Let’s talk countertops. These beauties can make or break a design. Be it the functionality, the cohesive color scheme, or the types of textures in a kitchen, countertops and their finishes can really be the crowning glory or the cause of devastation in a kitchen remodel. For any homeowner looking to remodel their kitchen space, picking the right style of a workspace can be daunting, but knowing the potential benefits and downfalls of each individual material can be the difference between a useful counter space and one that fails to meet expectations.
In an attempt to maintain organization, we will discuss the countertops in a relative order of least to most expensive, though certain styles and tastes may bump materials up or down on the list. Some products also vary by area and by individual contractors’ pricing, so budgeting with a little bit of wiggle room can save a whole lot of heartache. Be sure to check for deals, as well. Who knows? A marble countertop may be in the budget if the timing on sales is right!
Up to bat first is the laminate countertop. This spicy little number may be the most popular due to its relatively easy installation and the fact that it rests within the lower price range. Anyone looking to inject a bit of color into their kitchen will be pleased with the limitless options of color and pattern. Even those with expensive tastes who must keep under a certain dollar amount may be pleased to know that many companies can create laminate countertops that look like marble, granite, and quartz. Likewise, wooden countertops can be mimicked and anyone wanting a vintage kitchen can find a slew of ideas including plain colored counters or some types that match retro patterns. Though it’s a versatile material, laminate is not the best choice for remodelers looking for scratch resistance, heat resistance, and many other resistances that may come with a higher end counter space. This isn’t always bad, though. Just think of the themed hot pads!
Wooden countertops are a rustic way to change up the look of a kitchen. It’s important to make sure the wood is sealed properly, but once it is - wow. These countertops can do a lot. Since wood is a rather unique material, it has the benefit of being heat resistant and also can double as a cutting board. Different woods offer different colors and textures, so these countertops can virtually fit in with any design plan. Gorgeous wooden countertops may be more expensive than laminate, but they won’t run the cost of a kitchen remodel as much as several other counter space options.
From farm to future, we embark on the journey into a sleek workspace that is rather different than any of the others. Stainless steel counters are a way to incorporate a smooth, durable, easy to clean surface that still offers an inherent sense of high end design. Homeowners who go with a stainless steel counter can match their appliances and counters for a cohesive color concept that lets other colors pop. Bonus: these countertops are antibacterial! Copper countertops take the metallic feel of a stainless steel counter and bump up the color warmth a few notches. Also bacteria resistant, copper adds a unique twist to an already unique counter material. Plus, many pots and pans and dinnerware are available in copper styles for homeowners who want to carry the theme over to their dining table. One thing to be aware of is it’s tendency to dent and scratch.
A less common, but certainly unique, countertop style is concrete. Pouring a concrete countertop leaves plenty of room for customization; thickness, shape, color, and texture are all moldable to the will of the designer. This interesting material provides an energy efficient bonus because concrete is able to maintain a more stable temperature whether the room is hot or cold. Concrete can be a very fun addition to any kitchen work space!
If a stunning stone is high on the list of choices, soapstone is a beautiful option. Available in primarily grey tones with veins running through the rock, soapstone doesn’t require a seal like most other stone countertops. All it takes to buff out a scratch and maintain a gorgeous shine is a little bit of mineral oil. Though the color choices may be limited when compared to other materials, soapstone is highly stain resistant and has antibacterial properties. Keep in mind that stone slabs can prove more expensive due to various reasons- soapstone is among the higher priced picks.
Marble is a stone that is found abundantly throughout Italy. Of course, Italian design is considered some of the most gorgeous throughout the world. Maybe that’s why marble is a popular choice for classically dazzling counter space. Marble is known as a timeless stone. It needs a seal to protect it as a countertop, but one bonus is that the veining is magical for hiding spills and crumbs. Wiping the counter frequently will help to maintain the glory that is marble because staining is a possibility with spills left for too long.
The next few countertops tend to be in heated battle for the title of “favorite”: quartz and granite. Both have incredibly similar properties. These two are both fantastic choices for the homeowner who is searching for a heat resistant, acid resistant, scratch resistant, and impact resistant material. However, quarts gains the quality of stain resistance where granite lacks. Most granites have beautiful coloring and heavy veining, though, so stains may just blend in with the original stone coloring. Granite requires sealing where quartz can stand on it’s own feet- though granite has various finishes that create different looks. Polished granite, for example, is a smooth, sleek finish. Honed granite, on the other hand, provides a matte-like stone finish that maintains the same durability as a polished granite.
Now, don’t be fooled by what appears to be a comprehensive study of countertop options and finishes- this list is by no stretch of the imagination complete. When it comes to remodeling, the sky's the limit. Countertops are frequently seen and can make a huge difference in the look and feel of a kitchen, so choose wisely and enjoy the newly renovated space!