According to a survey taken by the Research Institute for Cooking & Kitchen Intelligence, 72% of homeowners surveyed splurged most often when deciding on the choice of their kitchen countertop.
Countertops get a lot of use (and abuse) on a regular basis, but they also have to look good since they also are a key element in a kitchen’s overall design and feel.
So be sure to spend some time considering your options before making your selection.
Read on to learn about some of your options.
7 Kitchen Countertop Materials
Kitchen countertop materials vary widely based on durability, price and the styles and colors available. There are many options and making your choice may be difficult.
The type that is best for your kitchen will depend on your personal preferences and budget.
You will also need to consider how you plan to use your countertops and how much maintenance you prefer to have to do over your countertop’s lifetime.
Wood countertops are also referred to as butcher block countertops.
In order of least expensive to the most expensive, they come in edge grain, face grain and end grain.
End grain is the most durable against knife cuts, but edge grain is the type most often found in kitchens due to the price difference. It’s best to avoid face grain for countertops.
Wood countertops require regular oiling to protect them from taking water damage or drying out, which can cause them to crack.
Cared for wood countertops age well and provide a warm look to a room. Wood also has some natural resistance to bacteria.
Marble countertops are popular. Marble is a natural stone that can be found in a large variety of colors and patterns.
Well polished and sealed marble has a beautiful shine. Compared to some of the other natural stones, it is less expensive.
The drawbacks of marble are that it is a porous material that easily takes on stains. It is more prone to chipping and scratching than other natural stone countertops. Marble also is less heat-resistant than granite.
Granite is a natural stone that also comes in a large variety of colors and patterns.
Granite countertops look shiny and beautiful. They are resistant to heat, scratches, and stains (when properly sealed).
Granite requires more maintenance than marble. Read more here about the cons of improperly sealed granite. Granite also fractures easier than other natural stone.
Quartz is man-made using natural quartz that can incorporate other materials into the surface to add variety, such as flecks of metal or glass. Quartz is also referred to as an engineered stone.
You can find it in a large variety of colors with patterns that are very subtle to textures that takes on the appearance of natural stones.
Quartz is very durable, non-porous, and heat and impact resistant. However, it costs more than granite.
Direct sunlight can discolor quartz countertops over time.
Concrete countertops can be poured in place right in your kitchen or they can be pre-cast elsewhere and then installed. The pre-cast variety tends to provide a smoother finished surface.
For versatility purposes, concrete is one of the best countertops. The concrete can be created in lots of colors and textures. They can be stained and many things can be embedded in them, such as stones or tiles.
The cost of concrete countertops runs about the middle of the road. More than laminate or ceramic tile and less than granite, marble, and engineered quartz.
Some drawbacks are that it can crack and be stained.
Laminate countertops are one of the least expensive countertop materials. Laminate comes in a huge variety of colors and patterns.
The cons for laminate are that it isn’t very durable and it can’t be repaired.
Laminate is also less stain and heat resistant than many other countertop materials.
Tile countertops can be made from a wide variety of materials ranging from ceramic tile, porcelain, glass, slate, travertine, and granite.
Ceramic tile is one of the less expensive types of countertops, coming in just above the price of laminate.
Tiles come in a large selection of colors and you can find them in different shapes and sizes. Another favorable aspect is that tiles are heat resistant.
The cons of tile countertops are that they can be chipped and must be grouted. Grout requires maintenance to keep the grout sealed to keep the grout more stain-resistant.
Consider Your Options Wisely
Be sure to choose your kitchen countertop materials with care.
Whether you are planning to stay in your house for a long time or sell it in five to ten years, you’ll want your countertops to last.
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