How to Choose the Right Material for Your Kitchen Countertops

Thursday, August 20, 2015

If you're ready to upgrade your kitchen, one of the main areas you need to focus on is your countertops. After all, these are one of the focal points in your kitchen, as well as where you'll be  preparing your meals. Therefore, you want to be certain that your countertops aren't only attractive, but also functional.

There are many different countertop materials to choose from, and while the variety gives you a lot of freedom to decide which is best for you, the sheer number of options can also make the decision overwhelming. To make things clearer, check out the tips below for choosing the right material for your new kitchen countertops. 

Natural Stone

Natural stone is one of the many durable materials available in the world of kitchen countertops. It provides a tough exterior that can stand up to a really active family. Plus, natural stone contains variations in textures and colors so you can have a unique looking countertop that no one else has. Although marble and granite countertops are the most well known and most popular of all of the natural stone options, be aware that there are also soapstone and limestone options available, and these are common choices with those who want a clean, modern, and sophisticated appearance. 

Some of the pros associated with natural stone countertops include the fact that they're long-lasting and durable. This classic countertop material won't go out of style, and it's also heat-resistant. However, this material is porous, so you'll need to have it sealed when it's installed and regularly maintain it by resealing it to ensure aesthetics and food safety. Also, in addition to being expensive, natural stone materials like limestone and marble are softer and more liable to chip or crack with time and use. 
photo from the net


Laminate 

A more affordable countertop option for your kitchen would be laminate. This consists of a thin layer of plastic resin that covers particleboard or plywood. With advancements in the world of printing, along with edge options, laminate countertops can now mimic more expensive metal, wood, and stone countertops, so they're a great option for those who don't have a big budget but like the look of other materials. 

The great thing about laminate is the fact that it's stain-resistant, as well as scratch-resistant and heat-resistant, so this is a very durable material that could last a long time if properly maintained. This translates to getting a lot for you money. Plus, the material is also easy to clean. However, you should be careful with hot pots and pans, as well as sharp knives, as these could damage the laminate. And once you have deep scratches, cracks, and scorching in these countertops, you can't repair them. 

Wood

Wood is king in the kitchen, from wood floors to wood cabinets. But did you know that it can also be used as your countertop material? Wood countertops produce an instant sense of charm and warmth throughout your kitchen. And while butcher block is currently the most common option, you can also find crafted wood slabs. 

Wood countertops make excellent prep areas, especially since they can withstand chopping and cutting without dulling your knives. These countertops are also long-lasting, and even though the material might wear a bit with use, it will actually become more charming over time. However, it should be noted that wood countertops are vulnerable to heat, moisture, corrosive chemicals, stains, and acid. The wood can expand or shrink in extreme moisture or dryness, and it also requires routine maintenance and sealing for food safety. 

Eco-Friendly Options

Eco-friendly materials can now be found throughout your home, and your kitchen countertops are no exception. Check out the many environmentally conscious buying options available, from paper composites, which are a combination of pigments, recycled paper, and resin, to recycled glass countertops and those made of bamboo. Even though these materials may be a bit harder to locate in some areas, they're growing in popularity, so they're easier than ever to find. 

The great thing about bamboo is the fact that it's really easy to clean. Recycled glass countertops, on the other hand, are heat-resistant, stain-resistant, easy to clean, and really durable. And paper composite countertops are also easy to clean and surprisingly durable. However, be aware that bamboo countertops need to be regularly treated and sealed to avoid being susceptible to burning and scratches. Also, recycled glass options might break, scratch, or chip, especially with heavier impacts. And paper composite options are also susceptible to stains and scratches. 

Now that you know a few of the most popular countertop options and their pros and cons, you can make the best decision for your kitchen.
Melandria

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