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Dishwasher Loading Tips: Maximising Efficiency and Cleanliness



Introduction to Dishwasher Efficiency and Cleanliness

Loading your dishwasher properly can save you time, energy, and ensure your dishes come out sparkling clean every time. This guide will help you avoid common mistakes and make the most out of your dishwasher.

Understanding Your Dishwasher

Different dishwashers come with a variety of features designed to enhance your dishwashing experience. Reading the manual and understanding the specific guidelines for your dishwasher is the first step towards maximising its efficiency.

Preparing Your Dishes for the Dishwasher

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to pre-rinse your dishes extensively before loading them. Modern dishwashers are designed to handle food residues effectively. Simply scrape off any large food scraps into the bin to prevent blockages and unnecessary strain on your dishwasher’s filter.




Prepping Your Dishes for the Dishwasher

Modern dishwashers are designed to handle dirty dishes without the need for extensive pre-rinsing. Instead of fully washing your dishes beforehand, scrape off any excess food scraps. Pre-rinsing wastes water and energy, and it’s unnecessary in most cases.

Grouping Similar Items

When loading your dishwasher, group similar items together. Place plates, bowls, and glasses in their respective rows. This arrangement optimises space and allows water and detergent to reach all surfaces evenly.

Loading Techniques

  • Dirty Surfaces Facing Inward:
    Position your dishes so that the dirty surfaces face the centre of the dishwasher. This placement allows the spray arms to reach and clean them more effectively.
  • Avoid Overcrowding:
    While it’s tempting to fit as many dishes as possible, overcrowding can hinder proper water circulation and detergent distribution. Leave enough space between items for water and detergent to flow freely.
  • Placing Pots and Pans:
    Most pots and pans made of stainless steel can go in the bottom rack of the dishwasher. However, always check the manufacturer’s advice before loading.

Utilising Dishwasher Features

  • Rack Adjustability:
    Many dishwashers have adjustable racks or shelves that can accommodate larger items like pots and pans. Take advantage of these features by adjusting them as needed to make the most of the available space.
  • Top Rack Placement:
    Place items like glasses, mugs, and plastic containers on the top rack. Ensure that taller items do not obstruct the spray arm’s rotation. This allows for efficient cleaning of these items.
  • Securing Utensils:
    To prevent utensils from nesting and not getting clean, alternate the direction of forks and spoons. Place knives with the blade down to avoid injury when unloading. Consider using the utensil basket if your dishwasher has one.




Maximising Space and Efficiency

  • Using Hot Water:
    Starting your dishwasher with hot water enhances cleaning efficiency as it helps dissolve detergent more effectively. Run the hot water tap in the sink before starting the dishwasher to ensure it fills with hot water from the beginning of the cycle.
  • Running Full Loads:
    Running the dishwasher with full loads maximises its efficiency and reduces water and energy consumption per dish. However, avoid overloading, as it can compromise cleaning effectiveness.
  • Optimising Water Softness:
    Hard water can lead to limescale buildup, affecting the dishwasher’s performance. Use water softeners or dishwasher salt, as recommended by the manufacturer, to optimise water softness and enhance cleaning effectiveness.

Handling Delicate and Special Items

  • Protecting Fragile Items:
    Delicate items like crystal glassware or fine china should be placed carefully in the top rack, ensuring they do not touch other items to prevent chipping or damage during the wash cycle.
  • Using the Right Detergent:
    Choosing the right dishwasher detergent is crucial for optimal cleaning results. Review your dishwasher manual to find the recommended detergent type and use the correct amount to avoid residue and ensure sparkling clean dishes.

Regular Maintenance for Optimal Performance

  • Cleaning the Dishwasher Filter:
    The dishwasher filter traps food particles and needs regular cleaning to prevent clogs and maintain efficiency. Check and clean the filter periodically to ensure unobstructed water flow and effective cleaning.
  • Checking Spray Arms:
    Inspect the spray arms regularly and remove any obstructions that could prevent them from rotating freely. This ensures that water can reach all areas of the dishwasher and clean dishes thoroughly.
  • Scheduling Professional Maintenance:
    Regular maintenance is essential to keep your dishwasher in top condition. Schedule periodic inspections and maintenance services to identify and address any issues promptly, ensuring the longevity and optimal performance of your appliance.

Energy-Saving Tips

  • Utilising Energy-Saving Features:
    Many modern dishwashers come with energy-saving features like eco-mode. Utilise these features to reduce energy consumption, save on utility bills, and contribute to environmental conservation.
  • Running During Off-Peak Hours:
    Running the dishwasher during off-peak hours can help reduce energy costs. Check with your local utility provider for off-peak times and schedule your dishwasher cycles accordingly.




Do I Need a New Dishwasher?

If your current dishwasher is working well, it is not essential, but depending on its age and efficiency, it might save you money in the long run to upgrade. Modern dishwashers have seen significant advancements in technology and design, making them more efficient and user-friendly than ever before. Features such as smart sensors that adjust the wash cycle based on the load, improved energy efficiency, and quieter operation have revolutionised the way we use dishwashers. Innovations like third racks for utensils, specialised cycles for delicate items, and enhanced drying technologies ensure that every dish comes out clean and dry.

At COD Kitchens & Appliances, our experts are well-versed in the latest dishwasher technologies and can help you find the perfect model to fit your needs. Whether you’re looking for a high-tech option with Wi-Fi connectivity and remote control, or a more traditional model with reliable performance, we have a wide selection to choose from. Our team is dedicated to providing personalised advice to ensure you make an informed decision, taking into account your kitchen layout, usage patterns, and specific requirements.


By following these tips and guidelines, you can maximise the efficiency and cleanliness of your dishwasher. From properly prepping your dishes to utilising the advanced features of modern dishwashers, every step plays a crucial role in ensuring your dishes come out spotless. Regular maintenance and using the right detergent further enhance your dishwasher’s performance and longevity.

Remember, a well-loaded dishwasher not only saves you time and energy but also contributes to a more sustainable household. For any specific concerns or advanced maintenance, always refer to your dishwasher’s manual or consult a professional.

Thank you for taking the time to read this guide. We hope it helps you achieve the best results with your dishwasher, making your kitchen chores a little easier and your dishes a lot cleaner. If you’re considering upgrading to a new dishwasher, visit COD Kitchens & Appliances for expert advice and a wide range of options to suit every home and budget.



