You may be in the process of moving house or having your kitchen renovated, and you are on the lookout for the perfect countertop. Finding the perfect countertop can be a time-consuming and difficult task. “How much is it going to cost me?” you ask.
The short answer is, it depends upon what you want! The cost of replacing countertops will vary depending on materials, the size of your kitchen and style.
Countertops are essential items for any kitchen and there is an abundance of choices that you need to make. You need to consider the various styles, the many types of material, and of course the price and your budget! You may want natural stone, but your budget may be saying laminate! Important things to consider are durability, length of life, practicality and whether it’s heatproof and waterproof.
- What are the most popular types of countertops in modern kitchens? Let’s see.
- What kind of countertops are made of engineered stone? Do you have one of them?
- What should you consider before choosing your kitchen island countertop? Check it out.
The Best Type Of Countertop
The perfect countertop needs to be able to be heatproof and endure hot pans. It must be resistant to oil, red wine, coffee and acid food, be scratch proof and also low maintenance. On top of this, it has to match your cabinets and kitchen furnishings and look absolutely stunning! We said it wouldn’t be easy!
There are several choices when it comes to choosing the material for your countertop. Each has pros and cons; it’s up to you to see which best meets your needs and wants.
Types of Kitchen Countertops
Natural Stone Countertops
Natural stone countertops are a high-end purchase, highly sought after and always on trend. They include: granite, marble and soapstone.
When money isn’t an issue, this is the top of the range. Granite is one of the hardest natural stones, only diamond and quartzite are harder. It is highly heat resistant, which means it’s an incredibly durable countertop material. Granite is porous, although it is difficult to stain and because of this it is recommended to be sealed annually. It is one of the most expensive countertop materials.
No two sheets of marble are the same, so marble countertops will give a completely unique design. Marble is a high-end purchase with a high price tag. In addition, it is not the best choice for kitchens as it is porous, stains easily and scratches.
Soapstone is usually dark gray in color with a smooth, silky feel. It has become popular recently as an alternative to granite. Over time, soapstone takes on an antique-like patina that can be very attractive in certain kitchen styles. It is hard and resistant to staining, although it may become scratched over time.
Engineered Stone Countertops
Quartz itself is a natural stone but the countertops are man-made by combining quartz crystals with pigments, resin and bonding agents. Quartz is an alternative to high-end countertops like granite and marble. It is non-porous so there is no chance of staining. It is also scratch proof. It comes in several colors and patterns. Once installed it needs no sealing or maintenance.
Wood is a popular mid-range countertop that goes with many kitchen designs. It has a warm traditional look, although it can be also paired with a contemporary kitchen. It needs regular oiling and if it becomes scratched or damaged you can just re-sand it and re-seal. It is not waterproof however, and will become damaged if in contact with contact; you can’t cut food on it and it’s not heatproof.
Laminate is the perfect choice for homeowners on a budget, there are many colors and patterns, even some that mimic the look of wood, granite and slate. It is resistant to chemicals and heat up to 180 degrees C. Laminate countertops are formed from a thin layer of plastic bonded to a core of MDF. Countertop installation is very easy and cheap.
Ceramic Tile Countertop
This is another budget option, it consists of ceramic tiles laid over a cement board core. Tiles can give a very individual look. They are easy to clean and heatproof, but the grout in between easily gets dirty and makes the countertop look shabby.
Modern Kitchen Countertops
Forget about natural stone and wood, everyone has those! If you’re looking for something modern and more unique there are countertops that are worthy of your attention!
The material is perfect for the industrial New York loft look and works well with a contemporary design too. It is stain-resistant and easy to clean, and it is antibacterial. Stainless steel does tend to scratch, but on the other hand, it’s heat and acid resistant, as well as waterproof.
These are truly one-of-a-kind choices; the concrete can be coloured, textured or polished. These are one of a kind so they tend to be expensive as you need a custom craftsman at your home. They are also very heavy.
Recycled Glass Slab Countertops
A new countertop material made from recycled glass that is melted into glass slabs. These are hard and non-absorbent countertops that are resistant to stains and easy to clean. Many unique colors and patterns are available. But they are expensive and difficult to make.
Countertops For Kitchen Islands – Which Material Do You Prefer?
Kitchen islands are the focal point of your kitchen so you want countertops that look fantastic but also complement the rest of the room. There are many options available from granite, marble, stainless steel and even concrete. Your best option will depend on your requirements and your budget. The very first thing you must think about is what is the purpose of your island. Will it have a sink, an oven or just somewhere to sit and hang out? Here are some other things to bear in mind:
- The size of your countertop must leave enough space for the free flow of movement
- It needs to be durable and easy to clean, stain and water resistant
- Do you want the color to match your kitchen cabinets or do you like the idea of a contrasting kitchen island countertop