What Is The Best Material For Kitchen Countertops?
Your kitchen is made up of multiple parts - cabinets, sink, floor, and of course those countertops. Picking the best countertop material for you is a matter of knowing how these materials work, look and feel, according to seasoned remodeling contractors in Boise, Idaho, North Star Kitchen and Bath Remodels. In this brief article, we will go over several different countertops.
I heard granite was good.
Granite is effectively the gold standard when it comes to countertop material. Extra durable, practically impervious to heat, and when combined with a good sealer it doesn’t really require any maintenance. Granite also comes in a large range of colors.
Sounds great, does it have any problems?
Pretty much, granite is one of the more expensive materials to purchase and install. If improperly installed, this countertop is also known to crack. Being porous you’ll also need to make sure that the granite is properly sealed or it will stain easily.
What about marble?
This natural stone material, like granite, is entirely heatproof along with adding value to your home. Unlike granite, it is actually not very porous so it is remarkably water and liquid proof. That being said it will need to be sealed to prevent scratching and has a high price tag.
Soapstone looks awfully unique.
Also part of the natural stone family, this countertop has a smooth feel and is often used as an alternative to granite and marble. It has moderate durability to heat and liquid, along with having a deep, rich color. While the material can be scratched, it can be buffed or sanded out if needed.
Is quartz also a natural stone?
Being artificially composed of other minerals, this material is fully engineered! This material can actually be installed by DIYers. Fairly durable, this material is notable for not requiring sealing and being easy to maintain. Has a uniform appearance devoid of imperfections.
What about solid-surface material?
A fully manufactured material that has its genesis in the 1950s, this mid-tier product comes in a plethora of colors, easily integrates into existing setups, and has high stain resistance. It isn’t as tough as other materials though and is known for getting damage from hot pans.
Laminates seem easy to maintain.
They are extremely easy to maintain and are also known as Formica. Probably the easiest type of countertop to install, this material also comes in thousands of different colors and styles. That being said, this material is easily scratched or chipped, along with seams being visible.
Wood seems like a logical choice.
A beautiful choice that can bring a rustic style to a country home. Simple enough to clean and if taken care of can lasts a long time. That being said, it is a fairly expensive material that is known for being damaged, so sanding, oiling, and resealing needs to be done occasionally.
Ceramic tile looks great.
It is, along with being really affordable and easy to clean. Because it is made of tile it is immune to heat damage. It is also easy enough for DIYers to install. Tiles can crack under impact though and while the tile itself is easy to clean the grout lines not so much.
Alright, I want the toughest, give me stainless steel!
Completely impervious to heat and can’t be cracked, this ultra-modern countertop can add premium value to your home along with being remarkably easy to maintain. It can be really expensive to make, though, and is not a great cutting surface as it is easily scratched.
Wait, can I use concrete?
Actually, yes you can. This material can be color tinted for different styles and has other decorative textures possible. An unusual material, it is also extra tough against both heat and scratching. Installation requires a professional touch and needs to be regularly sealed.
That’s a lot of choices, how do I pick the one best for me?
You have to ask yourself what your priorities are: Do you do a lot of food prep? Do you want style over durability? Or do you want something that is really easy to maintain? What about money - how much are you willing to put down?
I want something low maintenance, what should I get?
Once installed, artificial materials like concrete, steel, laminate, and solid-surface are notable for being easy to maintain. These counter-tops don’t require any sealing and generally just need a rag and some cleaner to easily wipe down.
My budget is limited, what are cheaper materials?
Laminate and solid-surface are both easy to maintain and fairly inexpensive, while also coming in several colors. Ceramic tile also isn’t too bad on the checkbook and can be installed by DIYers. Quartz, though a bit pricier, doesn’t necessarily need professional installation.
Is there anything else I need to know?
Countertop materials come in a large range of different styles, colors, prices, and craftsmanship. From natural stone, ones that are tough but costly, to more artificial ones that are easy to maintain, the best material is whatever works best for your needs.