  • Do I need to pre-rinse my dishes before loading?
    No, modern dishwashers and detergents are designed to handle food residues effectively. Pre-rinsing is generally unnecessary and can waste water and energy.
  • What detergent should I use for the best results?
    Use the detergent recommended by your dishwasher manufacturer. This ensures optimal cleaning and prevents residue. In areas with hard water, consider using additional salt and rinse aid.
  • How should I load oversized items like cutting boards?
    Place oversized items towards the sides and back of the dishwasher to prevent them from disrupting the flow of water and detergent. Ensure they do not block the spray arms.
  • Is it necessary to use rinse aid and salt in my dishwasher?
    Yes, especially in hard water areas. Rinse aid helps prevent water droplet stains and assists in drying, while salt protects your machine from limescale and softens the water for better cleaning.
  • How do dishwasher tablets work?
    Dishwasher tablets contain surfactants, enzymes, and other components that help break down food residues and grease, holding them in suspension until the final rinse. They are simple to use and effective at ensuring clean dishes.
  • How should I store my dishwashing detergent?
    Store your detergent in a dry environment and ensure it is kept out of reach of children. Close the spout of powder detergents after each use to prevent moisture from getting in.
  • Should glasses be washed on separate cycles to pots and pans?
    Yes, it is generally recommended to wash glasses on separate cycles from pots and pans. Glasses benefit from a delicate cycle that uses lower water pressure and temperature to avoid damage. Pots and pans, which require higher pressure and temperature to clean effectively, are best washed on a heavy-duty cycle. Washing them separately helps prevent overcrowding and ensures optimal cleaning for each type of item.

Product Focus

ASKO Washing Machines & Dryers: Simplifying Laundry with the Latest Technology

Introduction to ASKO’s Premium Laundry Appliances


In the realm of laundry appliances, ASKO asserts a distinctive presence, characterised by its commitment to innovation, efficiency, and sustainability. ASKO combines sleek Scandinavian minimalist design with the functionality demanded by modern lifestyles. Each washing machine and dryer is designed with the user in mind, integrating features that enhance the laundry process, making it as effortless as it is thorough. This is achieved whilst ensuring that every appliance boasts durability and energy efficiency, aligning with today’s needs for sustainable living without compromising on performance.

With a range of models featuring the latest in laundry technology, ASKO appliances are engineered to handle everything from the heaviest of linens to the most delicate garments. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your current setup or invest in your first set of premium laundry appliances, they offer solutions that promise efficiency, longevity, and superior care of clothing. In this article we will break down some of the core features that make ASKO a great choice, whatever your laundry needs.


ASKO Washing Machines – Advanced Features Explained


ASKO washing machines embody the essence of high-quality appliance engineering, designed to cater to the needs of modern households seeking both functionality and environmental consideration. Each machine is equipped with features that not only enhance the user’s laundry experience but also aim to set a new standard in the appliance industry. Here, we explore some of the key features that define ASKO washing machines.

Active Drum Technology

The Active Drum system is a hallmark of ASKO’s approach to fabric care. This technology utilises hourglass-shaped lifters positioned strategically inside the drum, allowing for a gentler yet effective washing action. The design helps to guide the fabric more centrally in the drum, reducing fabric wear and tear and improving the overall wash result. Unlike traditional drums, the Active Drum system minimises the need for higher volumes of water, focusing instead on a targeted cleaning action that respects both the fabric and the environment.

Quattro Construction

ASKO’s Quattro Construction feature enhances the appliance’s stability and overall durability. This innovative construction includes four shock absorbers that significantly reduce vibration during operation. This not only makes the machine quieter but also extends its lifespan by minimising the mechanical stress on components. For households, this means a washing machine that is not only stable but also operates with reduced noise — a key consideration in busy homes or open-plan living spaces.

Steel Seal Technology

Steel Seal Technology is ASKO’s answer to the hygiene and maintenance challenges often posed by traditional rubber door seals. By eliminating the rubber seal, ASKO washing machines prevent the build-up of mould and odours, which commonly occur in damp environments. This feature ensures a cleaner, more hygienic wash and reduces the time and effort spent on maintenance, making it a practical solution for busy individuals who value efficiency and cleanliness.

Auto Programs

To simplify the laundry process, ASKO washing machines are equipped with intelligent Auto Programs that automatically adjust the washing conditions based on the load and fabric type. These programs assess the weight of the load and the amount of water needed, adjusting the wash cycle to optimise energy and water usage. This adaptability not only ensures optimal cleaning results but also contributes to the machines’ energy efficiency, aligning with the needs of environmentally conscious users.

Steam Refresh Function

Certain washing machine models as well as some of their tumble dryers feature the Steam Refresh function. It works by using steam to penetrate fabric fibres, effectively reducing odours and wrinkles without the use of water or detergents. This not only saves time but also conserves resources, making it an eco-friendly choice for busy lifestyles. The function is particularly useful for refreshing garments that are not visibly soiled but need a slight rejuvenation to remove the smell of food, smoke, or just a day’s wear. ASKO’s Steam Refresh is an example of how the brand combines convenience with care, offering a practical solution that keeps clothes looking and feeling fresh with minimal effort.


ASKO Dryers – Specialised Drying Technology


ASKO dryers are designed with advanced technology to ensure efficient and gentle drying cycles that care for your clothes while being mindful of energy use. Each dryer model integrates unique features aimed at providing optimal drying results with enhanced fabric care. Here’s an overview of what sets ASKO dryers apart from conventional models:

Butterfly Drying System

The Butterfly Drying System is a key feature in ASKO dryers that helps to handle clothes gently and reduce wrinkles. Unlike traditional dryers that may tangle clothes during the drying process, ASKO’s system uses a two-way tumbling action akin to the movement of butterfly wings. This method allows clothes to spread out more evenly, ensuring better air circulation and a more uniform drying process without excessive wear on the fabric.

Heat Pump Technology

Heat pump technology represents a significant advancement over traditional drying methods. ASKO dryers with heat pump technology use recycled hot air to extract moisture from clothes, which considerably reduces energy consumption compared to conventional heated drying. This method is not only gentle on delicate fabrics but also lowers household energy bills and is better for the environment due to its lower energy usage.

Soft Drum Technology

ASKO’s Soft Drum technology features a unique drum pattern designed to protect delicate textiles during the drying cycle. The drum has a soft curve design with smaller holes than standard drums, which reduces fabric wear and tear and minimises the risk of items getting caught in the drum. This thoughtful design ensures that even the most delicate garments can be dried safely and efficiently.

Enhanced Filtration System

Maintaining a clean filter is crucial for the efficiency and longevity of dryers. ASKO dryers come equipped with a double lint filter that captures lint and particles from all sides, ensuring the machine remains clean and runs efficiently. This not only improves the drying performance but also extends the lifespan of the appliance by preventing clogs and maintaining optimal air flow.


ASKO Drying Cupboard – A Gentle, Versatile Drying Solution


The ASKO drying cupboard offers a unique and innovative solution for drying clothes that extends beyond the capabilities of traditional dryers. Especially suited for delicate items, outdoor gear, and large, bulky outerwear, the drying cupboard provides a gentle and efficient drying environment. Here’s a closer look at what makes the ASKO drying cupboard a standout choice:

Concept and Functionality

The drying cupboard is designed much like a tall wardrobe, equipped with racks and hangers instead of the traditional rotating drum. This setup allows air to circulate around the garments, drying them gently without direct heat contact that can cause shrinkage or damage. It’s an ideal solution for items that are not suitable for tumble drying, offering a convenient and care-focused drying method.

Adjustable Shelving and Precise Temperature Controls

Flexibility is at the heart of the ASKO drying cupboard design. With adjustable shelving and expandable hanging rods, it can accommodate a wide range of items, from boots and shoes to delicate silks and linens. The precise temperature controls allow you to set the ideal conditions based on the materials being dried, ensuring that each item is treated with the utmost care.

