Finding The Right Countertop Surface For Your Kitchen
November 9, 2011
Most kitchen renovations occur because a homeowner wants to give his or her kitchen space a new and updated look and feel. So, although it is alluring to choose a countertop surface based on appearance, homeowners should always consider several factors when choosing which countertop surface to install in a kitchen space.
There are so many options available in the world of countertop surfaces that often there is an option that will be a good fit for any style. For example, granite, a popular choice for countertop surfaces, comes in a variety of colors such as greens, whites, corals, beiges, blacks, and whites. Finishing options also make granite customizable. A honing finish is soft and matte, whereas a polished finish results in a shinier appearance. Granite is an extremely strong material, though it does require proper sealant to avoid staining.
Soapstone, marble, limestone, and other natural stone materials are also top choices for countertop installations. All but marble, however, are softer than granite and therefore require a lot of care. Engineered countertops, on the other hand, are extremely durable and – although they often give off a similar appearance – are much tougher than natural stone countertops.
Solid surface countertops are a top choice among homeowners due to their seamless appearance. They are also easier to clean than non-solid countertops. Concrete countertops are gaining popularity among homeowners and can be completely customized by adding pigments to the concrete. Concrete is also available in many different finishes, each of which completely changes the look of the concrete. For example, a ground finish is sanded to expose the sand aggregate within the concrete, whereas a pressed finish utilizes a tool, which reveals marble-like veining in the concrete. Concrete does require attention from the homeowner, though. Extreme temperature changes may cause warping and curling and water left on the countertop surface may cause staining.
Laminate countertops are the most affordable option and they come in a wide range of colors and designs. However, laminate is a highly scratchable surface and will not last a lifetime. Finally, wood is another option for countertop surfacing and tends to give a kitchen a warm look. Wood countertops are easy to clean but must be oiled frequently to seal the surface and protect it from water damage.
It’s important that homeowners assess their lifestyle before settling on a countertop surface. For example, surfaces such as marble and granite have the potential to stain. Choosing a light or white version of either of these materials might not be a wise choice for a young family where things like juice and jam are used often. If a particular material is not feasible for an entire kitchen, many homeowners mix and match materials giving their kitchen a highly customized and multifunctional appearance.