How To Choose The Right Kitchen Countertop For You

There’s a lot to consider when choosing a kitchen countertop. In addition to mulling over the perfect color to complement your cabinetry, you need to consider the pros and cons of the countertop material. Countertops come in a variety of materials–from concrete to marble, and each type has their specific benefits and disadvantages. Careful consideration should be given to how durable a countertop material is, how functional it is, and how easy is it to maintain. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular countertop choices to help you decide what’s right for you.

Granite Countertops

This natural stone is one of the most sought after countertop materials. Granite is very durable and resists heat, making it a popular choice for your kitchen. Granite comes in endless colors and patterns, giving each kitchen a unique, custom look. Also, granite is a great investment since it instantly adds value to your home. It’s naturally porous and therefore, needs to be sealed after installation and regularly (usually once a year) to protect it from stains.

Marble Countertops

Marble is an elite natural stone that’s known for its elegance and luxurious appeal. Marble is considered a soft stone and is very porous, meaning it absorbs stains. Therefore, extreme care should be taken when prepping meals to avoid food and liquid stains. Unlike granite, marble is not as heat- and scratch-resistant. Trivets and cutting boards always should be used to protect the surface. Similar to granite, marble needs to be sealed regularly.

Quartz Countertops

This engineered or cultured stone is made of crushed quartz mixed with resins and polymers and is made to mimic the look of natural stone. Quartz comes in endless colors, textures, and finishes to suit every taste. Quartz is extremely hard and durable and resists stains. Quartz also doesn’t need to be sealed or treated and is very easy to clean. Manufacturers are constantly working on techniques to improve the look of quartz so that it appears more natural looking.

Concrete Countertops

This material is chosen for its sleek and edgy look and complements many contemporary designs. As can be expected, concrete is extremely durable, is scratch- and heat-resistant and can withstand heavy use. Another appeal of concrete is that it’s versatile and can be stained in many colors and designs and can be cast in different shapes. Concrete countertops are very heavy and may need extra support to withstand the added weight. Similar to natural stone, concrete must be sealed to avoid stains. As concrete settles, tiny cracks may appear over time.

Wood Countertops

Wood (butcher block) adds a rich, warm rustic feel and is a popular choice in cottage and country designs. Wood countertops are long-lasting and develop an appealing patina as they age. When considering wood countertops, remember that wood is vulnerable to heat, moisture, and stains. Wood can be temperamental and tends to expand and shrink in extreme dryness and moisture. To enjoy your wood countertop for years, sand and oil treat it regularly to protect it from dryness and to help it repel stains. Avoid excess moisture and use protective pads or trivets to place hot items on to avoid burning.

Stainless Steel Countertops

Similar to concrete, stainless steel is a popular choice in many modern designs. Stainless steel is popular among chefs because it’s antibacterial, stain- and heat-resistant, and durable. Be careful when using knives and other sharp objects around stainless steel as it’s susceptible to scratches and dents that can be difficult to repair.

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