When it comes to a kitchen design, you might have your Pinterest boards ready with the themes and shades for the cabinets to the worktops. But one critical aspect is the material you select. It could be something graceful yet hard-wearing and which could serve the dual purpose of aesthetics and durability.
Whether it is stone or marble, concrete or wood, selecting a surface that will not only conform with the look of your kitchen but serve the purpose is essential. From budget-friendly to extravagant options, residential architects have a list of choices for you.
So, keep scrolling to find the best countertop material for your kitchen.
The Approach to choosing the Best Kitchen Countertops
The preliminary approach towards finalizing a kitchen countertop could be analyzing how you’ll be using them. If your cooking is meticulous and involves a lot of preparations, you might require countertops with resilience. Or, if you tend to use the surface less vigorously, you could go for something less expensive but aesthetically appealing.
Some residential architects might ask you these questions before you finalize a kitchen countertop:
- Are you prepared for the constant upkeep of glossy material, or would you prefer a countertop with a matte finish?
- Are you comfortable with the regular maintenance or do are you looking for something with less hassle?
Choosing the Best Countertop
The primary aspect to consider when choosing countertops for your kitchen is material. Some common options are marble, wood, and laminate, with each having its specific properties.
Granite Kitchen Countertops
The material granite associates itself with luxurious kitchen designs and is one of the most popular countertop materials. Granite countertops are relatively easy to maintain and offer a long service life without any scratches or nicks.
The material is highly heat-resistant so your pans can directly go on the surface once you’re done cooking (a plus for impatient chefs!). Cleaning granite countertops is a joy for most homeowners because all you need is warm water, a soft cloth, some mild cleaning agent, and you’re done.
Granite is a hard-wearing material.
Granite countertops are aesthetic yet functional.
Granite is supremely heat-resistant.
Granite countertops are priced on the higher side.
The backsplash choice is limited.
Hardwood Kitchen Countertops
If you’re looking for budget-friendly kitchen countertops, then hardwood ones could be the way to go. If maintained properly, hardwood countertops could last ages.
However, over time the look of the wood will change as it fades in the sunlight. But that can be managed by applying oil or varnish. Some homeowners may even see this as a benefit as the countertop will gain character because of the deep color change.
When it comes to scratches and chips, you can eliminate them with sandpaper, a unique option that isn’t available in other materials.
Hardwood countertops are relatively easy to maintain.
Hardwood countertops have a long service life.
It requires oiling to keep the stains away.
Hardwood countertops are not heat-resistant.
These can scratch easily.
Laminate Kitchen Countertops
For a kitchen on a budget, laminate countertops are another reasonable choice. These come in a versatile range of colors and finishes. Additionally, you can even fit them yourself without any professional help.
Laminate countertops are resilient to stains.
These are easy to afford and install.
Laminate countertops are prone to damage.
It is hard to eliminate the scratches.
Quartz Kitchen Countertops
Quartz is one of the most attractive materials for kitchen countertops. It comes with a natural look and is highly low maintenance.
Quartz countertops are more durable than granite countertops and are often used as their replacement. However, unlike granite quartz is not heat-resistant.
Quartz countertops are convenient to maintain.
These require occasional resealing.
Quartz is an expensive material.
Quartz countertops are expensive to install.
Glass Kitchen Countertops
Toughened glass is a highly durable kitchen countertop material. Glass is a non-porous material and can withstand moisture as well. This quality makes it especially suited for kitchens as spills and stains become easy to remove.
Glass countertops are heat-resistant that adds to their practical benefits for your kitchen. However, they are highly expensive.
Glass countertops prevent the formation of build-up.
These are highly hygienic.
Glass countertops can show off fingerprints.
They are prone to scratches.
Marble Kitchen Countertops
One of the most popular types of kitchen countertop materials, marble is found in both contemporary and traditional kitchen designs. Many residential architects find this to be the favorite choice of homeowners.
Marble exudes elegance and should be on your radar if you’re going after a luxurious and timeless look for your kitchen. Marble is a poor conductor of heat that makes it a valuable trait in a steamy kitchen.
Marble countertops are highly durable.
They are aesthetically appealing.
Marble as a material is highly porous.
Marble countertops are high-maintenance.
Stainless Steel Kitchen Countertops
Stainless steel is the perfect material for commercial and industrial kitchens. It is naturally antibacterial, resistant to heat and stains, and waterproof. These are the qualities that make it a favorite choice of professional chefs all around the world.
Even though the material is prone to scratching, you could go for a matte finish to make them less obvious.
The material is lightweight.
Stainless steel countertops are easy to clean.
The material is highly prone to scratches.
It is not the preferred choice for residential kitchens.
Ceramic Kitchen Countertops
An alternative to real marble, ceramic countertops offer a marble-inspired appeal. These countertops act as a luxurious addition to residential kitchens are a frontrunner for most homeowners.
Ceramic countertops are popular because of their versatility and durability. These are extremely hard-wearing and highly hygienic. Ceramic countertops are also resistant to water and bacteria.
Ceramic countertops are resistant to moisture and heat.
These are easy to maintain.
Ceramic countertops are prone to scratches.
These can crack easily.
Tiles are a great choice for kitchen countertops if you’re going for a retro or vintage look. They are highly affordable, versatile, and resistant to heat. So, they’ll stand up to your hot pans and plates.
Tiles are a decent option for backsplash as well.
Tile countertops are easy to install.
Tile countertops require re-grouting to stay clean.
These are high-maintenance.
Onyx Kitchen Countertops
Onyx traces its origins to limestone caves and comes in shades of pink, orange, green, and more. Owing to its soft physical state, onyx isn’t as durable as other materials. However, with the right sealant, it can possess a long service life.
These are available in many shades.
Onyx countertops are brittle.
How to maintain kitchen countertops?
A kitchen and its elements are a huge investment for your home. Once the kitchen countertops are installed, you should know how to care for them. For laminates and man-made composites, some mild soap, and water should be enough. But, when it comes to materials such as hardwood that are easily damaged, oiling is a must.
In most cases, the supplier should help you with maintenance strategies. Sometimes you DIY or even take tips from a residential architect.
Kitchen countertops are a long-serving member of your kitchens and should be at par with your requirements and the aesthetics of your home. The materials mentioned in today’s blog are a few of the most widely used in most homes around the world and are recommended by residential architects and interior designers as well.
These are reliable, long-lasting, and offer a wider design spectrum for your kitchen. And most of these materials are readily available for installation.
Some other choices include solid surfaces, terrazzo, and concrete that have also gained momentum in their popularity as kitchen countertops. For more information, you can always consult a residential architect and come up with designs to invest in your kitchen for higher returns in the future.
Till then, happy redesigning.