When you’re remodeling your home, there are a lot of decisions to make. Remodeling a kitchen can be even harder. You have to pick out your flooring, appliances, cabinets, backsplash, and of course, you have to decide on your countertops. The countertops in your kitchen might be the most important choice you make. The design, and type, of countertop is what ties your entire kitchen together. Plus, different materials require different levels of maintenance. The last thing you want is having to replace your expensive countertop because it fell apart, or became stained and ruined.
Apart from that, there are so many different materials that can be used in countertops. How do you pick the right one? Is stone better, or is tile? Maybe you’d really like wood countertops, but you aren’t sure that they’ll hold up to the wear and tear of normal kitchen use.
The most common type of natural stone countertops is granite. Originally, granite was reserved for only the most expensive and high-end kitchens. However, it’s becoming far more common, and it’s a very popular and durable choice. One of the main benefits of using granite is that countertops can be created without seams. The countertops are cut from one solid slab of granite. This creates a clean and uniform look throughout your kitchen. Plus, granite is available in an incredible variety of colors and grains. Granite is treated with a sealant that prevents staining, and helps it keep its polished look. You’ll want to use a stone cleaner on granite. Abrasive cleaners can strip off the sealant.
Solid surface countertops have received a bad reputation, and quite unfairly. Often called imitation stone, many people outright dismiss solid surfaces. However, solid surface countertops are incredibly resilient, and can be fabricated in some truly unique and ornate ways. The color options are virtually endless, and you can even get solid surface to resemble natural stone. One of the newest forms of solid surface countertops is quartz composite. Quartz composite is an engineered stone that mixes epoxy with quartz to create a beautiful, and incredibly resilient surface. Seams can be fused together to create the seamless appearance.
Plastic laminate is an inexpensive and highly resilient surface. It costs a fraction of any other surface. Commonly known as Formica, plastic laminate can last for years, even in tough kitchens. It’s a solid choice, and an inexpensive one if cost is a concern. With the wide variety of colors and textures, plastic laminate can be a solid choice for a remodel with a tight budget.
Ceramic tiles have become less popular, but they are still a good choice. They don’t provide the seamless look, and they tend to be higher maintenance, but a well-done ceramic tile counter can be beautiful. Ceramic tiles make a great surface for islands, backsplashes, or any other secondary surface. They also make a great inexpensive option, and allow from some great customization and designs.
For a truly beautiful and unique countertop, consider wood. Wood surfaces are actually safer than plastic ones for food, in regard to bacteria. However, if you’re looking for a low maintenance surface, wood is probably not for you. You’ll have to reapply the mineral oil finish every month or so to keep the wood looking its best. It does make a great surface for prep areas and islands, though.
Precast concrete slabs are an excellent countertop option. They are incredibly smooth and flat, and offer a unique look to spruce up any kitchen. Concrete was not a very popular option when they were poured on location, but now there are manufacturers that precast and mold concrete. To prevent cracking, fabricators use wire mesh, fiberglass, or other materials to provide extra strength to the concrete. They are an affordable option for a unique countertop.
Creating Your Dream Kitchen
As you can see, there are a huge variety of countertop surfaces. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. You’ll need to decide which one works best for your needs, and determine what kind of style you want. Do you want high maintenance or low maintenance?
Now a days, with the ability of fabricators, you can get any kind of appearance that you’d like. Take your time, and do your research. Keep your budget in mind, and the overall design that you’d like to have in your kitchen. Make an informed decision, and you’ll have the kitchen of your dreams, with the perfect countertops.