Why choose to buy worktops from an independent worktop fabricator?

Three Little Birds Bakery kitchen Keighley Yorkshire

My niece’s brand new kitchen in Keighley, Yorkshire – home of Three Little Birds Bakery

For most people buying a kitchen is not a frequent occurrence. You may do it every 15 – 20 years or so, or a bit more often if you move house regularly. Rebuilding and equipping a modern kitchen is the largest single expense in renovating a home. Even comparatively modest kitchen refurbishments can easily run into 5 figures. Whichever way you look at it, it’s a pretty big deal.

Kitchens are not only big purchases, but they are very personal too. This room is going to be used more than almost any other; kitchens bring together aesthetics and practicality in a way quite different from anywhere else in the home.  You need to think in terms of taste AND budget AND lifestyle needs.

When you start to look at kitchens and kitchen showrooms you can feel completely overwhelmed with the number of choices to make. I used to sell kitchens and remember how it helped customers if we tried to simplify the issues. Beginning with simple questions helps people start the thought processes that may be the beginning of a long journey!

Cosmic White Granite Worktops, Redhill Surrey

A big refurbishment in a Redhill home

Oxted Surrey Affordable Granite Silestone Eternal Calacatta Gold

Hob with built-in extractor in an Oxted kitchen

Ask yourself:

  1. What are the things I don’t like or don’t work about my current kitchen? Does the layout currently work well with our lifestyle?
  2. Which appliances are critical to me and are there new appliances or gadgets available that would make my life easier or the kitchen work better?
  3. What are my “must haves” and are what are my “really like to haves” if they can be fitted into the available space and my budget?

We work frequently with kitchen design studios. These specialist kitchen people can help you with all these questions. Social media design hubs like Pinterest and Houzz can also be really useful for helping with decisions on style and for getting ideas on new trends and looks. There may be a lot of new stuff available since you last did your kitchen!


HKS showroom in Haywards Heath – experts on all things kitchen!


Oven tower and hob in a Crawley kitchen

You may need to research a bit harder for the most critical elements in your kitchen. You live on your own, rarely have many guests and mostly eat ready meals or a takeaway? Your ideal oven probably won’t suit a family of six or a budding chef who lives to entertain with their culinary delights.  In the same way, you need worktops that suit your lifestyle as well as the design of the kitchen.

When it comes to worktops, you could ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do I need a zero or low maintenance worktop?
  2. Am I trying to achieve a natural look or a more sleek minimal look?
  3. Is the worktop going to make a statement in it’s own right or be the element that draws the rest of the design scheme together?

Industrial-look worktops in a Horsham kitchen

You may well find help in thinking through some of these questions in our FAQs and other articles. Try here on different worktop types. Or call us!
The point is that a worktop specialist will often be able to offer far deeper advice and experience when it comes to worktops, just as your kitchen design studio are THE people to help with your units.

Vein matching in a marble-look quartz – a specialist installation by specialist installers

Large warehouse kitchen suppliers like Howdens and Wickes can be very good for budget worktops and now offer branded quartz as a worktop option. This may be ok if your kitchen is on a very limited budget or has a fairly simple design. But for anything apart from a basic plan and very standard worktop stone, a specialist independent fabricator’s deeper knowledge, greater choice, better level of service and attention to detail in the finishing touches makes all the difference.

Any big-volume kitchen company which sells worktops alongside its kitchen units tends to offer a narrow range of worktop materials, and often works with worktop blanks – pre-cut worktops at about 620mm deep. Capacity to make large islands, splashbacks, bespoke upstands, windowsills and large curves may be lacking. And even more lacking will be the advice to help you work through all of that. For some reason, even the guarantee on the stone seems to be shorter in some cases!

kitchen worktops independent fabricator howdens wickes blanks

Worktop blanks ready for one of the big kitchen warehouses


At Affordable Granite we have 16 years history as a company and a combined experience in the solid stone surfaces business which is far longer than that. We know that spending anything from £2k to £6k and more on worktops is a serious matter for you, and looking after you is a serious matter for us too. As your specialist worktop fabricator we can offer:

  • Expert advice from our experienced sales team who can take all your needs into consideration.
  • A massive choice of quality brands of quartz worktops
  • A choice of sintered-particle stone worktops
  • A large range of quality natural stone and close relationship with the best granite wholesalers where you can select your own bespoke materials
  • A choice of thickness of your worktops, depending on materials
  • A choice of edge profile on your worktops
  • A choice of shape, rounded corners, island curves etc.
  • A chance to view and reserve the slabs that will actually be used for your kitchen
  • A full templating, manufacture, delivery and installation service – no short cuts
  • A rapid turn around from templating to installation.
  • Made-to-measure bespoke sizing – we are not limited to 620mm deep worktops or set lengths
  • Up-stands to match worktop lengths – we not generally limited to 1400mm
  • The chance to be involved in laying out the templates for your kitchen on the slabs so that you can see how the pattern will flow and select the parts you like most for greatest prominence
  • Worktops cut on state-of-the-art machinery to an extremely high finish
  • Experienced stonemasons, templaters and installers.
  • Full manufacturer’s warrantee on quartz products – not just a one year labour guarantee
  • Full after sales service, with a direct, personal point of contact if you have any problems

I’m Naomi, head of sales and office manager here at Affordable Granite. I used to be involved in selling kitchens, and then I was in at the very beginning of this firm. Without false modesty I guess I know as much as anyone in the industry about the marriage between units and worktops. And I am proud of a great team – many years between them in the granite and quartz worktop business, and before that so much experience in other walks of life, including interior photography and high fashion! We are confident that between us we can offer you honest advice and customer service which is second to none. And that commitment to you, the customer, is carried right through the company.

We are Affordable Granite, the leading installer of all kinds of solid stone worktops in Surrey, Sussex and across the South East. We are proud to be a company known for our quality and good service, from first enquiry to finished installation!
For questions, queries and quotes connected with any aspect of worktop installation or kitchen design, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01293 863992 or by email on .

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