Benefits of Using a Drying Cupboard

Using a drying cupboard has several benefits:

  • Gentle on Fabrics: The cupboard dries clothes gently, which is particularly beneficial for delicate fabrics that might be damaged by traditional dryers.
  • Versatility: It can dry anything from technical outdoor clothing and heavy coats to delicate garments and everyday clothes.
  • Space-Saving: The cupboard’s design maximises vertical space, making it a great option for compact laundry rooms.
  • Energy Efficiency: Often, it uses less energy compared to traditional dryers, especially when drying items that would require long tumble-drying cycles.

Ideal Uses

The drying cupboard is particularly useful in climates where outdoor drying is impractical for much of the year. It’s also a boon for active families with frequent needs to dry outerwear or sports gear, as well as for those who prefer to air dry clothes but lack the space to do so effectively indoors.


Choosing the Right ASKO Laundry Appliance


Selecting the right laundry appliance is crucial to meeting your household’s specific needs while ensuring efficiency and longevity. ASKO offers a range of high-end washing machines, dryers, and drying cupboards, each designed with unique features that cater to different preferences and requirements. Here are some tips to help you choose the most suitable ASKO appliance for your home:

Assess Your Laundry Habits

Consider the types and amounts of laundry your household typically produces. Do you frequently need to wash bulky items, or are your loads mostly made up of delicate fabrics? ASKO’s washing machines with Active Drum technology are ideal for handling a variety of fabric types gently and efficiently.

Space Considerations

Measure the space you have available in your laundry area to ensure the appliance fits comfortably. ASKO appliances come in various sizes and configurations, including models that are stackable or can be fitted under a counter, making them versatile for different space requirements.

Energy Efficiency

If reducing your household’s environmental impact is a priority, consider ASKO’s models with energy-efficient features like heat pump technology in dryers. These models not only lower energy usage but also reduce long-term operating costs.

Advanced Features

Think about which features will make your laundry routine easier. ASKO’s washing machines with steam refresh are great for those looking to quickly freshen unstained clothes, while their drying cupboards offer a unique solution for items that are not suitable for tumble drying. Choosing models with these advanced features can significantly enhance your laundry experience.

Long-Term Investment

While ASKO appliances may come with a higher initial cost, their durability, advanced technology, and energy-efficient designs provide value that can save money and hassle over time. Consider this an investment in the convenience and quality of your daily life.

Consult with Experts at COD Kitchens & Appliances

COD Kitchens & Appliances has one of the largest live showrooms in the country. Our appliance specialists will happily take you around, talk through the options and help you decide if ASKO is the right brand for your needs. We don’t believe in upselling and want you to find the appliance best suited to your needs, their expert insights are there to clarify any questions about the functionalities and benefits of each model, ensuring you make an informed decision.




  1. What special features do ASKO washing machines offer? ASKO washing machines come equipped with several advanced features like the Steel Seal, which is more hygienic and easier to clean than traditional rubber seals. They also offer a range of wash programs, including Quick Pro for fast cleaning, and are designed with energy efficiency in mind to help reduce electricity bills.
  2. How energy efficient are ASKO dryers? ASKO dryers, especially those with heat pump technology, are highly energy efficient. They utilise modern heat pump technology to reuse hot air, significantly reducing energy consumption. This not only makes them eco-friendly but also cost-effective in the long run.
  3. Can ASKO washing machines and dryers handle large loads? Yes, ASKO appliances are capable of handling large laundry loads efficiently. Multiple models are available with 9kg capacities, which is sufficient for family-sized loads, ensuring that you can dry ample clothes at once without compromising on drying quality.
  4. Do ASKO appliances come with a warranty? Yes, ASKO appliances come with a 5 year warranty upon registration, ensuring peace of mind regarding maintenance and potential repairs.
  5. What types of clothes can I dry in an ASKO drying cabinet? The ASKO drying cabinet is ideal for items that are not suitable for tumble drying. It is designed to simulate natural air drying, making it perfect for delicate items, technical outdoor clothing, heavy coats, and even soft toys. This makes it a versatile addition to any laundry setup.

Product Focus

The Quiet Revolution: How Novy Cooker Hoods Are Changing Kitchen Design

Introduction to Novy


Since 1907, Novy has evolved from its Belgian roots into a respected name in kitchen appliances. It’s not just about longevity; it’s the strides in innovation and quality that have cemented Novy’s place in the market. Initially focusing on other products, the shift to creating their first cooker hood in 1965 marked Novy’s commitment to improving kitchen environments.


Why Choose Novy?


The standout feature of Novy cooker hoods is how quietly they operate. Imagine a kitchen where the cooker hood doesn’t drown out conversation or the radio; that’s the reality with Novy. This quiet operation doesn’t come at the expense of efficiency or design, either. Novy extractors efficiently clear the air of grease and odours whilst fitting stylishly into any kitchen’s design, whether you prefer something that makes a statement or blends in. In terms of technology, Novy integrates the latest advancements to ensure their hoods are easy to use and environmentally friendly, making them a smart choice for the modern homeowner.


Exploring the Key Features and Benefits of Novy


Silent Efficiency

A hallmark of Novy cooker hoods is their ability to function quietly without compromising their effectiveness. These appliances leverage sophisticated technology to extract grease and neutralize odours quietly, preserving the calm of your kitchen atmosphere. This feature is invaluable during extensive cooking, preventing the noise from overwhelming the space.

Energy Efficiency

Novy’s commitment to sustainability is evident in the energy efficiency of its cooker hoods. Designed to consume less power, these appliances align with the growing preference for environmentally friendly kitchen solutions. Choosing Novy not only ensures a quieter and cleaner kitchen but also supports lower energy consumption and environmental impact.

Modern Design Aesthetics

Novy offers a variety of cooker hoods designed to suit any modern kitchen aesthetic. From understated designs that blend into your kitchen’s architecture to bold pieces that command attention, Novy provides options to personalize your space. The selection of styles and finishes ensures that regardless of your kitchen renovation or design project, there’s a Novy appliance that can enhance both its functionality and appearance.

Advanced Air Quality Features

For those seeking the pinnacle of kitchen ventilation technology, Novy offers the option to upgrade models with advanced air recirculation capabilities or choose the premium ‘Cloud’ model, which comes fully equipped with integrated lighting, air purification, and extraction functionalities. This adaptability makes Novy an ideal solution for kitchens where external venting is not feasible, offering a comprehensive package that ensures the air in your kitchen is continually refreshed and purified.


Highlighting Popular Novy Models


Classic Cooker Hoods

  • Novy PureLine is celebrated for its elegant design and robust extraction efficiency, making it a seamless addition to any contemporary kitchen.
  • Novy Essence delivers exceptional performance and value, exceeding expectations for its price point and establishing itself as a cost-effective yet powerful option.

