Kitchen Countertops: Choosing the Right Material
April 30, 2021
Whether you are building, remodeling, or just looking for a refresh, countertops set the tone for the kitchen. The materials you choose need to look great, but more importantly, need to support how you use your kitchen. Choosing countertops requires a little thought and planning. Fortunately, there are plenty of beautiful and functional options in all price ranges.
Natural Stone: There are a few options for natural stone, but the most common today are granite and marble. Granite has gone from only being in high-end kitchens to one of the most popular natural stone options, as it has become a bit more affordable. Granite countertops are usually made from one large slab and require few if any, seams. It is extremely durable, heat resistant, and comes in a variety of colors. To keep granite looking its best, it must be sealed regularly to avoid stains.
If you are obsessing over the stunning waterfall kitchen island you saw on Pinterest, chances are you are looking at marble. It is elegant, classic, and comes in a variety of textures and colors. This is probably not the countertop for a family with children. It is one of the most expensive options and can stain and scratch easily. However, with careful use and regular maintenance, marble countertops will make just about any kitchen Pinterest-worthy.
Engineered Stone (quartz/quartz composites): Made of quartz pieces and resin, quartz composites are a solid surface countertop that feels high-end like a natural stone but is easier to care for. As an engineered material, quartz comes in more colors and patterns than natural stone. It is also very hard, making it difficult to scratch or stain. While quartz can be costly, its durability and ease of maintenance can often make it worth the price. Quartz is a good choice for anyone looking to have a show-stopper kitchen but also has kids tossing backpacks and toys across the counter.
Laminate: Laminate countertops have come a long way from the Boomerang Formica of the 1950s. Today’s laminate countertops are considerably better quality and offered in an array of beautiful designs that can reasonably simulate stone, butcher block, and metal. Laminate is primarily made of kraft paper and plastic resins and is an inexpensive and durable option for countertops. They are a great choice for anyone who is looking for an affordable option that will require minimal maintenance.
There are plenty of other countertop options to explore including wood, concrete, tile, slate, and more. Regardless of what material you choose, be sure to consider how you use your kitchen, determine your budget, and then have fun discovering all your choices.