Stress is already an indispensable hazard to working people. Their only consolation is to be at home and find time sharing a home-cooked meal with loved ones on a beautiful and elegant countertop. Now that’s what we call a definite stress buster! Whether you are looking to build your dream home or want a kitchen that is functional, the type of material that you select for your countertop will make all the difference. There are several different kitchen countertop options to select from. This guide will show you some of the options for your countertop and the pros and cons of the different materials that are used.
Types of Countertop Materials
Quartz: Quartz is an engineered stone product, consisting of 93% quartz stone and 7% resins. These materials are elegant and would be a great addition to your kitchen, bath vanity, shower surround or fireplace surround. Because quartz is a manufactured stone, you’ll find a much wider range of colors and designs. Moreover, quartz is harder than granite or marble, making it more durable. That means it is less likely to scratch, chip, or stain for years of worry-free service.
Other natural stone surfaces like granite and marble require regular sealing and polishing. With quartz, you can clean it by wiping it down with a little warm water and mild soap. In addition to those characteristic, quartz is nonporous and nonabsorbent, so it won’t draw in moisture from raw or leftover food, which can harbor harmful bacteria.
- Durable, more durable than granite or marble
- Heat and scratch resistant
- Variety of designs
- Nonporous making it safe from harmful bacteria
- Easy to clean
- Tends to be more pricey than granite and marble
Marble: Marble isn’t quite as popular as quartz or granite. However, this natural stone has a lot to offer to homeowners. The subtle beauty can add timeless elegance to any space with a brightness that is suited for smaller kitchens and bathrooms without ample natural light. Marble naturally stays cool. This creates the ideal surface for bakers as it always remains below room temperature. Marble is softer than quartz and granite. It is also porous, making it more susceptible to stains from coffee, juices, and wine. It is heat-resistant, but it is advisable to use a trivet when placing hot pans on the surface. Like granite surfaces, marble needs to be polished regularly to maintain its quality and beauty.
- Good for baking; naturally stays cool
- Timeless elegance; available in a wide array of colors
- Porous; susceptible to stains
- Softer than granite and quartz
- Requires regular maintenance – polishing
Granite: Granite countertops are nice-looking, hard, and durable. They’re natural stone cut into slabs. Each slab has its own unique hue and colors, therefore consumers may not get the exact color they see online. This is something that needs to be taken into consideration before purchasing granite for your countertop. Granite itself can be very expensive and you need to purchase the entire slab even if it is more than what you need. These countertops are labor-intensive to install. You will need to pay a professional for the installation, which can cost three times more than the material price.
- Natural Colors
- Porous material, making them susceptible to stains
- Require regular maintenance like polishing
Laminate Countertop: A laminate countertop is among the most affordable and is great if you are remodeling on a budget. Laminate countertops cost $20 to $50 per square foot compared to other materials, making it affordable. This material is one of the most common and comes in a variety of different color options. Laminate needs some extra care and attention. You will need to be careful of knife marks and stains. It is also recommended not to place hot items on the countertop.
- Least expensive of countertop options
- Variety of designs can suit your style and needs
- Easy to install
- Easy to damage, easily burns
- Susceptible to scratches and cuts
- Does not add resale value to your home
Factors When Considering Your Kitchen Countertop Options
Style: What do you want your countertop to look like? What is your kitchen motif? These are just some of the questions you should ask when choosing a countertop. Some people will choose based on the design of their kitchen or even their store. Others will choose based on durability and budget.
Durability: There are some who want to be able to change their countertops every once in a while, others prefer to let their countertop last a lifetime. If you are the type that wants to have variety, then choose a material that will allow you to do so in the least expensive way. Otherwise, prepare to spend more because durability comes with a price tag.
Use: The way you utilize your kitchen countertop will also need careful consideration. Heavy kitchen use will require a material that is both durable and easy to clean, especially in a commercial environment. If you’re a homeowner who enjoys entertaining frequently, you might consider quartz for your countertops. There are those who use their countertops leisurely at home and prefer the look and appearance that will blend with their house design and thus must be custom-made.
Budget: Are you willing to splurge on a countertop or are you on a tight budget? Either way, this will also dictate the kind of material you will use for your countertop. It all boils down to what you have in your wallet.
Installation: This may depend on whether you are the DIY type of person or the let-them-do-it type of guy. There are materials which can be easily installed and there are those that need to have professionals do it. Doing it your own will mean great savings but are you willing to compromise the quality? Likewise, the weight of the countertop will also be a consideration if you want to do it yourself because some are really heavy and would need additional tools or machines. Stone countertops such as granite and quartz typically require professional installation.
In the end, choosing a kitchen countertop will be an exciting adventure in itself. It will make you explore the many possibilities in terms of design and have that perfect countertop you’ve always dreamed of.
Author: AJ Henry