Innovative Venting Hobs

  • Novy Panorama stands out with its dual functionality as a hob and hood. The innovative retractable ventilation system is designed for those who value a minimalist kitchen aesthetic without compromising on extraction efficiency.
  • Novy One offers a sleek, space-saving design by combining an induction hob with a concealed extractor, ideal for modern kitchens where space is at a premium and aesthetics are key.


Choosing the Right Model


When comparing Novy’s offerings, it becomes clear that the brand aims to meet the varied requirements of modern kitchens. The option to upgrade traditional models for enhanced air recirculation or select the all-encompassing ‘Cloud’ for a comprehensive solution highlights Novy’s flexibility. Whether you’re equipping a large kitchen or making the most of a compact space, Novy provides elegant, efficient, and adaptable solutions that promise to keep your kitchen air clean and fresh while aligning with your design preferences.

Novy Hoods at COD Kitchens & Appliances

Choosing a Novy cooker hood means investing in quality, performance, and style suitable for a variety of budgets and kitchen requirements. At our showroom, we’re dedicated to helping you find the perfect match for your space. With multiple working models on display, we invite you to experience first-hand the silent efficiency and sleek design that set Novy apart. Whether you’re undertaking a full kitchen renovation or simply upgrading your ventilation system, our knowledgeable team is here to provide expert advice and demonstrations. Visit us to explore the range and discover how Novy can enhance your cooking environment.




  1. How do I clean my Novy cooker hood filters?
    Most Novy cooker hood filters are dishwasher safe. For grease filters, cleaning every 1 to 2 months is recommended. Charcoal filters, used in recirculating models, cannot be cleaned and should be replaced approximately every 6 months.
  2. Can I install a Novy cooker hood myself?
    While DIY installation is possible for some models, professional installation is recommended to ensure optimal performance and adherence to safety standards.
  3. Why is my Novy cooker hood not extracting efficiently?
    Check if the grease filters are clogged and need cleaning or if the charcoal filters need replacing. Also, ensure there are no obstructions in the fan or ducting.
  4. What makes Novy cooker hoods quiet?
    Novy hoods are designed with advanced sound insulation and motor technology to minimize noise, making them some of the quietest on the market.
  5. Where can I buy Novy cooker hoods and accessories? COD Kitchens & Appliances is an authorised retailer. We provide delivery and installation throughout the country.

Product Focus

Mastering Wine Storage: A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing and Using Wine Coolers

Introduction to Wine Coolers

For wine enthusiasts, the proper preservation of their collection is paramount. Unlike standard refrigeration units, wine coolers are designed to maintain the ideal conditions for the maturation and storage of wine, mimicking the environment of traditional wine cellars. These specialised appliances are essential for protecting the wine against fluctuations in temperature, humidity levels, and light exposure, all of which can significantly impact the wine’s flavour and longevity.


Wine Coolers vs Fridges


Storing Wine in the Fridge

Whilst a regular fridge might seem like a convenient option for wine storage, it falls short of providing the stable conditions wine requires for optimal preservation. Unlike food, which tolerates minor temperature fluctuations, wine is significantly more sensitive. These fluctuations are more pronounced in a fridge due to frequent door openings and the introduction of warm items, leading to a cycle of temperature changes not suited for long-term wine storage. Combined with a fridge’s generally lower humidity levels, this environment poses a risk to corked wines, potentially drying out corks and spoiling the wine. Furthermore, the typical fridge setup doesn’t cater to the horizontal storage wine bottles need, nor does it protect against frequent movement or light exposure — factors that can disturb wine’s delicate balance.


Serving Temperatures of Wine

Every type of wine has a specific ideal temperature, which is crucial not only for its preservation over time but also for achieving its best flavour profile when served. If you are buying a cheap bottle of wine and just want to cool it down for that evening, then a fridge is absolutely fine for this purpose. However, if you want to enjoy the best taste your wine can offer, the fridge is the wrong choice. The average fridge temperature is 3-4°C, this is colder than any wine is at its best. Light-bodied whites, dessert, and sparkling wines, although cooler than other types, are best enjoyed around 7-10°C. Full-bodied whites should be slightly warmer, ideally between 10°C-15°C. Red wines have a broader range of temperature preferences, with light-bodied varieties being optimal around 13°C, while full-bodied reds are best served at temperatures up to 18°C. Wine coolers shine in their ability to maintain specific temperatures for different wine types, ensuring each bottle is not just stored correctly but also served at its ideal temperature for the best taste experience.


Types of Wine Coolers


Wine coolers can be broadly categorized based on their temperature zones:

  • Single Zone Wine Coolers: Ideal for storing a single type of wine, either red or white, at a consistent temperature. This type is perfect for those who specialize in either red or white wine collections and seek simplicity in preservation.
  • Dual Zone Wine Coolers: Equipped with two separate compartments, each capable of being set to different temperatures. This feature is crucial for collectors who enjoy both red and white wines, as it accommodates the distinct storage requirements of each. For instance, light-bodied white wines and sparkling wines typically require cooler temperatures than full-bodied whites and reds, making dual-zone coolers versatile and essential for diverse collections.
  • Multi Zone Wine Coolers: For the serious collector with an expansive and varied collection, multi-zone coolers offer the most flexibility, allowing for several types of wines to be stored at their ideal temperatures within the same unit. This is particularly beneficial for those who collect wines that span a wide range of styles and regions.

Additionally, wine coolers also vary in terms of installation:

  • Freestanding Wine Coolers: These are standalone units that offer flexibility in placement but require adequate ventilation space around them.
  • Built-in Wine Coolers: Designed to fit seamlessly into kitchen cabinetry or under counters, saving space without compromising on functionality.
  • Integrated Wine Coolers: These are similar to built-in models but are specifically designed to blend into the kitchen layout, offering a more cohesive look.

Selecting the Right Size and Capacity

Choosing the right wine cooler goes beyond just the type; size and capacity are equally important. The capacity of a wine cooler is measured by the number of bottles it can hold, which can range from small units that accommodate a dozen bottles to large ones designed for hundreds. When selecting a cooler, consider both your current collection and potential future growth. It’s also vital to account for the space available in your home for the cooler, ensuring it fits comfortably and functions efficiently.


Features, Installation, and Maintenance


Key Features to Look For

When venturing into the world of wine coolers, understanding the key features that can affect your wine’s preservation is essential. Here are some features to consider:

  • Temperature Control: The cornerstone of any wine cooler, precise temperature control allows for the storage of wine at optimal conditions. Look for models with digital controls for accurate adjustments.
  • UV Protection: Wine is susceptible to damage from UV light, which can degrade quality over time. Models with UV-protected glass doors safeguard your collection from light exposure.
  • Humidity Control: Maintaining the right humidity level is crucial to prevent corks from drying out, which could lead to oxidation. Some high-end coolers come with built-in hygrometers or humidity trays.
  • Energy Efficiency: With sustainability becoming increasingly important, energy-efficient models not only reduce your carbon footprint but also lower electricity bills. Look for coolers with energy star ratings or those using eco-friendly refrigerants.

