If you’re starting a kitchen makeover, you might already find the number of countertop surfaces to choose from overwhelming. It’s a big investment you’ll live with for years, not to mention that it occupies a lot of visual real estate.
It’s also the most used thing in your kitchen, which is why utility is so important for kitchen counters. Unless you plan to never, ever cook, durability and stain resistance should be huge deciding factors for you in addition to style and budget.
Your many choices boil down to natural, engineered, and man-made materials. Let’s look at some of the more popular options in this quick guide to kitchen countertops.
When we talk about natural materials for the kitchen, the options come down to stone and wood. Both give you a classic and elegant look to your kitchen and are favored by cooks everywhere for their functionality.
The most common stones used in kitchens are granite, marble, and soapstone. Granite is the most popular today thanks to its good durability and range of colors. Unlike many materials, you can put hot pots directly on the surface.
Marble is a high-end choice with few color options. It’s soft and porous, so it can scratch and stain easily. But each sheet is unique and can make your kitchen really stand out.
Soapstone comes in only five colors, which develops a patina over time that many love for more casual kitchens. It’s extremely dense, and the sink can be integrated into the countertop.
Wood countertops consist of hard woods like maple and oak. It’s an affordable alternative to stone and results in a kitchen-sized cutting board.
Engineered materials came about as a way of improving on natural options. As a result, you can find great durability, more colors, and lower maintenance with these selections.
Quartz countertops use as much as 90 percent quartz particles combined with other minerals and acrylic or epoxy binder. They were created as a more adaptable and better-performing alternative to granite and marble specifically. As such, they’re incredibly hard and durable and don’t require sealing.
Solid surface countertops have been around for decades and are loved for their low maintenance, as well as the wide variety of color and pattern choices. They can resist stains and scratches. The joins in solid surface can be fused so you don’t have a seam showing up in long sections of the counter like you would with granite.
Manmade materials fall in the lower price range but still bring style, durability, and color to your kitchen. Concrete has become quite popular as an inexpensive way to mimic natural stone. It gives you a truly custom look, and pre-cast options come fully cured and finished to your house.
Plastic laminate has come a long way in recent years and is enjoying a surge in popularity due to the thousands of colors, patterns, and textures you can choose from. While it is durable and can handle heavy use, it is easily damaged by heat.
Ceramic and porcelain tile are less expensive than other options and easy to DIY. You can get tiles that mimic all kinds of other materials, and they’re durable and easy to clean. A darker grout can make it easier to keep the surface looking clean as well.
Choosing Countertop Surfaces
Countertop surfaces serve as the focal point for a kitchen and take a beating when you’re preparing meals. As you can see from this guide, you have many choices for countertop materials, and picking is a combination of your budget, kitchen style, and planned use.
If you found this article helpful, check out others on this site for more tips on updating, remodeling, and decorating your kitchen.