz, which is composed of around 93% quartz together with polymer resins and pigments. This is what is known as an engineered stone, in that it is man-made. Quartz is one of the hardest materials known to man and is almost, but not quite, indestructible. It is completely impervious to stains and acids, whereas marble is not. If you spill red wine, beetroot juice, lemon juice, and more, on marble, it can stain, so spills need to be wiped up straight away. Quartz will just shrug them off.
A recent development is sintered stone. This is also man-made and is composed of powdered natural minerals and oxides which are put under extreme pressure and heat in order to form slabs of material. It is almost totally waterproof, and is highly resistant to scratching (except for highly polished finishes), resists bleach and ammonia, doesn't give off any harmful substances (so you can put food directly on it), and it consists of as much as a little over half of recycled materials, so it is environmentally friendly as well.
So natural stones and engineered stones have a lot going for them when used for kitchen worktops. Most people are taken by their sheer beauty, and a bonus is knowing that your kitchen worktops will be unique.