Installation Guide

The installation of a wine cooler should be approached with care, considering not just where it will go but how it will operate within that space:

  • Choose the Location Wisely: Avoid areas with high temperature fluctuations and direct sunlight. Basements or interior rooms without external walls are ideal.
  • Ventilation is Key: For built-in models, ensure there’s enough space for air circulation to prevent overheating. Freestanding models also require space around them for air to move freely.
  • Electrical Requirements: Ensure your chosen spot has access to a power source that meets the cooler’s specifications, avoiding the need for extension cords which can be a safety hazard.

Maintenance and Troubleshooting

To keep your wine cooler running efficiently and your wine in peak condition, regular maintenance is a must:

  • Cleaning: Regularly clean the interior with a soft cloth and mild cleaner. Exterior surfaces can be wiped down with a damp cloth to keep the cooler looking its best.
  • Temperature and Humidity Checks: Regularly monitor to ensure they remain at your set levels. Adjustments may be necessary as seasons change.
  • Servicing: Like any appliance, wine coolers benefit from periodic check-ups. Annual servicing by a professional can help catch issues before they become problems.

Troubleshooting common issues:

  • Fluctuating Temperatures: Often caused by a blocked vent or door not sealing properly. Check for obstructions and ensure the seal is clean and intact.
  • Excessive Noise: Can indicate a problem with the fan or cooling system. While some noise is normal, unusually loud sounds warrant a professional look.
  • Humidity Concerns: If your cooler seems too humid, check for a filled or missing humidity tray. Too dry? Ensure it’s filled with water or that the humidity control is set correctly.


Final Considerations


When selecting and using a wine cooler, it’s essential to consider your current and future wine collection needs, the specific requirements of different types of wines, and how a wine cooler fits into your lifestyle and home environment. Whether you’re a casual enthusiast or a serious collector, the right wine cooler can significantly enhance your wine experience, preserving the integrity and quality of each bottle.

Additionally, integrating smart technology with wine coolers is becoming increasingly popular, offering convenience and enhanced monitoring capabilities. Features like remote temperature control and alerts for humidity changes can help ensure your collection remains in pristine condition.

In conclusion, a wine cooler is not just a storage solution but an investment in the enjoyment and preservation of wine. By choosing the right model, with the appropriate features and capacity for your needs, and by maintaining it properly, you can ensure that each bottle from your collection is enjoyed at its best.


Frequently Asked Questions


  1. Can I store both red and white wines in the same wine cooler? Yes, if you have a dual-zone or multi-zone wine cooler, you can store both red and white wines at their ideal temperatures. Single-zone coolers are best suited for one wine type unless you opt for a compromise temperature that can somewhat accommodate both.
  2. How does ambient temperature affect my wine cooler’s performance? The ambient temperature can impact a wine cooler’s ability to maintain the set internal temperature. It’s best to place your cooler in an environment with stable temperatures, away from direct sunlight and heat sources, to ensure it operates efficiently.
  3. What’s the best temperature to store wine? The optimal storage temperature varies: light-bodied whites and sparkling wines are best kept cooler (around 7°C-10°C), full-bodied whites slightly warmer (10°C-15°C), and red wines vary from 13°C for light-bodied varieties up to 18°C for full-bodied ones.
  4. How important is humidity in wine storage? Proper humidity is crucial to prevent corks from drying out or becoming too moist, which could lead to oxidation or mould growth. Ideal humidity levels for wine storage are between 50% and 70%.
  5. Is it worth investing in a wine cooler for a small collection? Even for small collections, a wine cooler can be a worthwhile investment, particularly if you’re storing quality wines that you intend to age. It ensures your wines are stored under optimal conditions, enhancing their longevity and flavour.
  6. What brands of wine cooler should I buy? There are many high quality brands to choose between. Caple wine coolers are a great choice as are options from other suppliers like Dunavox, Gaggenau, Leibherr, and more. The best option is a reliable and quality model that matches your needs and budget.
  7. Can I use my wine cooler as a fridge?
    No, wine coolers are not suitable for refrigeration. They differ from fridges in two key characteristics, humidity and temperature. Fridges are recommended to be kept below 5°C which is colder than wine coolers are typically capable of. The higher temperature and humidity of a wine cooler would cause food to spoil much quicker than in a fridge.

Kitchen Design

Energy Efficient Appliances: Saving Energy in Your Kitchen

Introduction to Energy Efficiency in the Kitchen

In an age where both sustainability and economy govern our choices, the kitchen emerges as a key player in the home energy-saving game. The move towards energy-efficient appliances is rooted not in fleeting trends but in a genuine need to trim utility bills and foster a greener lifestyle. These appliances represent a harmonious blend of functionality and eco-consciousness, transforming our kitchens into spaces that are as cost-effective as they are environmentally responsible. Let’s explore how energy-efficient appliances are revolutionizing our approach to kitchen design, offering a blend of economic savvy and sustainable living.

Understanding Energy Efficient Appliances

Energy-efficient appliances are designed to do more with less – less energy, less cost, and less environmental impact. These appliances are equipped with advanced technologies that maximise their efficiency, from enhanced thermal retention in refrigerators to advanced sensors in dishwashers that adjust water use. A crucial tool in identifying these appliances is the ‘Energy Rating’ system, which serve as guides for consumers seeking energy-efficient options. It is worth noting that older appliances may be rated from G to A+++ however, this has been replaced with the simpler G to A. It is also important to understand that whilst your older machine may have a high energy rating, these standards have been adjusted as of 2020. A machine previously rated A+++ could be as low as C within the new standards.

Types of Energy-Efficient Kitchen Appliances

Energy efficiency in the kitchen extends across a range of appliances, each playing its part in reducing energy consumption. Modern refrigerators, for instance, come with advanced insulation and more precise temperature controls, significantly cutting down on energy use. Dishwashers have evolved too, with eco-friendly cycles that use less water and energy without compromising cleaning performance. Similarly, energy-efficient ovens now come equipped with better heating systems and insulation, ensuring that heat is distributed more evenly and retained longer, thereby reducing the overall energy required for cooking. Even smaller appliances, like kettles and toasters, have been redesigned with energy conservation in mind. These items now often feature automatic shut-off mechanisms and more efficient heating elements, contributing to the overall reduction in the kitchen’s energy footprint. In each category, from the largest fridge to the smallest toaster, energy-efficient models represent a smart choice for the environmentally and economically conscious consumer.

Smart Kitchen Technology and Energy Efficiency

The advent of smart technology in kitchen appliances has been a game-changer in energy management. These smart appliances come with features that allow for remote control, real-time energy monitoring, and automated settings, all contributing to a more energy-efficient kitchen. Smart thermostats are a prime example, allowing homeowners to control heating systems more efficiently, reducing unnecessary energy use. Smart refrigerators, equipped with features like energy monitoring and efficient cooling mechanisms, not only keep food fresh but also minimize power consumption. These appliances can even provide insights into your usage patterns, helping you make informed decisions about energy use. Moreover, smart technology in the kitchen extends beyond individual appliances. Integrated smart systems can manage multiple devices, ensuring they operate at peak efficiency and contribute to overall energy savings. This technology doesn’t just add convenience; it empowers users to take active control of their kitchen’s energy consumption.

