How much do overlay worktops cost … and other useful information
Overlay worktops have now been available in the UK for more than 15 years however it’s still a concept that many have never heard of. Here we’ll explain what overlay worktops are, the cost, their best application and whether it would be suitable for you.
So what are overlay worktops made from?
There are now many companies in the UK offering overlay worktops, some call it granite, others Quartz, glass etc.
The very simple fact is that whatever the base material, whether it be quartz, granite or any other material, they are all engineered stone surfaces and perform in similar ways. Solid granite or marble for example is mined from the earth, cut into slabs of varying thickness and then polished to create a stunning natural surface, engineered stone is comprised of crushed stone, mixed with a high performance polymer resin and a small amount of pigment. The ratios vary between manufacturers however most slabs contain around 93% natural stone. Some engineered stone surfaces now contain high percentages of recycled material meaning they’re more environmentally friendly not only due to production and movement of the material but also because a high percentage can also be from recycled products.
Thickness varies between manufacturers and suppliers. Generally the thicknesses in the UK for overlay worktops are 6-8mm
How do they work?
The slabs are thin which means when fitted it’s not going to affect the height of the worktops to any extent that you’d notice too much. The front edge as shown in the above images is also covered by the worktop overlays. During fabrication in our workshop, the front edge is bonded to the top surface using a high performance stone epoxy specifically designed for joining stone. Once the epoxy has dried it’s then polished up to create the illusion of a full slab as thick as required. Our edge finishing options are either a pencil round or a bevel. The above image shows a pencil round. Our templating method is extremely accurate and when fitted our worktop overlays follow any lumps and bumps in the wall as in the image below. It’s then sealed along the wall with a neat bead of silicon.
Are they suitable for all kitchens?
Our material has unparalleled flexural strength so in terms of whether your worktops are ok to be overlaid, it’s never usually an issue. Generally if the worktops aren’t suitable you’d probably be looking to replace the entire kitchen rather than just the worktops.
Weight wise, at just 18kg per square metre there is absolutely no issues with the extra weight on the cabinets as opposed to having solid 30mm stone which can weigh hundreds of kilograms per square metre!
We don’t aim our surfaces at the new kitchen sector. If you’re having a whole new kitchen fitted, we would suggest other options such as 30mm quartz or granite which sits directly on the cabinets. The reason being is that in new kitchens, there is a great deal more work involved in fitting overlays. For new kitchens, a substrate surface would need to be fitted before the overlay can go in. This is kind of counter productive and not what our material is designed for. It also costs a significant amount more due to the extra labour and materials involved.
Existing kitchens are where worktop overlays come into their own. The accuracy and versatility often makes it the best and in some cases the only choice without further work needing to be carried out. All of our jobs are accurately templated for a quick install, nothing needs to be ripped out, damaged or disturbed. We’ve fitted so many of these worktops we now have it down to a fine art and feel that our products, workmanship and prices will not be beaten. If you’re happy with your existing kitchen but feel it’s lacking something or needs brightening up, overlay worktops could be the answer you’re looking for.
We can fabricate our tops to fit snugly over existing surfaces of any thickness, and not only in kitchens. Other practical uses included wall panels in showers and wet rooms, vanity unit covers, table tops, floor tiles and many more.
How long do they take to fit?
It’s a 2 step process. The first being the template which usually takes 1-3 hours. At this point we will discuss things like where, if any joins will be placed. We can also discuss any appliances from sinks and taps to free standing American style fridge freezers which you’d like us to supply and fit. During the templating visit, we will book the install date in. The timescale from template to install is usually 2-4 weeks. On the agreed day we’ll be back at yours for around 9am. The first thing we do is remove the sink and hob as well as carry out any other prep work. Your new surfaces will then be dry fitted to ensure everything fits correctly. once we’re happy, we’ll then glue your new tops in and re fit your appliances. Intsalls in average sized kitchens usually take around 3-5 hours. Although everything is prefabricated in our workshop, the install still requires a high level of skill to obtain a professional finish and cannot be rushed.
How much do overlay worktops cost?
The cost for overlay worktops can vary wildly when obtaining quotes, with many costing more than 30mm granite!
Some businesses are part of a franchise so tend to charge more as they have higher overheads and costs. Others sub contract part or all of the work and and simply have sales people for going on home visits, this obviously lengthens the supply chain pushing the cost up.
We are one of the few independent businesses in the UK specialising in just worktop overlays. All work from sales to fabrication and fitting is carried out by our skilled team. We don’t employ sales people, don’t have large costly showrooms and are not part of a franchise. Whoever you speak to at Stonecover is a skilled craftsman and that’s how we keep our prices so low. To give a rough idea on price, the vast majority of our installs still cost lest than £2000.00 fully fitted.
Extras such as splashbacks, upstands, window sills and undermount sinks with drainer grooves may all add to the cost. the way our prices work is based on the material needed to be purchased for any given job. If you’re after upstands to go with your new worktop and we can cut those upstands from the same slab as the worktops, they won’t cost you a penny more as we’ve billed for the material purchased. We’ve tried different pricing methods over the years but have found this to be the most transparent for the customer and works well for us.
Well, that about sums up our short guide to overlay worktops. We hope it’s been informative and has answered some of your questions. For more information about us, our products and services, why not have a look around our website. If there’s anything we can help with that you’d like to discuss don’t hesitate to give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.