When planning your kitchen design, there are many aspects and details to consider. One of the main choices is your countertop and it’s important to know the different materials available. You will be interacting with it every day and it can range from being the focal point to blending in depending on what look you want to achieve.
What to consider when you are picking your countertops:
- It’s easy to get wrapped up in a beautiful kitchen. The trendy kitchen is always what we all want. Most of the time, it is more expensive than you realize. Be realistic about what you are willing to pay for. Trends come and go. Keep that in mind before splurging on something like a Marble countertop.
- I am an avid cook. I love food and I love preparing it for my family. Someone like me would need something durable and easy to maintain. If you aren’t much of a cook or don’t use your kitchen that often, you may not need to worry so much about durability and concentrate on the look.
- Will you need your countertop to stand up to a beating for a long time? Do you find yourself cleaning up spills or are things getting dropped a lot? Marble is beautiful but it is prone to chipping and scratching. Some call it a patina. Granite is heat and scratch resistant. Make sure you do your research before you buy.
- Most countertops require some sort of periodic sealing or treatment. Soapstone requires regular coats of mineral oil which can deepen the color over time. Most non-natural stone countertops require little to no maintenance. Usually just regular cleaning with mild soap and water are enough. All spills should be cleaned up immediately, no matter which material you choose.
Popular Kitchen Counter Materials
Laminate is one of the more affordable options. It is stain and heat resistant but can scratch and chip. Requires minimal maintenance. Formica and Wilsonart are a couple of the more popular manufacturers
Granite is one of the most popular option. Since this is a natural material, each slab is going to be different to some degree. This material is heat and scratch resistant and with proper care, it is stain resistant as well. Granite requires resealing every so often which is as simple as spraying it on and wiping it off.
Wood can add warmth to your kitchen but you must be careful when using this material as it can scorch and stain. Even when sealed regularly, if moisture gets into the wood, it will warp and develop a slimy feel. Most are not recommended for near a sink. It is common to have an island or section of your countertops in butcher block.
Personally, quartz is one of my favorite countertops. Quartz countertops are made from crushed quartz mixed with a binder. Quartz is non-porous, heat resistant, scratch resistant and more uniform in pattern. It requires little maintenance. One of the only down sides is that it is more on the pricy side.
Solid surface countertops are also composites. Most are a mix of acrylic or polyester mixed with resins. It is not heat or scratch resistant. Solid surfaces are non-porous and minor scratches and burns can be buffed out. These can also be made seamless. There are many companies that make solid surfaces but the originator is Dupont Corian. They require that their product is installed by trained professionals that have gone through a training course.
The time-honored beauty of marble will forever be a mark of elegance and class. Like granite, each slab will be unique. With that in mind, marble is probably one of the hardest to maintain materials to have as your kitchen countertop. Marble is softer and more porous than most of the other materials available. It stains, scratches and chips easily so take care when you are using marble as a countertop. Even if you seal it, it will be very important to wipe up any spills ASAP, especially anything acidic or oily. The upside of marble is that it is heat resistant. If you are careful and don’t mind the “patina” that develops over time, this will be a beautiful choice that will never go out of style.
These are only a few of the options available for your new countertop. Take the time to do some research and have fun with it! We will be here to help you along if you get stuck. Give us a call or come visit our showroom and take a look at some of the options we have available or just to chat about what you are looking for.
Veronica Hansen – Interior Designer at LBK