When choosing a countertop for your kitchen there are many aspects that you need to consider. Colour, texture and style are the first thing that most people look at but it is just as important to research whether or not the material will work well for your family. You will need to know how it wears, if its heat proof or stains easily. All three of these questions will determine whether you want to use it and where.
I will provide you with an overview of common countertops available. You can use this to get a better understanding of what you want.
This is a great cost effective option with many different colours and patterns available which can even mimic a higher end stone or granite. Fast and easy installation can be completed in a day and most kitchen suppliers will have a large selection on hand. This material is nonresistant to scratches and heat so if you plan to use your counter to cut and prep foodstuffs you will see the wear fairly soon. This means that it has a relatively short life span which might not be a bad thing if you plan on updating your kitchen every couple years.
Just as with laminate there are many different tile colours, shapes and textures available. This material does require a more intricate installation process which could take multiple days to complete; but you do end up with a more durable surface which is heat resistant. Unglazed tiles will require sealing and grout lines will stain, are hard to clean and could eventually crack. Tile prices can range depending on material, size and shape but can be fairly reasonable.
Stainless Steel Countertop
A stainless steel countertop is durable, hygienic and long lasting. Its very easy to clean, will not stain or tarnish, is water proof and heat resistant. It does have the tendency to show fingerprints, smudges and it can scratch easily. There is also the possibility that it will dent if a heavy object were to fall on it. Prices mid to high range especially if you require a custom sized countertop.
A wood countertop is like one giant cutting board. It can add beauty, warmth and character to your kitchen. The great thing about wood is that you could always sand out scratches, gouges and stains which will renew the life of your countertop. That being said, these scratches usually are a desired character feature which is why people want them in the first place. Wood species, size and shape will determine your price which can be mid to high range.
Recognized most commonly as granite or marble. These finishes are very durable, hard and resistant to heat or scratches. You will pay a large price tag for it since each piece is cut from the earth and are unique from one another. It is completely worth it though as this is a counter top that could potentially last for the life of the home.
The great thing about these options is that you can mix and match them together into one kitchen. Want the warmth of wood but don't like the upkeep of sanding and resealing? Place a wood butcher block at the end of your island or beside your sink to prep food. A smaller piece of wood means less upkeep. Maybe you would like a showpiece of granite but don't want to spend the money for granite everywhere. Place one solid piece on your island or a section beside the fridge. Don't hesitate with mixing as it can really add a unique and interesting look to your kitchen. If you are concerned, I recommend that you stay within the same colours and textures.
Word of the Day: Caesarstone
A man made stone which is many times harder than natural stone.