Planning a culinary renovation? No matter what look your going for, odds our your countertop will ultimately be the focal point of your new kitchen. With literally hundreds of options and price points to choose from, it can be difficult to narrow down your choice to a single option. Depending on your specific needs, certain surfaces may prove to be more efficient in terms of, maintenance, cost, and overall time management. Not sure what to go with? Check out the pros and cons of these popular choices.
Polished Granite – This is one of the more popular choices for a high-end look that adds value to both your kitchen and home. Being a natural material, granite comes in many colors and pattern variation making it a designers dream and allowing you to really customize the look of your space. Since they require a bit more upkeep than quartz, it’s important to wipe up any spills promptly and follow with an annual mandatory sealing to keep your surface looking brand new and in optimal condition.
Quartz-This material is known for being very low maintenance so if you’re like most families with a busy schedule this may be the best option for you. Stain, acid, heat, scratch, and impact resistant these countertops are virtually indestructible and carry a long shelf life so you get the most out of your countertop. Since quartz is a non-porous material, this surface doesn’t need to be sealed like most other exteriors.
Laminate– Over time, this has proven to be the best choice for the budget friendly consumer. Laminate can be found at an affordable price point at any cost and the material can be designed to replicate a multitude of natural surfaces such as wood, stone and even quartz. It’s commonly referred to as Formica, which is just one of the many brands that supply and produce laminate at an affordable value. Unfortunately, failure to keep this surface clean can potentially result in damage and should routinely be wiped down with a soft cloth using a mild soap or detergent. Make sure after cleaning, that your countertop is free of all soapy residues to prevent absorption through any porous areas within the surface.
Wood- also referred to as “Butcher Block” style countertops, wood is an excellent addition to a rustically designed kitchen because it adds a casual and traditional look to any country style home. One of the main benefits of this material is it’s dual functionality, serving as a built in chopping block for meats, and handling hot surfaces making cooking more convenient, especially in smaller kitchens. Make sure to properly seal your wood and consistently coat with a suitable oil to maintain the longevity of your surface.
Marble– a top choice for any luxurious kitchen, marble offers a timeless aesthetic that transforms any household surface into a stylish centerpiece. Being one of the more expensive materials, true marble can cost you quite a bit but with the proper maintenance can also last you a long time. Marble is one of the harder rocks making your countertop a sturdy surface for heavy lifting in the kitchen. However, marble also has a tendency to be quite porous and especially receptive to acidity. Regular sealing is necessary but can be easily cleaned with a simple solution of warm water and baking soda. Be sure to let dry for at least two hours before wiping it down a second time with cold water to take care of any residue.
Stainless Steel– Those who are fans of modern design will love the polished and high tech look of a full stainless steel kitchen. Resembling a fully functioning professional kitchen, this surface is one of the easiest to clean requiring almost no upkeep, making it another top choice for those with a busy schedule. It’s extremely hygienic in that it doesn’t harbor bacteria or build-up and can simply be wiped down with warm water and a mild soap. It’s also virtually impossible to damage.
Tile– tile is often overlooked as a potential surface candidate but with so many benefits, it certainly a material to be considered when choosing your new countertop. This is generally the most inexpensive option and the design choices are endless ranging from lavish to simple and clean. With a little DIY research and a few handy friends, it can even be self installed saving you an additional cost in labor. Slightly difficult to keep clean, consumers should pay additional attention when cleaning grout as food particles have a tendency to build up between the tiles. For regular cleaning, fill a spray bottle with white vinegar, which is an extremely effective disinfectant. You can also use a diluted bleach solution to remove any stains and restore whiteness to your grout.
To get a firsthand look on how each of these surfaces operate under duress and normal wear, consult friends and family as many people opt for different surfaces allowing you to see how the material operates once it’s been installed. Always take into consideration cleaning requirements and assess whether it’s a practical fit for everyday use. Whichever finish you decide to go for, we’re sure you’ll love your countertop for years to come.