Kitchen countertops is an important decision that needs to be made in the beginning of a renovation. As I go through my own kitchen renovation project, I hemmed and hawed about what type of countertop to choose. I hope by writing this blog, it helps to clarify bring you out of the fog, if you will and educate you about the different choices available in a kitchen.
Various kitchen countertop options are available in the market today. It can become very overwhelming with all the choices, not only with material but also color, texture and durability.
Every material has its pros and cons. You can either choose natural materials like wood and stone or opt for man-made materials like glass, ceramic tiles, laminate and concrete. Keep in mind resale value should you be thinking about selling anytime in the near future. Also important to consider is budget. Naturally (no pun intended) natural materials will cost you more than man made materials.
A breakdown of materials available to you:
1.Stone – Stone such as marble and granite are a popular choice for a kitchen countertop. Of the three, quartz is the hardest and least porous, followed by granite and marble. Hardness ensures durability and less pores which allows less chance of growth of bacteria ensuring hygiene. They are not only durable and attractive, but also increase the value of your home. Quartz is another option costing around same as granite or marble. You can expect to pay anywhere from $45-90/sf for most of your average stone counter tops.
2. Wood. Oak, maple, Teak and cherry are popular species of woods used for kitchen countertops. Although cost may vary according to the type of wood used it comes down to personal preference. Wood requires regular maintenance, so if you don’t mind a bit of occasional maintenance, wood is a great choice for kitchen surfaces.
3. Stainless steel. Stainless steel is another good kitchen counter option and is gaining popularity. It is particularly popular in commercial kitchens. These countertops are durable, and stain and heat resistant. Being non porous, such surfaces are also very hygienic. Stainless steel counter tops are known for obtaining scratches. You can opt for textured or brushed finish stainless steel countertops.
4. Laminate and ceramic tile. Laminate and ceramic tile countertops come in a wide variety of colors and patterns making it very easy for you to match the countertop to the rest of your kitchen décor. The cost per square foot for laminate can be a lot less than a stone, wood or even ceramic tile. The low maintenance requirements of a laminate countertop make them a popular choice and they are certainly the lowest cost kitchen surface option available. Laminates have come a long way with “stone look a likes” and seamless edges.
5. Concrete. Concrete, although beautiful can weigh several hundred pounds and are usually poured onsite. Concrete kitchen counter tops can come in a variety of colors and can cost more than granite per square foot. Let it be known that concrete is a porous material and has the ability to retain stains. Concrete countertops require a top sealant to prevent staining and early deterioration. Although pretty offering a sleek clean contemporary look it’s not the best choice in a kitchen.
6. Glass Another great but costly option is glass countertop. Glass is known for its eye-catching, translucent beauty, and is as durable as most other counter top materials. Read more about glass counter tops.
The choice in kitchen counter top material is varied. Based on factors such as aesthetics, ease of cleaning and maintenance, and price be sure to make your selection carefully. Currently, the most popular choice remains to be granite. Prices have come down with low cost imported pre cut pieces available. Granite can offer a clean high end look and it works well with modern and traditional kitchens.
Please feel free to contact me if you should have any questions or need assistance in choosing the right countertop for your kitchen.
Until next week~ Happy decorating! Melanie Langford, All About Interiors