Cost-Saving Benefits and Environmental Impact

Transitioning to energy-efficient appliances in the kitchen is a financially sound investment. These appliances are designed to consume less energy, which directly translates to lower utility bills. Over time, the savings can be substantial, offsetting the initial cost of purchasing these more advanced models. From an environmental perspective, the benefits are equally significant. By using less energy, these appliances reduce the demand on power grids, leading to a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. This is a crucial step in combating climate change and preserving our planet for future generations. For instance, an energy-efficient dishwasher uses less water and energy per cycle compared to conventional models, resulting in both water conservation and energy savings. These advantages exemplify a dual benefit: while consumers enjoy reduced expenses, they also contribute to a more sustainable world.

Choosing the Right Energy-Efficient Appliances

Selecting the right energy-efficient appliance for your kitchen involves considering several key factors. The size of the appliance is crucial – larger appliances generally consume more energy, so it’s important to choose a size that meets your needs without being unnecessarily large. Energy ratings also play a vital role; look for appliances with high energy efficiency ratings, as these are designed to use less energy for their operation. It’s also essential to pay attention to specific features that contribute to energy efficiency. For example, refrigerators with inverter technology or dishwashers with eco-wash settings can further reduce energy consumption. Additionally, consider the initial cost versus long-term savings. While energy-efficient appliances might have a higher upfront cost, they can lead to significant savings on energy bills over their lifespan. When making your choice, consider the appliance’s total cost of ownership, which includes the purchase price plus the operating costs over its lifetime. This holistic view will help you make a decision that’s not only financially prudent but also environmentally responsible.

Maintenance and Usage Tips for Maximum Efficiency

To reap the full benefits of energy-efficient kitchen appliances, proper maintenance and usage are key. Regular cleaning and timely servicing not only extend the life of these appliances but also ensure they operate at peak efficiency. For instance, defrosting refrigerators regularly and avoiding overloading dishwashers can significantly reduce energy consumption. Moreover, using appliances at their optimal settings can further enhance energy savings. This includes using the eco-modes or adjusting the temperature settings on refrigerators. Modern eco-friendly washing machines combined with improved detergents provide equal performance to older machines whilst operating at lower temperatures with shorter cycles. Simple habits like these can make a noticeable difference in your energy bills. Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific maintenance tips and best usage practices to keep your appliances running efficiently for years to come.


1. Do energy-efficient appliances really save money in the long run?
Absolutely. Despite the higher initial cost, energy-efficient appliances consume less power, leading to lower utility bills. Over time, these savings can surpass the extra upfront cost.

2. Will an energy-efficient appliance compromise on performance?
No. Modern energy-efficient appliances are designed to match or exceed the performance of traditional models while using less energy.

3. Are there any government incentives for making my home more energy efficient?
Yes, various government programs offer incentives or rebates for investing in energy-efficient house improvements. Check local regulations for specific details.

4. How do I properly dispose of or recycle my old appliances when upgrading to energy-efficient models?
Many regions offer recycling programs for old appliances. It’s important to check with local waste management services or dedicated appliance recycling centres to ensure environmentally responsible disposal. If you buy from us our team is happy to take away your old appliances when they fit your new one.

5. Is there a significant difference in energy savings between different energy-efficient models?
Yes, there can be variations in energy savings depending on the model and its specific features. It’s advisable to compare energy ratings and reviews to choose the most efficient option within your needs and budget.

Limited Edition

Rangemaster Elise Slate & Brass

This beautiful Rangemaster Elise has just been added to our showroom. The slate and brass colour way is limited edition and not one to miss if you’re looking for this style of cooker.

This Elise 110 model seamlessly integrates an induction hob, combining cutting-edge modern technology with timeless classic styling. It boasts additional impressive features, including a removable griddle, two spacious ovens, a dedicated deluxe glide-out grill, and a convenient storage drawer. This design not only exudes aesthetic elegance but is also brimming with practical functionality.

Come into store to view it in person or call us now on 0161 941 2471 to find out more!

Cashback Offer

Up to £250 Back!

Miele’s fantastic winter sale is now on!

Claim up to £250 back on purchase of select Miele appliances.

This offer is available until January 23rd.

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Product Focus

Revolutionising Modern Kitchens: A Comprehensive Guide to Quooker Taps

The kitchen has seen many innovations over the years, but one of the most notable in recent times is the advent of instant boiling water taps. The Quooker tap stands out as a leading example, revolutionising kitchen functionality and design. This isn’t just another kitchen appliance; it’s a transformative piece of technology that’s changing how we use one of our most vital resources – water. With its sleek design and advanced features, the Quooker tap is turning kitchens worldwide into havens of efficiency, safety, and style.

An Introduction to the Quooker Tap

What is a Quooker Tap?
The Quooker tap is a marvel of modern engineering, seamlessly blending the convenience of instant boiling water with the standard hot and cold water supply, all from a single, beautifully designed tap. It is quickly becoming an essential tool in the modern kitchen. Whether it’s quickly making a cup of tea, preparing vegetables, or sterilizing baby bottles, the Quooker tap provides immediate boiling water, simplifying and enhancing your kitchen routine.

Its design is crafted to complement any kitchen, whether you’re looking for something ultra-modern or prefer a more classic look. Despite its compact size, the Quooker tap is a powerhouse of functionality, designed to enhance your kitchen’s appearance without dominating it.

History and Evolution of Quooker Tap

The origins of the Quooker tap can be traced back to the late 1970s, born from the innovative mind of Henri Peteri, a former Unilever employee. Observing the inefficiency of traditional kettle use, Peteri envisioned a tap that could instantly provide boiling water, thereby saving time and reducing energy consumption.

Launched in the early 1990s as the ‘Basic’ model, the Quooker tap heralded a new era in kitchen convenience. Over the years, the Quooker system has evolved significantly, incorporating cutting-edge technology to boost its efficiency and user-friendly nature. Today, Quooker taps are celebrated for their energy-saving features, safety mechanisms, and contribution to sustainable living practices.

From its modest beginnings to its current status as an essential component in any kitchens, the story of the Quooker tap is one of continuous innovation and dedication to enhancing daily life. Its development mirrors the evolving needs and desires of homeowners, making the Quooker tap an indispensable addition to the kitchen for many.

Detailed Features and Specifications

How Does a Quooker Tap Work?
At its core, the Quooker tap is quality engineering, designed to provide instant boiling water without the wait or energy waste of a kettle. The secret lies in its tank, stored beneath the sink, where water is kept at a near-boiling point. When the tap is activated, this hot water is immediately available, while fresh water flows into the tank to be heated.

This system relies on a high-vacuum insulated tank, minimizing heat loss and ensuring energy efficiency. The result is a tap that delivers boiling water on demand while consuming less energy than traditional methods. It’s a perfect blend of convenience and eco-friendliness, reflecting a deep understanding of modern kitchen needs.

