Finding a good kitchen countertop has to do with more than looks alone. It depends on the regular activity you want to perform on the countertop, the material’s durability, maintenance and cost factor. These are the things to consider when selecting your kitchen countertop.
We often think of the design we want our dream home to look in our minds. However, the desired look may not fit the reality, which is our lifestyle. For example, if you and your kids enjoy making peanut butter toasts and jelly sandwiches on the countertop daily, choosing a white granite for your kitchen countertop would be a wrong choice.
So, even if you are set on a certain look, if the material does not match your lifestyle, it would not work.
Granite is one of the favourite choices in counter tops.
It is also available in a variety of colours such as green, beige, corals, blacks and white. Granite is available is two finishes – a polished finish with a shiny look and often darkens the appearance of the stone. Homing gives it a soft and matte appearance. Costs for granites depend on variables including colour, finish and the origin of the stone.
Concrete countertops are gaining popularity and they are available in several different finishes from smooth, ground and pressed.
However, extreme or abrupt changes in temperature may cause concrete to warp or to curl. Also, damp sponges left on the counter can cause discolouration and acidic spills may etch the surface.
Then, there are wood countertops, which like butcher block can instantly warm up a kitchen. They are easy to clean and scratches can be sanded out.
Laminate is the most affordable counter top material on the market and comes in an array of colours and designs.
Laminate though has the reputation to be easily scratched though the product has made strides in being scratch resistance in recent years.
There are other types of materials you can consider for your new kitchen counter top.
Glass for example is a durable option.
It lends unique beauty, resists heat and stains and is also easy to clean. The disadvantage of glass counter tops is that it can be chopped with heavy impact. But it can be an eco-friendly choice if you use recycled glass.
Slate is extremely durable, heat resistant and easy to clean.
It is great for food preparation, resists stains and bacteria and also has a low absorption rate. It is cool to the touch and also comes in a variety of colours.
Limestone is smoother than granite and this sedimentary stone comes in a range of neutrals and whites.
It often exhibits tiny fossils and shells. Limestone is great for withstanding heat and its smooth surface makes it a great material if you often bake. It is comparatively fragile and can scratch or discolour.
Tiles are excellent and affordable options for a kitchen countertop material.
Ceramic tile is impervious to heat and water, and when probably glazed it does not stain. Proper sealant helps ensure grout won’t discolour or stain and large format tiles cover a lot of area with minimal grout lines. The two types of tiles which are most popular are ceramic and porcelain.
Ceramic tiles are the most common and least expensive option. It is made from pressed clays and finished with a glaze. The glaze protects the material from water and stains.
Porcelain is made of clays and materials fired at higher temperatures and has a durable surface. But it costs more and is more difficult to install compared to ceramic.
This sophisticated countertop is made from semi-precious materials which includes quartz, amethyst, iron, jasper, agate, petrified wood and fossils. It is more durable than other natural tones.
The material is resistant to scratches, heat and stains. This high-end material is available in various colours and can even be back-lit to create a luminous appearance? Its drawback is that it is the highest priced option here.
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