Your kitchen countertop is among the most functional surfaces in your home. But don’t forget about its form.
For homeowners renovating or remodelling their kitchen, choosing the right countertop can make a world of difference between an average-looking space and a spectacular one.
But this doesn’t have to be an intimidating task. By understanding some basic aspects, such as how the surface will be used and your budget, you can choose the most suitable kitchen countertop.
To help you make a more informed decision, here are a few factors you should consider when picking the perfect kitchen countertop.
Choosing a Kitchen Countertop: 7 Things to Consider
Whether you’re renovating or remodelling your kitchen, consider the following factors to purchase the right countertop.
Your kitchen countertop’s appearance can make or break the space’s overall design. But you need to choose a countertop material that can hold up to daily kitchen activity, especially if you entertain, cook a lot or have children. (No one wants to replace a kitchen countertop in just a few years’ time.)
If you like the appearance of a countertop material not known for its durability or functionality, consider getting more than one material. For instance, if you chop vegetables or cut meat, you can install a butcher’s block in one section of the countertop as a built-in cutting board. Or if you love to bake, choose a section of marble countertop to have a surface where you can work with dough. Mixing kitchen countertop materials can save you money as you can install an affordable material in one area and something more expensive in another.
Different kitchen countertop materials are available at varying price ranges, but when taken care of properly, they can last many years. When looking for a suitable countertop for your kitchen, it’s best to decide on your ideal material and then look for a product to fit your budget.
For instance, maybe you love the way marble looks but are working with a tight budget. In that case, you could choose a quartz countertop. This engineered material can mimic the appearance of any material at a fraction of the cost, even marble.
Or you can find the same materials at varying price points. For instance, locally-sourced marble will be less expensive than the imported variety. By determining how much you’re comfortable spending, you can select a suitable material.
An important factor to consider when looking for a kitchen countertop material is its ability to resist scratches, stains, and daily wear and tear. Generally, granite and tile perform well when exposed to hot pots, pans and sharp knives while laminate doesn’t. Tile countertops are easy to replace if they chip or crack. Laminate countertops are most vulnerable to burns and scratches which can be difficult to repair due to their raw particleboard core. These days, soapstone countertops are becoming popular but they don’t resist knife scratches as well as natural stone alternatives.
If you’re remodelling your kitchen, you’ll most likely be changing everything. In such instances, it’s vital to consider the weight of the new countertop material you choose. Both concrete and granite countertops are heavy so will require stronger support than other materials like laminate. Paper composite countertops are comparatively lighter, durable, and more resistant to heat and water, making them suitable for busy kitchens.
Remember, the durability you need will mostly depend on how the surface is to be used. If you have a kitchen that sees a lot of traffic, it’s best to choose granite or quartz countertops.
Your kitchen countertop will require regular upkeep to keep it pristine. For busy families, it’s best not to choose a countertop material that will need regular sealing to prevent staining and water damage. Granite countertops need to be sealed periodically to keep their durability and beauty intact, making them suitable for homeowners who don’t mind doing that maintenance when necessary. On the other hand, their beauty and the fact that they increase your home’s resale value make them well worth the investment.
Alternatively, you can choose quartz countertops to eliminate maintenance requirements altogether. Laminate countertops are another attractive and affordable way to keep a modern or contemporary appearance while offering ease of maintenance, but you likely won’t get the same resale value.
Many homeowners are looking to ‘go green’. If you’re among them, then it’s important to remember this when purchasing a kitchen countertop material. Rather than choosing a raw material and using various resources to install it, go for recycled materials instead. However, keep in mind that these may require more maintenance than traditional options. So, make sure you ask questions of your countertop provider before purchasing any recycled material.
Storage and Cabinetry
Today, homeowners have a myriad of choices when it comes to the styles of the material they want to choose for their kitchen cabinetry. Wood is the most popular, with vinyl-coated and laminated cabinets being favoured. The latter are easy-to-clean and durable options that can be manufactured to mimic the appearance of wood.
Your choice of cabinet material comes down to personal preference, ease of maintenance and durability. A functional kitchen design offers ample storage space for appliances, food and cookware. Many cabinetry designs include storage space below the kitchen countertop in a kitchen island. When opting for such a design, make sure you choose a countertop material that can be supported by the cabinet material. If it’s not strong enough, you may have to change either the countertop or cabinet material to ensure it doesn’t cost more in the long run to replace.
If you can’t make up your mind, contact a professional to help you make the right choice, both functionally and aesthetically. They’ll be able to advise you about the nuances of the different materials and suggest the products best suited to your requirements.
A kitchen remodel or renovation requires a substantial investment of time and money. It’s therefore important to make the right choices to prevent further expense. By taking these things into consideration, you create a space that you and your family can enjoy and appreciate. There are many kitchen countertop materials available, ensuring there’s something to match every homeowner’s personal style and requirements. Remember, before you choose, it’s best to see the countertop material in person to ensure you make the right decision.