Different Models of Quooker Tap

Quooker taps come in several models, each catering to different preferences and kitchen styles. The primary models include the Front, Flex, Fusion, and Nordic, each with unique features:

  • Front: Characterized by its front-positioned lever for hot and cold water, combining practicality with sleek design.
  • Flex: Known for its flexible pull-out hose, the Flex model makes tasks like filling pots or cleaning more convenient.
  • Fusion: The Fusion model offers all-in-one functionality, providing hot, cold, and boiling water from a single tap. It’s a space-saving solution that doesn’t compromise on style or utility.
  • Nordic: For those who prefer a minimalist design, the Nordic series offers simplicity and elegance, along with the standard Quooker benefits.

The Quooker Cube: Sparkling and Filtered Water on Tap

The Quooker Cube is an innovative addition to the Quooker tap range. Designed as an attachment, the Cube equips Quooker taps with the ability to dispense chilled and sparkling water. This enhancement broadens the tap’s functionality, making it a comprehensive solution for various water needs in the kitchen. With the Cube, the convenience of having boiling, hot, cold, chilled, and sparkling water all from a single tap becomes a reality, further elevating the practicality and luxury of the Quooker system.

Installation Process and Requirements

Installing a Quooker tap is straightforward but requires some basic plumbing knowledge. The process involves fitting the tap on the sink or worktop and connecting the tank underneath. The tank connects to the water supply and must be plugged into an electrical outlet to keep the water heated. Whilst a DIY job is possible, we recommend a professional installation to ensure everything is safely fitted without damage to any existing kitchen features.

Benefits and Usage

Advantages of Using a Quooker Tap
The Quooker tap is more than a luxury; it’s a practical addition to any kitchen. Its most significant advantages include:

  • Energy Efficiency: By providing boiling water instantly, Quooker taps reduce the need to heat water in a kettle, saving both water and energy.
  • Time-Saving: Instant access to boiling water speeds up many cooking processes, making meal preparation quicker and more efficient.
  • Convenience: The ease of having hot, cold, and boiling water from a single tap streamlines kitchen tasks, simplifying daily routines.

These features make the Quooker tap an indispensable tool for modern kitchens, blending high functionality with environmental responsibility.

Safety Features of Quooker Tap

Safety is a paramount concern in the design of Quooker taps. Features like childproof handles and insulated sides ensure that even when the tap dispenses boiling water, the risk of burns is minimized. This makes Quooker taps suitable for families with children and enhances overall kitchen safety.

Environmental Impact

Quooker taps contribute positively to the environment by reducing water wastage and lowering energy consumption compared to boiling water using traditional methods. This alignment with eco-friendly practices makes Quooker taps a responsible choice for environmentally conscious homeowners.

Maintenance and Care

Maintaining a Quooker tap is straightforward. Regular descaling ensures optimal performance, and the tank’s filters should be replaced according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. With proper care, a Quooker tap remains a reliable and efficient kitchen feature for years.



1. How energy-efficient is a Quooker tap?
Quooker taps are designed to be more energy-efficient than boiling water using kettles, thanks to their insulated tank system.

2. Can I install a Quooker tap in any kitchen?
Yes, Quooker taps can be installed in most kitchens, provided there is enough space for the tank and the necessary electrical connections.

3. Is the boiling water from a Quooker tap safe to drink?
Absolutely. The boiling water is pure and clean, making it safe for drinking and cooking.

4. How often do I need to maintain my Quooker tap?
Regular descaling is recommended, and the tank’s filter should be replaced as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

5. What differentiates the Quooker tap from other boiling water taps?
Quooker taps stand out for their high-vacuum insulation, energy efficiency, and the variety of models available, each designed to cater to different kitchen styles and functionalities.

6. Can the Quooker tap dispense filtered water?
Yes, some Quooker models can be combined with a water filtration system, allowing them to dispense filtered, chilled, and even sparkling water.

7. What should I do if my Quooker tap needs repairs?
It’s recommended to contact a Quooker-certified technician or the customer service team for any repairs or technical issues to ensure professional and accurate service.

8. Is the Quooker tap cost-effective in the long run?
Considering its energy efficiency and the reduction in water wastage, a Quooker tap can be a cost-effective solution over time, despite the initial investment.

9. How long does a Quooker tap last?
With proper maintenance and care, a Quooker tap is designed to last many years, offering reliable performance and enduring quality.

10. Can I integrate a Quooker tap into an existing kitchen?
Absolutely. The Quooker tap is designed to be retrofitted into existing kitchens, making it a versatile choice for both new and renovated spaces.

Product Focus

Discovering Gaggenau: Excellence in Every Detail

Let’s Take a Look at Gaggenau

In a world where kitchen design is as much about style as it is about functionality, Gaggenau stands out as a beacon of innovation and aesthetic refinement. Renowned for seamlessly blending advanced technology with elegant design, Gaggenau has significantly influenced the landscape of modern kitchen design. This article will give you a little history behind the brand, an introduction to some of the advantages of Gaggenau, and some help in deciding which line is right for you.

The History of Gaggenau

Gaggenau is by no stretch a new name in the scene. Founded in the Black Forests of Germany back in 1683 as a hammer and nail forge, over the centuries Gaggenau transformed into a standard-bearer for high-quality kitchen appliances. The transition from forging metal to crafting kitchen appliances marked a significant pivot in Gaggenau’s history, particularly noted by the introduction of their coal and gas-fired stoves in the early 1900s. These featured the original iteration of their iconic blue enamel interiors that can still be found in their modern appliances. Today, as part of the BSH Home Appliances Group, Gaggenau is celebrated globally for its luxury and innovative contributions to kitchen technology, symbolising a fusion of tradition and avant-garde.

Gaggenau’s Key Principles

Gaggenau’s philosophy is anchored in four fundamental pillars: uncompromising quality, technological innovation, sophisticated design, and prestige. The brand’s commitment to high-quality materials and precision engineering results in appliances that are not only reliable but also enduring. Technologically, Gaggenau is a trailblazer, boasting features that offer an enhanced, efficient culinary experience. Aesthetically, Gaggenau appliances are a testament to modern design principles, blending seamlessly into a variety of kitchen styles and elevating them to a new level of luxury.

What Makes Gaggenau So Special?

The essence of Gaggenau lies in its ability to introduce unique and user-centric technologies. The brand’s combi-steam ovens allow home chefs to experiment with an array of cooking techniques, whilst their induction cooktops are celebrated for precise temperature control and energy efficacy, embodying the blend of functionality and sustainability. Their commitment to user experience is evident in their intuitive controls and ergonomic designs, ensuring that no matter which you pick, you’re guaranteed an appliance that works exactly the way you need it to.

Gaggenau: The 400 Series

The 400 series, a symbol of professional-grade performance and design sophistication, boasts features like full-surface induction cooktops, which offer complete flexibility in cookware placement and temperature control. The automatic door-opening ovens blend ease of use with a sleek, handle-less design, whilst the modular refrigeration units offer customizable cooling solutions to keep all your ingredients at their best. These refrigeration units stand out for their consistent temperature management, ensuring optimal food preservation, and energy-efficient operation, reducing both environmental impact and operational costs.

