Common Kitchen Countertop Materials
February 6, 2013
Kitchen countertops come in a wide range of materials and styles, each with their own qualities. To make the right decision for your counter, consider the options below.
Tiled countertops are typically constructed of ceramic tiles. Ceramic tiles are easy to maintain and are considered very durable. Ceramic tiles are also considered very inexpensive and they come in a wide range of colors and styles. Ceramic can withstand hot heat being placed directly on it, which is generally a big draw for kitchens. The major drawback, in the opinion of many homeowners, to ceramic tiling is that the nature of tiled surfaces is that there is space between the tiles. That space, called grout, can be difficult to clean and can therefore get dirty easily.
Granite has long been a popular option for kitchens due to its rich appearance. However, granite can be very expensive, so it is not considered a budget option. Like ceramic, granite comes in a wide range of colors and can withstand heat being placed upon it. However, unlike ceramic, granite requires some maintenance. If the granite is not properly sealed, depending on the color, it may absorb stains – a common occurrence in the kitchen.
Engineered stone is available in the same range of colors that granite is available in, and is composed of 93% quartz particles. It is stain resistant and is very easy to care for, however, it can be rather pricey.
Laminates are made from plastic-coated synthetics. They’re very easy to clean and very easy to maintain, and they come in a wide range of colors and styles. The major drawback to laminates is that they are not easily repaired when damaged, and often a damaged area on one part of a laminate countertop requires one to replace the entire thing to fix the issue.
It may sound silly, but sometimes homeowners get so wrapped up in how a new bathroom will look that they forget about the feasibility of the sink being placed across the room from where it is now. Keep in mind that unless you want to bring in a plumber and completely redirect the plumbing in your home, you are likely going to need to place a vanity in the same place that one rests now.
The near opposite to wood, stainless steel provides an ultra-modern look that is revered by professional chefs who want an industrial look in the kitchen. Stainless steel is resistant to heat and stains, making it a very durable choice for the kitchen. However, stainless steel can be expensive and in that it is a metal, is vulnerable to denting. Some also complain that stainless steel countertops have a noise component to them that other options simply do not have.
Soapstone has a smooth feel and is typically dark in color. It’s considered both historical and modern, making it a good fit for a wide range of types of spaces. Soapstone stands up fairly well to stains however it does require maintenance. Mineral oil must be applied to the surface regularly so as to avoid cracking of the surface.