Countertops are one of the most important elements in a kitchen. Choosing the right countertop is very critical as it can affect the entire design and functionality of your kitchen. With a wide range of choices for countertop materials, deciding which one to choose can be very challenging.
There are certain qualities that a countertop should possess to make it both functional and aesthetically pleasing and these are important factors you need to consider when making your choice. A countertop should be durable, strong, easily cleaned, can withstand moisture and heat, and should not be easily scratched. Knowing these qualities can greatly help you make a good choice.
Qualities of Different Types of Countertops
Laminate – Laminate countertops are made from synthetic materials that are coated with plastic coating. If you are on a small budget, this is a good option for you. It is durable, easy to clean, easy to install and is stain-resistant. It is also available in a wide range of color. However, it can be easily damaged by scratches and heat. Once damaged, it’s difficult to have it repaired.
Granite – Granite is considered one of the best materials for countertops. That explains its popularity among many home owners. It is extremely hard, durable, and resistant to heat. It is also very easy to clean and maintain and can last long. All these good qualities come with an expensive price tag.
Wood – Wooden countertops are considered one of the most beautiful materials for countertops. They can give your kitchen a warm and homey look. Common wood used as countertops include maple, beech and oak. A wide range of artificial colors and finishes are also available. The best thing about wooden countertops is that they are easy to clean. But wooden countertops are far from being perfect. For one, they are prone to rot and to stains especially when placed near the sink. They also require regular maintenance which includes sanding, resealing and oiling.
Ceramic Tile – Ceramic tile countertops can give your kitchen a charming look. They are available in a variety of colors, patterns and textures that can suit your taste and style. Ceramic tile countertops are also one of the most affordable. They are easy to install and clean and are resistant to heat and moisture. In terms of durability, however, they are not the best and are prone to cracking and chipping.
Marble – Marble countertops look very sophisticated and luxurious. Marble also makes a good countertop because it is durable and resistant to heat and water. These qualities are the main reason why marble countertops are also expensive. And just like wooden countertops, marble countertops also require regular maintenance including sealing and polishing to make them look good.
Metal – Different types of metals can be used as countertops such as copper, zinc, brass and stainless steel. They are very durable, can complement any kitchen design, and make an excellent backsplash. Metals are also stain-resistant and heat-proof, which are good qualities for countertops. However, metal countertops can also be easily scratched and are also expensive.
Concrete – Concrete countertops are gaining in popularity these days and they are particularly known for being smooth and shiny. They are available in different colors and textures. Concretes are hard and resistant to scratch and heat. But they require thorough cleaning to remove stains. They also are expensive and need to be professionally installed.
Knowing the different types of countertop materials and their advantages and disadvantages can help you in your decision in buying your countertop. Choose the countertop that you think has the most advantages and suits your taste, style and budget.