The colour and style of kitchen worktop used is going to hugely affect the look of your kitchen. Worktops come in many material, colours and finishes, so the choice can appear pretty endless.
Formica is the most common material used as it is relatively cheap, tough and easy to install.
Natural wood ...
Quartz resin ...
Granite resin is a cheaper alternative to granite stone. It has other advantages in that a wider range of colours and finishes are available, including metallic/reflective elements. We have this in our current kitchen and have been very pleased with it. It will chip if something solid is dropped on it and the edges of worktops are the most susceptible part. You need to be very careful in choosing how the edges are finished. In most cases they are mirror polished to match the top but not all installers offer this service.
Regardless of the material and finish chosen, you still need to take care of kitchen worktops. This means using trivets or mats for very hot items and chopping boards for food preparation.
Most worktops come in a set depth of 600mm to accomodate typical appliances. They usually have one pre-formed edge (e.g. curved).
If you have the space it is often better to use a deeper, 665mm worktop. This provides additional space for electrical sockets and plumbing behind appliances, generally making installations much easier. You can also get cabinets (carcases) made to make best use of this depth too.
900mm worktops are used for breakfast bars and islands.
Upstands are generally matched to the worktops but can be contrasting. They are used to provide a backing to the worktop and prevent liquids and food from dropping down the back edge of the worktop. They can be useful in hiding gaps caused by uneven walls.