What’s the Best Kind of Countertop to Buy for My Kitchen?
If you’re in the market for a new countertop, there are plenty of options on the table. Depending on your personal style and kitchen needs, one option might be more ideal than another. Here is a list of the best countertops to choose from.
Stone countertops remain an extremely popular choice among homeowners today due to their versatility and timeless beauty.
After a classic look for your kitchen, certain stones remain in style year after year. The stones also provide an elegant appearance to your home’s kitchen space. Among the most popular stone countertops styles:
Granite is one of the world’s hardest and most durable natural materials and requires little to no maintenance over time. It’s available in many different colors and can be used to create both traditional and modern kitchen designs. Another benefit of granite is that it also resists stains well. However, that means that any spills or messes could prove difficult to remove from its surface. Like all hard surfaces, care should be taken when installing them as they may scratch or chip with excess wear and tear.
Want a more budget-friendly alternative to actual stone? If so, the synthetic stone is probably right for you. It has a high level of durability and comes in a wide variety of colors and styles. However, it does scratch very easily with heavy wear. Thus, be sure to invest in trivets and cutting boards for those hot pans or pots! And while it does come with UV protection built into the material itself, do not let this stop you from moving these things outdoors during sunny times of the year, as direct sunlight will fade the color over time.
While it does require regular maintenance compared to other countertop surfaces, soapstone is considered one of the most eco-friendly options available; plus provides a versatile look for almost any style of kitchen you’re working with. It comes in several different colors (though often darker in hue than others on this list), and it’s extremely durable when properly maintained (it will scratch, but not much). And while it can be installed using adhesive or grouted, care should be taken when cutting holes in the material. You don’t want to damage its integrity.
Though it does come with a higher price tag than most other options on this list, quartz is incredibly durable and can last up to twenty times longer than ceramic or porcelain tile. It also comes in virtually every color under the sun and won’t scratch easily no matter what you place onto its surface. However, there are some drawbacks.
While it may offer a stone appearance (with a high heat and stain resistance), it doesn’t have the same natural variations as actual stone surfaces. Therefore, if you want your kitchen countertops to look like something straight out, this might not be the choice for you. And while most brands claim they will stand up to heavy use, it will scratch if you don’t treat it carefully.
It’s not possible to talk about countertops without mentioning tile, specifically ceramic tile. Tile comes in many different forms and colors, and depending on the material involved, can be either laid flat or at an angle. And like stone, it is extremely durable over time (though it does require regular grout cleaning).
The only major setback of using tile is that it requires a properly fitted underlayment beneath the tiles for any adhesive work. Also, suppose you ever want to install new cabinets or replace appliances, do yourself a favor and mark them specifically for their location before removing the tile. In that case, it makes cutting out holes much easier than trying to fit them back together again after installation.
Are you looking for an inexpensive countertop solution that still provides a high level of durability? If so, you might consider plastic laminates. These materials come in many different colors and finishes and require very little care over time.
One setback to this material is that it may chip or break if not properly maintained. As such, be sure to invest in good cutting boards and trivets to place hot pans on directly rather than the surface itself (also removing rings and watches before using these surfaces). And like their stone counterparts, they should only be cleaned with mild dish soap and water; other products can damage the finish if used excessively.
Solid surfaces provide the lowest maintenance option for kitchen countertops and come in a wide range of colors and styles to choose from. One drawback, however, is that they tend to cost more than other options on this list. Still, if you’re looking for a material with exceptional scratch resistance as well as heat and stain resistance, this might be an investment worth considering. Also, solid surface materials may only be cut by using certain machines (though they still act like wood when worked into different shapes).
If you want to give your kitchen some character and play up space’s farmhouse influences, butcher block can do just that! Butcher blocks are typically made from hardwoods such as oak or maple but can also be made from stainless steel and other materials, depending on the manufacturer. And while they do require more upkeep than options like stone or tile, you’ll enjoy a high level of durability that other countertop styles cannot provide.
Also, they can be refinished by sanding down the surface and then applying fresh coats of oil or wax to maintain their luster.
Wrought iron is unique because it offers a more rustic appearance than any other material on this list-that’s because it comes with visible weld marks. As such, if you’ve got a contemporary kitchen in mind (with an emphasis on cleanliness and simplicity), wrought iron might not be right for you.
However, like butcher block, it can work well in farmhouse-inspired kitchens and provides exceptional durability over time; plus requires very little attention compared to other countertop materials when properly taken care of. And while they may come in a wide range of colors, you’ll want to stay away from adding any acidic ingredients directly to the surface of your countertops as they can stain or damage the material.
Concrete is a great choice for those of us living in more-active homes with lots of kids and pets running around. However, it will scratch with heavy use! In addition to being extremely durable, concrete offers a sleek look that can blend seamlessly into modern or contemporary kitchens. It also comes in varying degrees of sheen depending on the type of finish you’re going for (matte, satin, etc.). And while most brands come pre-sealed to prevent staining from liquids, be sure not to let your kids draw or write on the surface before applying a protective coating or after removing one-you don’t want to stain your counters accidentally!