Gaggenau: The 200 Series

The 200 series offers a blend of high-quality performance and integrated design. With built-in ovens that promise exact temperature control and a variety of cooking modes, compact appliances ideal for smaller or supplementary kitchens and modular cooktops designed for a customised cooking experience, the 200 series is perfect for practical, everyday use. It brings Gaggenau’s quality into homes in a more accessible manner, perfectly suited for homeowners who seek a balance of style, functionality, and practicality.

Which Gaggenau Line is Right for You?

Choosing between the 400 and 200 series involves considering your culinary needs, design preferences, and budget. The 400 series is tailored for those who seek unparalleled kitchen performance and a bold design statement, whereas the 200 series is ideal for those who desire Gaggenau’s signature quality in a more practical and versatile format. Like with any appliance, seeing them in person makes all the difference. Whether you are drawn to the enhanced functionality of the 400 series or the simpler elegance of the 200 series, our live showrooms offer first-hand experience of what makes Gaggenau a leader in kitchen innovation. Our experts are on hand to provide personalised advice, helping you find the perfect fit for your kitchen.

Kitchen Design

Worktop Workshop: Quartz to Sintered Stone

Why Your Worktop Matters

When designing a kitchen, one of your first considerations will be what kind of style you want. Do you want sleek and modern, something traditional, or maybe a more minimalist Scandinavian feel? In many ways, your choice of worktop will dictate the style, colour palette, and feel of the rest of the kitchen, so it is important to really consider your options. This choice should reflect not just your personal style but also your practical needs. It’s easy to spend a lot of time considering appliances with all their varied features or how best to make use of the space available to you, but often people don’t realise how much impact your choice of worktop has on how you use your new kitchen. It impacts everything from maintenance requirements to longevity, from heat resistance to hygiene. Here is our guide to some of the best and most popular materials available.


Before more modern materials, wood was the staple choice in kitchens for centuries. Due to its history, it brings an instant warmth and classic aesthetic to kitchen spaces. Discussing all the different options for wood would require its own dedicated article but there are some consistent considerations across them. When properly sealed, wood has natural antibacterial resistance, however it can have lower heat resistance than other materials. Wood is also more susceptible to scratches, stains, and moisture damage, however unlike other material, it can be repaired and refinished more easily. We would recommend wood counters to customers looking for a rustic look who are ready to treat their counters with care and don’t mind regular upkeep. If you’re interested in the look of wood but want a little less maintenance, consider using wood as a feature piece in your kitchen – a natural wood breakfast bar can bring some warmth into darker designs whilst an integrated butcher’s block can double as a striking statement and a functional prep station.


Laminate worktops are made from layers of plastic that are bonded to a particleboard (MDF) core. They have been popular for decades due to their cost-effectiveness and wide range of designs. The biggest advantage of laminate is cost. Compared to some of the other materials we have discussed here, laminate can provide a significant saving. Laminate is also easy to clean and doesn’t require sealing so is low on maintenance. It does have some significant drawbacks though. It is much more prone to scratches, cuts, and heat damage than other materials and if damaged usually requires replacing. We generally recommend laminate to customers seeking a wide range of designs on a budget or those looking for more temporary solutions where long-term durability is less of a concern.

Natural Stones

Like wood, stone has been used for worktops for hundreds of years. Modern granite worktops have been widely popular since the 1980s due to the sense of luxury and distinct appearance. As they are natural stone, each worktop is totally unique. Whilst mid cost choices can be simpler in design, more expensive options often feature interesting and diverse patterning across their surface. Granite is very durable against scratches and has excellent heat resistance making it popular choice with avid cooks looking for a hardwearing surface. Granite does require more maintenance than other surfaces as periodic sealing is needed. It is important to note that whilst granite is very heat resistant, some sealants are not, so we recommend some caution with leaving hot pans for extended periods of time. If granite is damaged, due to each worktop’s uniqueness, repairs can be difficult. We recommend granite to customers who want true natural stone aesthetics and are willing to put in the maintenance required to maintain its beauty.

Marble is another beautiful material which people choose for many of the same reasons as granite, and like granite it generally has the same pros and cons. However, we caution against marble as it is more prone to chips and scratches, less heat resistant, much more susceptible to stains especially from acids, and requires more frequent sealing.


Quartz worktops are created by combining natural quartz with polymer resins. Originally invented in the 1960s, Quartz took a while to reach the mainstream but is now a hugely popular material choice for worktops due to its balance of stone aesthetics and engineered advantages. Quartz is stain-resistant and hygienic due to its non-porous nature and is available in a wide range of colours and styles to suit individual tastes. It also doesn’t require sealing which cuts down on maintenance requirements. It is, however, less heat resistant than some natural stones so it is possible for particularly hot dishes to leave burn marks if left for an extended period. Whilst burning is rare, if you are someone who wants to be able to freely place pots and pans onto their worktop, quartz might not be the right choice for you. Quartz can range in price but is generally a mid-cost to premium choice for your kitchen. We would recommend it to customers looking for a balance of style, durability, and minimal maintenance.

Sintered Stone

Sintered stone is a relatively new but rapidly growing choice in the market. It is made from natural materials fused under high heat and pressure. Sintered stone offers a contemporary alternative to traditional natural stone. Like quartz, sintered stone worktops are available in a large range of finishes including collections designed to mimic natural materials. They are non-porous making them hygienic and stain resistant without requiring further sealing. Sintered stone worktops have an even higher resistance to heat, scratches, chips, and impact than quartz making them ideal for particularly hectic kitchens. One big advantage over quartz is their high resistance to UV, this makes them less prone to fading if used in areas with a lot of sunlight like conservatory kitchens. We also like that they are often more environmentally friendly option, both in their production and in their potential to be recycled. Right now, this is our favourite worktop material, however all these advantages do mean that this is a premium choice as far as cost goes. We recommend sintered stone to customers seeking premium, durable, and versatile surfaces with low maintenance.

Which Worktop is Right For You?

Whilst these are some of our favourite materials, this list isn’t exhaustive. Kitchens and people’s taste are always evolving and with that comes choices that can be as striking as they are uncommon. Concrete for example can provide a bold industrial look so long as you are willing to put up with more intense upkeep, whilst stainless steel can give a professional edge to any kitchen – so long as you can keep fingerprints at bay! Ultimately the best worktop material is the one that suits your needs best. We believe that taking the time to consider every aspect of your kitchen is key to ensuring lasting satisfaction with your investment. If you’d like to learn more about any of the materials we have discussed here, please feel free to walk into our showroom where we have examples of each and experts on hand ready to help you make the right choice for you.

Clearance Offer

A Neff washing machine that won't clean you out!

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Call us now on 0161 941 2471 or email to reserve yours!

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Product Focus

Fisher & Paykel's DishDrawer™ opens up your options

Fisher & Paykel are often on the forefront of design innovation, and that certainly goes for their DishDrawer™. Its eye-catching design and operation make it a great addition to any kitchen, and can often be seen as a better use of space than a traditional dishwasher.

For more information click here to check out an interesting article on their website.