The countertop is one of the most important parts of the kitchen design. It takes up a large percentage of the space, so it needs to coordinate with the rest of the décor, but it’s also a functional component of the design. Counters get used every day for stacking, slicing, writing, eating, and rolling – they need to hold up well to whatever your family can throw at them, while also complementing the rest of the room. While this does seem like a tall order, getting to know the various types of material out there can help you make the best choice for your home.
Granite is one of the most popular materials for kitchen counters. This natural stone comes in numerous colors, patterns, and styles and can fit into a lot of different designs. Some granites are harder, denser, and more durable than others, however, while some stones need a lot of upkeep to prevent stains and etching. A good rule of thumb when picking a granite counter is that the darker stones tend to be denser and less likely to etch or stain than lighter stones. With the exception of some black granites, however, most will require sealing as well as PH neutral cleansers to keep them looking their best.
A man made alternative to granite, quartz counters are made of about 90% natural stone mixed with pigments and resins. They are less likely to stain or etch than granite, which makes them lower maintenance, and they have a more uniform appearance, which can be attractive to some homeowners who don’t like the unpredictability of natural stone. Quartz comes in a wide range of different colors as well, including some like orange, lime green, and bold red, perfect for contemporary spaces.
For home owners that want something custom in their kitchens, concrete makes an attractive option. Usually poured right on site, you can customize concrete counters with stamps and impressions, as well as various types of stains and textures. Concrete does require sealing and regular maintenance to help prevent staining, however, and some types may scratch as well.
While rarely used for the entire counter, wood makes an attractive option for peninsulas and islands for homeowners that like to cook. Hardwood makes a beautiful surface for cutting and rolling, and can complement a lot of transitional, Country, and Farmhouse-style kitchens. Wood does require oiling and sanding to help it stay looking great over time.
Laminate is one of the least expensive options available for kitchens. New advances in technology and improvements in laminate counters now allow them to have under-mount sinks, as well as more variation in the pattern, which makes laminate a far more attractive option than it was just a few years ago. Laminate counters can scratch and stain, as well as delaminate over time, however, requiring a lot of maintenance to stay looking their best, so their cost is a trade off with these concerns.
Solid Surface Counters
Solid surface material is an attractive option for homeowners that want an anti-microbial countertop in a solid color or sedate pattern. Solid surface counters, like Corian, offer built-in sinks and drain boards, as well as several different options for various cuts, edges, and shapes that other counters may not be able to achieve. If the material scratches or stains, these can be buffed out with a scrubbing pad, although sometimes marks may remain behind. Solid surface counters can burn or melt if a hot pot is left on top, so care does need to be taken working around the stove.
Find the Right Counter for You
By picking out the right material for your home, you can then narrow down your selection by color and pattern. Starting with the material can help ensure that you’re comfortable with the choice and how it will fit both your lifestyle and your kitchen’s design.
When you’re ready to get started on a new kitchen, give Bianco Renovations a call. We’ll help you coordinate your new counter with the rest of the room to give you the perfect design for your home and your family. Give us a call today to get started.