If you are in the process of remodeling your kitchen, you probably have endless questions about what kind of countertop is the best option for you. We understand that the choices can be overwhelming, so we are going to break down all of the different types of kitchen countertops that are available today and explain the pros and cons of each.
Let’s start out with the more common options and then we can explore some that are a little more outside of the box.
Laminate countertops are made of a blend of paper and resin that is fused to particleboard. They are very budget-friendly (starting around $10 per square foot), but they’re also on the lower end of the quality spectrum. The material is fairly durable but not heat-resistant, so keep in mind that if you do a lot of cooking in your home, laminate may not be the best option to install in your kitchen.
Probably the most popular kitchen countertop option, granite is a natural stone surface that is resistant to heat, scratches and stains when properly sealed (not all granite needs sealing, but it helps to combat stains and scratches if it is). Since granite comes from the earth, each piece is unique in the way it looks, with different veins and patterns that bring out the beauty of the natural stone. Granite comes in many colors that have proven to look beautiful in any kitchen style. It is also a non-porous surface that protects against mold and mildew. Granite is pricier than laminate, starting at around $35 per square foot.
Marble countertops have been gaining popularity lately because of their beautiful and timeless look. Marble is a natural stone that, unlike granite, is porous in nature and therefore requires sealing. Even with sealing, however, marble is prone to stains and as a result, many people decide to only put it in a few small areas of the kitchen rather than everywhere. This is a very durable surface that is also scorch-resistant because it is cool in nature, making it a favorite of serious cooks and pastry chefs. Marble is seen as more luxurious in nature, and the price often reflects that luxury, ranging from $40-100 per square foot.
Quartz countertops are made of about 93% crushed natural quartz mixed with color pigments and plastic resins. This engineered surface comes in a broad range of colors and styles that mimic natural stones such as marble and granite, but also come in solid colors without veins or patterns. This is a non-porous surface that even provides hygienic benefits because it doesn’t trap any bacteria. There aren’t many downsides to quartz except for the price…you will definitely pay more for quartz than you will for granite ($40 to $90 per square foot, installed).
Wood or butcher block countertops have a classic appeal that is especially fitting for traditional, country and cottage-style kitchens. Many homeowners like the warm, natural appearance of wood tones, and the distressed look it naturally develops as it wears. An added benefit to these countertops is that you can always sand down scratches with ease.
Some of the not-so great-things about wood countertops is that wood swells and contracts with moisture exposure, and butcher block is no exception. It also holds in bacteria and needs frequent disinfecting, as well as oiling to fill in scratches and protect the surface.
Concrete is definitely not just for driveways anymore. Slightly edgier than other materials, concrete countertops have an industrial feel that fits right into a loft or adds a modern look to an otherwise traditional space. Concrete is very versatile in its customization, as it can be molded into any shape or size and custom tinted any shade you like. You can also add in some unique inlays, such as glass fragments, rocks and shells. Concrete stands up well to heavy use, but it isn’t as heat resistant as some other surfaces. Due to its porous nature, concrete will stain unless it is sealed frequently. Over time, small cracks may develop that would need repair, and since concrete is so heavy, you will need a solid base to support it. The customization options tend to up the price as well (cost is approximately $75 to $125 per square foot).
Stainless steel is most commonly used in restaurants and other high-traffic kitchens because it is virtually indestructible and resists heat and bacteria. It also provides a look that feels appropriate in contemporary and industrial-style kitchens.
The downsides to stainless steel countertops are that fingerprints show and must be wiped off frequently, it can also dent, and it can also be very loud when dishes or pans clang against it. This type of countertop is also very expensive due to custom fabrication.
To learn more about kitchen countertops or anything related to kitchen remodeling, please contact us today!