When choosing a suitable kitchen worktop there are many aspects which need to be considered to ensure you select the surface which most suits your needs in terms of; durability, aesthetics, resistance to heat & compatibility with the style of kitchen. We have put together this short guide to worktops which we hope is of assistance to you. If you have any queries on any of the surfaces listed below please email info@surrealdesigns.ie

Stainless Steel

Often associated with professional kitchens, stainless steel is stylish and contemporary helping create a very unique and individual kitchen. Steel is highly durable and can be shaped in many ways to fit your kitchen. Stainless steel is hygienic and is the only surface that can be safely bleached. We have an example of a stainless steel worktop on display in our showroom in Galway.


Wood will always give a great look and add character to your kitchen. On the countertop, however, it is highly susceptible to scratching and cutting. Hot pans will burn it or leave marks, and it can be unhygienic if meat or poultry is prepared on it. However, it is one of the only surfaces that will not damage your knives. Oak, maple, cherry, beech, walnut and dark ash are all hardwoods favoured for countertop applications.


Corian / Solid Surfacing

A countertop that consists of a solid plastic all the way through is said to be a solid surface countertop. (as opposed to those built up in layers i.e. laminate). Corian is non porous and therefore stain resistant. If you do manage to damage the countertop you can easily repair it unlike other surfaces. Probably the biggest benefit to using Corian is the wide range of colour and design options available with what is probably the most flexible counter service available to designers.


Until recently Granite was the most common type of stone used for a countertop. Granite is quarried worldwide, with colours and patterns that reveal the region and the geological conditions that created it. Each slab is unique, with random and inconsistent patterns for a great character and look. It is highly durable, it doesn’t scratch or burn and it keeps its colour. As well as locally sourced granite, Surreal Designs also have an extensive range of German machined granite which offers many alternative colours, finishes and edgings (up to 80mm thick) which are otherwise not available locally.



An ever-popular choice for kitchen countertops and it comes in a variety of colours and textures. The quality of laminate worktops has improved dramatically with increased durability and a wide range of attractive edging options to create a stylish look. Laminate worktops are available in thicknesses from 40mm up to 80mm.


Glass contains no pores, and therefore is extremely hygienic. Glass is also very heat resistant and less sensitive to normal household detergents, however it can react to sudden changes in temperature. Glass is also a wonderful way to introduce and exciting vibrant colour into a kitchen.


Quartz is probably one of our most popular surfaces for a number of reasons including durability and a wide choice of colours. Quartz, often known as composite stone, is re-engineered granite which uses granite along with other compounds to create an extremely durable work surface which is also non porous. This worktop comes in a wide variety of colours and textures and can be fabricated with extra thick edges