There are a seemingly endless number of options when it comes to choosing the right material for a kitchen countertop and each option has its own strengths and weaknesses, as well as different aesthetic qualities. The right material choice for you will depend on your individual tastes and the specific kitchen you have. Below is a quick guide to some of the most popular choices and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Granite is one of the most popular materials for countertops and it is easy to see why. Aesthetically, granite exudes elegance and black granite, in particular, lends any kitchen an air of luxury. As the use of granite has become more common, production priorities have changed and the price of granite is now lower than ever before, making it the perfect marriage of cost and beauty. Granite is a naturally very heat resistant material and comes in a very diverse range of possible colors.
The main drawbacks are the price which. While lower than it has been in the past, the cost of granite is still generally higher than other materials. Granite also requires occasional maintenance – if it is not sealed properly or the seal becomes damaged then the stone can absorb liquid and stains.
Engineered Stone is mostly (93%) composed of quartz, giving it a unique look. It can be produced in an even wider range of colors than granite and, because it is non-porous, it can be repainted with the right paint and doesn’t require a sealant. Quartz is a very strong material and this gives engineered stone a good resistance to scratches.
It’s resistance to stains and damage make it an excellent choice for busy kitchens, but it is expensive to install.
One of the more durable materials available, ceramic tiles are relatively cheap and easy to clean, which makes them perfect for households with young children. It is heat resistant enough to withstand most sources of heat in the kitchen, such as hot pots and pans. Price, color, and texture are all wildly variable meaning that aesthetically, there is something available to cater to all tastes.
The disadvantages are an uneven surface which collects crumbs and other debris, tiles that can chip or crack more easily than other materials, and the cost of having customized tiles produced to match individual tastes.
Laminates are smooth, easy to clean surfaces that are made of synthetic materials coated in plastic. The main selling point of laminates is their cost. They are probably the cheapest option available and require little to no maintenance while achieving a reasonable lifespan.
The drawbacks are that minor repairs are next to impossible and when faced with scratches and other damage, the only option is to replace the entire unit.
There are numerous options when it comes to selecting the right material for your kitchen countertops. Consider your individual circumstances: who is going to use your kitchen and what kind of stresses will your counters be put under? It is up you to decide the appropriate balance between form and function, but most materials allow for a good balance of both.