When renovating an old house, the kitchen and bathrooms are given the most attention for obvious reasons. Updating the kitchen is important if you need to modernize your home or increase its resale value. Countertops are among the key components of the kitchen, as they contribute immensely to its aesthetics and functionality. If you recently went out countertop shopping, all the types and variations may have left you confused and indecisive. Comparing 7 Types of Materials for Kitchen Countertops.
When looking for the ideal countertop material for your kitchen, you have to consider several factors, including physical appeal, durability, cost, and maintenance. Preferences vary from buyer to buyer, but some materials stand out and offer better value for money. Every countertop material has its pros and cons, but for some the pros outweigh the cons or vice versa. Let us compare some very popular and lesser known options to help you make an informed decision.
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Granite tops the list, since it’s the most desired material when it comes to kitchen countertops. It is a natural stone, which is both beautiful and resilient. Granite is only slightly permeable, yet it does require a new seal every year to prevent deterioration. It is incredibly heat resistant and does not stain or scratch easily. The wide assortment of minerals in granite gives it a lot of depth and character, so it can make the most ordinary of kitchens look posh.
Granite is among the more expensive range of materials for kitchen countertops, though it is definitely worth the price. The cost and demand of granite slabs has actually decreased over the years, given the growing number of artificial alternatives in the market. Despite being tough and durable, granite can crack under too much pressure, or when installed incorrectly. If granite gets broken or damaged, repairing it is nearly impossible.
Granite is not a suitable option for DIY home renovators, as it should only be fitted by a professional. It requires minimum maintenance, as long as a new layer of sealant is added regularly.
Maple and oak wood are commonly used in the manufacture of wooden countertops. Hardwood countertops can give you kitchen an earthy or countryside vibe, which is quite refreshing as opposed to most industrial style kitchens. Hardwood is expensive, but it looks exquisite and readily enhances real estate value. The durability of countertops depends upon how well you look after them. Bear in mind that wood is organic, which makes it susceptible to bug infestation and development of molds.
Regular sanding and sealing is crucial for maintenance and longevity of wood based countertops. Too much contact with water/fluids will readily damage the hardwood, and it easily gets scratched or cut through contact with sharp objects. It has to be cleaned carefully, using mild or natural cleaning agents only (with minimum moisture). If this sounds like too much of an expense and work, you may opt for laminate, which is a cheap, synthetic and water resistant material made to mimic wood in terms of appearance.
Marble is another natural stone, which appeals to spectators with its unique veining and glossy finish. Despite being exceptionally tough and stunning, it isn’t known to be as durable as granite and soapstone. Marble excels in color and design variations, but the price range is not compatible with everyone’s budget. It remains unaffected by exposure to heat and water, but its porosity makes it prone to staining; lack of proper maintenance leads to a dull and scratched surface over time.
Quartz is an engineered stone, i.e. an impressive substitute to for natural materials like granite and marble. Unlike natural stones, it is impervious, thus you don’t have to worry about staining and growth of bacteria. It offers a much more diverse variety of colors and patterns compared to natural stones. It doesn’t damage or chip away easily, so the luster resides for a longer time. Despite being manmade, quartz doesn’t come cheap. Prolonged exposure to heat and sunlight may accelerate discoloration and depreciation.
5. Ceramic Tiles
Ceramic tiles are one of the most affordable options out there and great for DIY enthusiasts. They are lightweight, easy to install, and maintenance is simpler. Ceramic tiles are unbeatable when it comes to abundance of styles and patterns; customization is also readily available. On the downside, ceramic tiles are brittle and grout lines are difficult to clean. They are fairly resistant to damage from heat and water, but lack the extravagance of natural and engineered stones.
6. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel countertops are typically seen in commercial kitchens, but they can be installed in a residential kitchen if you appreciate a futuristic look. Cleaning is exceedingly convenient with a stainless steel surface, and the material is immune to heat damage. Stainless steel counters are tailored to your kitchen, and the overall construction is very costly.
Glass countertops are not that frequently employed in comparison to the materials mentioned above. Nonetheless, it is a feasible option for beautifying your kitchen. Recycles glass is inexpensive, but the overall expenditure can be high of you opt for glass that includes color and intricate designs. Glass used for kitchen countertops is highly resistant to heat and pressure. You can enhance its aesthetics with lights and request unique molds. However, it is not a practical option for homes with kids and pets, as accidents can happen, resulting in irreversible damage to the glass.
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John Adams is a paralegal and lifestyle blogger who concentrates on health & fitness, home improvement, real estate law, and self-development. He loves exploring new places and sharing life experiences with the audience. He encourages readers to overcome obstacles holding them back and live their best life.