The best kitchen countertop, and the winner is?
As with most remodeling decisions, the “one size fits all” is simply not enough. There is no simple answer as to which countertop material is best, but this article should take you in the right direction. Each countertop material has its own pros and cons, so it’s worth doing your research before making your final decision and preparing the batter. Ultimately, it is a matter of personal preference, but regardless of the choice of countertop you choose, there are three main considerations you will need before choosing your countertop: They are: Cost – Design – Utility.
I put them in this order for a reason – your budget will ultimately determine the material options you will have. Here’s the layout: Achieving your design / style goals can generally be achieved at all different price points. The final choice is utility. These days durability (like design) can be achieved with all countertop materials. OK we start:
Wood: Yes, you heard “Wood” right. Most of us have seen “butcher block” island cabinets from a piece of butcher block built into the countertop, but there is a whole new world of wood countertop solutions if you have the cash. The price of these countertops makes granite look like a bargain! If you want an “outstanding” kitchen, this one is sure to do it.
Cost: Prices (for materials only range from $ 100 sq. Ft. To $ 500 sq. Ft.).
Design: The wood species options are extraordinary: just to name a few … Cherry, Bamboo, Beech, Black Walnut, Canary, Walnut, Maple, Chestnut, Red Oak, Reclaimed Redwood, Teak, Zebrawood (among others).
Utility: Unbelievably, this pick is quite durable. Other than re-greasing the lids every 9 to 12 months or so, there is very little maintenance. Waterproof: One supplier (Craft-Art) categorically states that all of their countertops are “absolutely” waterproof. Plus, they are stain resistant, food safe, heat resistant, and scratch resistant.
Granite – This is currently the most popular countertop on the market. Beautiful, durable and low maintenance sums up this choice.
Cost: Affordability (or lack thereof) is the main issue with granite, as you can easily spend between $ 70 and $ 150 per square foot, depending on the quality and scarcity of the stone. Other factors that determine cost are the thickness of the stone (2 to 3 centimeters wide) as well as the number of pits and blemishes. Usually there are 2-3 quality levels depending on which tile patio you go to. This can have a substantial impact on your final cost.
Design: Granite styles and colors abound. Some estimates are in the 3,000 range. You only need to go to a few tile patios to see that “the sky’s the limit” regarding the options available.
Utility: granite is very durable and holds up well in the heat. Although it is important to seal the granite a couple of times a year, the general care and maintenance is relatively minor.
*** Note: There has been (lately) a lot of press about the “radon gas” problem with granite. Most of the findings state that while some levels of radon exist, it does not pose a threat to health. For more information, visit the Marble Institute of America website.
Marble – The use of marble in kitchen applications creates a number of problems that can prevent you from making this decision; However, it is widely used in Italy (and other European countries) as a standard material for countertops.
Cost: The cost of marble is high, comparable to that of granite.
Design: There are enough marble colors to achieve the color and style you are looking for, however it may take more time and effort than with granite.
Utility: Marble resists heat well, however, it is a very porous stone. For this reason, it is susceptible to staining, even if you seal it regularly. Also, this material will change color over time. While some people will appreciate this, most want their countertops to look as good in 10 years (shiny and new) as it does the day they are installed.
Cultured Marble: This product is made from crushed marble, resin, and pigments (for color). While it is widely used for countertops in bathrooms, it is not used in kitchen applications. For this reason, it is not covered in this article.
Limestone: As with marble, limestone can be used for kitchen countertops, it carries numerous problems that you must know from the beginning so that you do not regret the choice.
Cost: Generally less expensive than marble or granite, but it is still natural stone and can be expensive.
Design – There are fewer options (compared to granite), however limestone does come in some vibrant blue colors that marble does not. Canada is the main source of limestone in North America.
Utility: While limestone is highly resistant to moisture, it is nevertheless a very porous material that stains easily and can erode over time. Proper sealing is an absolute must and is highly susceptible to erosion from juices, fruits, and foods that contain acidic properties.
Quartz – You may recognize popular industrial names such as Cambria, Zodiaq, Silestone, or Cesarstone. While these quartz products are approx. 93% natural stone, in fact they are an “engineering stone”. Resin and pigments make up the remaining 7%.
Cost: While quartz is an engineered product (unlike granite), it is expensive. Prices can reach the price of the lower end of the granite spectrum.
Design: Due to the fact that it is “designed”, you can find a color that meets your needs with little difficulty.
Utility: This engineered construction offers extremely high durability, however it will chip with high impact or sharp objects falling on it.
Solid Surface – Corian’s best known name. Corian is manufactured by DuPont and is a non-porous engineering material. It has lost some market share in recent years due to granite and quartz, yet it still finds favor with homeowners who like “seamless sinks”.
Cost: The price of this material is less expensive than granite, but it will be more expensive than tile.
Design: Corian comes in 130 different colors and 3 different surface types (Satin, Semi Gloss and High Gloss) so there will be no problem finding a color and finish to achieve the style you are looking for.
Utility: Corian is very durable and most stains and stains can be removed with soapy water or an ammonia-based cleaner (no glass cleaner). For stubborn stains, use CLR or Lime Away. Placing pots or pans straight out of the oven is not recommended
Tile – This material dates back about 4,000 years, so it’s safe to say that longevity is something you won’t have to worry about. While it has lost some of its luster (figuratively), it is still popular on the market.
Cost – Very cost effective for basic tiles, however custom tiles can add significantly to the price.
Design – literally hundreds of colors and styles to choose from, including ceramic, porcelain, and granite.
Utility: Very durable and heat resistant, however, it is susceptible to chipping or breaking if heavy or pointed objects are dropped on the tiles.
Cost: Stainless steel prices are reasonable, however stainless steel comes in different grades. It is worth going with the best qualities, as the less expensive option tends to scratch more easily.
Design – Great for a contemporary look, but best used in conjunction with another surface so it doesn’t become too sterile.
Utility: Very heat resistant and durable, yet will scratch with sharp objects.
Concrete – Although not widely known, concrete is becoming a popular choice for kitchens … countertops and sinks are “put in place” so they can achieve designs and styles not offered by other kitchen materials. countertops. If you have an “uneven” kitchen shape, concrete may be a good option.
Cost: Equal to or more expensive than granite and engineered stone (in most cases), however depending on the style and amount of work involved it can be expensive.
Design – Since this is a poured product, you can get very creative with shapes, color, and style.
Utility: Concrete is very porous but can be sealed. This material requires regular maintenance to reduce the possibility of staining. Cracks and chips may also occur if heavy or sharp objects are dropped on the countertops.
Laminate: The new laminated products have really changed the perception of the old formica. New designs and an exponential increase in colors and patterns make it a great option for the lowest price.
Cost: Hands down the most profitable countertop material on the market today
Design: multitude of color and pattern options.
Utility: Very strong with a high resistance to scratches and stains. Fairly heat resistant, however it can burn if pots or pans are placed on the surface when removed from the oven or stove.