If you ask any homeowner about the most widely-used space in their house, the answer will probably be the kitchen, at least in most cases.
Be it freshly-prepared warm food or concealed storage the kitchen, is the unsung hero in every household. But there’s one feature in all kitchens that bears the brunt of all the work. It’s the primary defense system against the scratches from the cutlery, the stains from the seasoning, and even the oil spills.
And yes, the answer is countertops! These countertops accommodate a decent chunk of your kitchen equipment. So, it becomes crucial to develop kitchens with the most resistant materials.
While remodeling, a residential architect might suggest paying a tiny bit extra attention to these countertops along with the aesthetics and functionality. After all, it must work for the requirements of each family.
With new and sustainable materials, the remodel could benefit your kitchen in the long run and add to the existing value of your property. Your kitchen could become more user-friendly with materials that are more suitable to your taste and the overall style of your home.
And maybe, it might even inspire the lazy members of your family to become chefs! Who knows how many ways this remodel could impact your kitchen? So exciting, isn’t it?!
Today, you’ll find out about several commonly-used kitchen countertop materials with their advantages and disadvantages.
The versatile material, after being used in architectural masterpieces all over the globe, found its way into the residential kitchens as well. Marble countertops pride themselves on being the most sophisticated out there. The hard-wearing material exhibits a long service life.
Marble countertops promise durability paired with aesthetics. Since marble is composed of natural limestone, every streak in its composition is one of a kind.
- Marble countertops are convenient to clean.
- Marble countertops exhibit high aesthetic value.
- They are heat resistant.
- Marble as a material is resistant to wear and tear.
- Marble is an expensive material.
- It is a highly porous material. Hence, marble countertops need to be sealed with antibacterial resin.
Granite is another natural stone that exhibits a unique set of prints and shades. Granite kitchen countertops are popular for good reasons. Aesthetically appealing and hard-wearing, this stone can accommodate a versatile range of kitchen designs to present a stunning look.
- Granite countertops are easy to maintain and clean.
- Granite is highly heat resistant.
- Owing to its cool surface, granite makes an ideal food preparation area, especially for kneading, the new art of home bread making due to Covid.
- Granite surfaces exhibit high shine polish.
- Granite countertops aren’t always resistant to acidic food products.
Porcelain tile kitchen countertops are the new trend that’s gearing up for the throne. They are comparatively resistant in addition to being impermeable. Porcelain offers the most finished look in materials out there and exhibits unique combinations and appearances.
The versatile material is one of the only options that can be engineered to resemble materials such as concrete or marble among others.
- Porcelain tiles are resistant to chemical and physical abrasion.
- Porcelain tile countertops are easy to clean.
- They offer a wide range of finishing options.
- While designing porcelain tile products, it becomes imperative to work with specialized and reliable companies that will guarantee the impact resistance ability of the material.
- Porcelain needs to be incorporated with reinforcement.
Concrete countertops offer a rustic appearance for contemporary and modern kitchens. It is an economical and highly resistant material with long service life. Several techniques can be utilized to color the concrete countertops which maximize the possibility of finishes to be applied.
- Concrete kitchen countertops boast a versatile appearance.
- The material has a high production value.
- It requires the least number of raw materials making it one of the most cost-friendly options for kitchen countertops.
- Concrete as a material is highly porous.
- Concrete has low resistance to stains.
- The material isn’t hygienic and the use of glass or stone tables or platforms is recommended when handling food around it.
Artificial stone countertops are made from natural minerals like quartz or marble in combination with a resin. When using artificial stones for kitchen countertops, it is necessary to work with registered companies that can verify the quality of the product.
- These countertops are resistant to stains.
- Countertops made from artificial stones are easy to maintain.
- They offer a wide range of finishes and colors.
- Countertops in artificial stones are more expensive in comparison to other materials.
- These countertops exhibit low resistance to heat.
Wood is one of the most versatile materials to work with. It can be utilized for a rustic as well as a contemporary look.
Wooden countertops are highly functional and practical to use. They also increase warmth in the kitchens. A polished wooden countertop offers high aesthetical value along with setting the perfect environment to prepare food for the family.
- Wood is a highly economical material.
- Wooden countertops offer practical and easy installation.
- These have a long-lasting service life.
- Wooden kitchen countertops require a lot of maintenance.
- They exhibit low resistance to heat.
Soapstone is seen as an alternate option to granite countertops. You can generally find this material in historic homes but has now found its way in modern homes as a material for countertops or the sink.
The material is quite stiff and highly resistant to stains. However, it will scratch over time.
- It offers a traditional and timeless appearance in the kitchens.
- Soapstone kitchen countertops are impervious to heat.
- The material may darken over time.
- It needs to be treated with mineral oil.
Quartz is an engineered stone product that contains other minerals in partnership with 90 – 95% quartz. It is shaped into slabs and then bound with resin for strength.
Quartz was created as an alternative to marble and granite kitchen countertops. It is available in a versatile range of colors and exhibits a non-porous surface. Unlike natural stone, engineered quartz doesn’t require regular sealing.
- Quartz countertops are easy to maintain.
- A DIY installation is possible for quartz countertops.
- Custom fabrication is possible.
- Quartz countertops have a more natural appearance.
- These countertops exhibit low resistance to heat.
- It is highly expensive.
- The countertops are quite heavy.
Laminates are plastic-coated synthetic surfaces that are easy to maintain. These are developed by binding the laminate sheets to a board with an MDF core.
Laminate countertops can be custom-fabricated or purchased as post-form countertops. In recent years, laminates seem to have gained popularity, owing to the versatile range of colors and patterns available.
- Laminate kitchen countertops are an inexpensive choice.
- The DIY option is possible.
- The seams are always visible.
- The customization can get expensive.
If you’re looking for a more industrial or technical look for your kitchen, then stainless steel countertops are the way to go. These countertops offer a long service life in addition to heat resistance and stability.
Since these are constructed according to the homeowners’ specifications, the countertops could even be seamless.
- Stainless steel countertops are impervious to heat.
- These are a perfect choice for modern kitchens.
- Stainless steel countertops might even add to the real estate value of your property.
- Stainless steel kitchen countertops are expensive to fabricate.
- The installation process is very noisy in comparison to other materials.
- Stainless steel countertops are not scratch-resistant.
Now that you have so many choices available, it can get slightly daunting to decide for your kitchen. Do you want to go contemporary or are you a more traditional person? Or do you want the best of both worlds?!
That’s where a residential architect could lend their expertise and help you achieve the kitchen of your dreams. The creative juices can get flowing and the remodeling will become as hassle-free as can be.
A residential architect could even upcycle some of the material that won’t be in use anymore and you could end up with some creative pieces for your kitchen. Now whether you want to switch to marble from granite or invest in stainless steel kitchen countertops, the remodel is going to impact your kitchen for the better.
And think of this remodel as a long-term investment for your property. Cooking Thanksgiving dinners will get more fun, the Sunday breakfasts will be more enjoyable with your family, and the cleaning won’t look so dreadful anymore.
So, let’s get remodeling, shall we?