Selecting a kitchen countertop material may seem a difficult task for most homeowners, as they are available in a wide variety of choices. They come in different colors, patterns and textures to suit your taste and preferences. They not only add to your kitchen design and overall décor but also enhance the function of your kitchen work surfaces. Your choice is determined by your taste as well as its intended purpose. Some of the things you need to take into account when selecting countertop materials are durability, ease of cleaning, aesthetics and health safety. This article looks at seven kitchen countertop materials you should consider on your next remodeling project.
Quartz is an engineered stone product comprised of a larger percentage of quartz particles and other minerals bound with resins. Its nonporous surface is highly resistant to stains and scratches, which makes it ideal for busy places like the kitchen. Unlike other materials, quartz countertops have little maintenance, as they are easy to clean and require no annual sealing. The slabs have no imperfections and can be custom-fabricated in any shape and size. Although it is an expensive kitchen countertop, its natural appearance is more convincing than a solid surface material.
Granite is more popular because of the technological advancements in methods used in modern mining and milling. It is has a natural and unique beauty that allows granite countertops to retain their luster for decades. It is highly durable and adds real estate value to a home. However, granite comes with a few drawbacks as they can chip easily and require regular sealing to prevent stains. It is a very expensive material and not suitable for DIY installation.
Each marble countertop is unique as no two sheets of marble can be similar in appearance. It is rare to see marble in most kitchens because of its extremely high price. Furthermore, its luxurious look is often limited to use on an island kitchen design or a countertop section reserved as a baking center. Even though they are highly priced, marble countertops may not be an ideal choice for a kitchen as they are prone to scratches and staining.
- Ceramic tile
Ceramic tile is a common material that has been used for centuries in the kitchen, which has always been considered the busiest room in the house. However, the ceramic tile used today has undergone significant improvements to come up with unique designs for kitchen countertops. It is available in a wide variety of shapes and colors, and you can always coordinate the style with the backsplash to create a cohesive look.
- Stainless steel
Homeowners seeking a modern look may prefer the endless benefits of stainless steel under the right conditions. Unlike other countertop materials, stainless steel is virtually resistant to everything including oil, water, bacteria, and other liquid stains. It is easy to clean and highly durable to handle the daily use of a kitchen. However, it may develop scratches over time if exposed to heavy use and everyday food preparation.
Wood countertops come in a wide variety of colors and finishes that offer a beautiful warm look. Hardwoods such as oak and maple are commonly used for kitchen countertops because of their high durability. They are relatively easy to clean and can last for a long period when properly cared for. You can sand and reseal wood countertops as needed to achieve a quaint country look in your kitchen. However, they are prone to scratches, water damage and stains.
Overspending on high-end countertops may be a waste of money if you live in a household with multiple children or a kitchen that encounters hard use. You are likely to spend more on unnecessary repairs that aim to correct the imperfections caused by stains, scratches and other daily activities. Laminate kitchen countertops are made of a thin melamine material adhered to fiberboard substrate or plywood. It is a popular kitchen countertop material due to its durability and affordability. However, they can be chipped or scratched easily and damages are almost impossible to repair.
It is important to think about your needs and daily habits when selecting the best countertop material for your kitchen. If you will be doing a lot of food preparation directly on the surface, you need to rule out porous or soft materials as they may allow stains or knife marks. It is also a good idea to consider the overall design of your kitchen so that your countertop can blend seamlessly with the style and a contrasting backsplash.