One of the most important design decisions you’ll need to make during your renovation is selecting the perfect countertop. With so many options available it can be overwhelming. Factors like durability, maintenance, style and price point will all play a role in your final decision. Many kitchens are now using more than one countertop material, so don’t be afraid to mix and match. Have fun with it!
1. Natural Stone: Granite & Marble
Natural stone brings a sense of elegance and character to any space. No two slabs will ever be the same! Granite is the more popular choice – it’s durable, scratch resistant and harsh chemicals will not etch the surface. Marble is also heat and scratch resistant, but is much more delicate when compared to granite and quartz. Marble is also very porous and therefore susceptible to stains, making it a bad choice for active families. Marble is often better suited in bathrooms far away from the wine! Both natural stones will require annual sealing. Granite and marble are available in a variety of price points to fit your budget and will add value to your home.
2. Manufactured Stone: Quartz
My favourite! Quartz is made-up of crushed quartz (93-97%) and resin. Quartz doesn’t have the same colour variation as a natural stone, so it’s more evident that it’s an engineered product. Quartz is relatively pricey, however its durability and lack of maintenance can make it a worthwhile investment. It’s exceptionally durable and therefore it won’t chip as easy as granite. Quartz is unaffected by harsh chemicals and heat and doesn’t require any sealing. Quartz is a great option for young families and people who like to entertain.
3. Solid Surface: Corian & Formica
Solid surface countertops are made from acrylic resins. They require little maintenance, however they will not hold up as well as a natural stone when it comes to heat, harsh chemicals or scratches. Solid surface countertops are available in many different colour options and are perfect for those that are more price conscious.
4. Wood: Butcher Block
Butcher block adds a lot of warmth to a space and can work well in contemporary kitchens or spaces that are more rustic. If you’re looking for something easy to maintain then you might want to move along though. Wood scratches easily, burns and is very porous. You will be required to apply a waterlock sealer on a regular basis. That all said, scratches and burn marks can be sanded out and a quick re-seal will have your countertop looking as good as new! Butcher block can be left natural or you can stain it to suit the rest of your décor. Wood countertops are also an inexpensive option when compared to a natural stone for those looking to save a few bucks.
Concrete is great for those looking to make a statement in their kitchen and adds an industrial feel. These countertops are often cast in place and work well if you have an unusual shape to work with. Concrete is completely customizable. You can select your desired edging, texture and stain colour. You can also add decorative inlays with pieces of glass, rocks or even shells. Concrete is porous and will require annual sealing. Concrete is also extremely heavy and requires strong reinforcement. Like stainless steel, its custom design means a higher price tag which might be a deterrent for some people.
Laminate is composed of a paper blend and resins that are then fused to particle board. Laminate is a great option for those looking to keep their costs down. Laminate is also easy to clean and its light weight so it doesn’t require the extra support. Laminate has come a long way and the patterns and colours are endless – if you can dream it, you can find it. Laminate can chip on the edges and those chips are nearly impossible to repair. Seams will show and if not cared for properly they can come apart. Because its core is composed of particle board, you can’t use laminate with under-mount sinks.
7. Metal: Stainless Steel
Stainless steel countertops are a favorite among professional chefs and work well in contemporary and industrial kitchens. They resist heat and are nearly impervious to bacteria. Stainless steel is expensive and can be noisy. If you’re looking for a product that is perfect all the time, a metal countertop may not be for you. Metal will show scratches, dents and fingerprints.
Last on the list is glass. Glass is not for the ordinary. If you’re looking to stand out and want something that is one-of-a-kind, then look no further! Glass is completely custom. You can get almost any colour, texture and edge profile. Glass is still glass though and can crack if not properly cared for. If you’re naturally clumsy this wouldn’t be the best choice. Glass isn’t exactly cost effective either, especially if a cutout is needed for a sink. The result is breathtaking though and totally worth it!
Do you have a countertop you love? Please share your thoughts below!