One of the most important elements in a kitchen or bathroom is the countertops as they are the focal point. That’s why it needs to be stylish and attractive while being functional and practical. It is important to have countertops both in the kitchen and bathroom. You might be confused about the countertop of your choice as there are many factors to consider before actually installing it. If you are someone who does not like maintaining something, then materials such as concrete are not for you as they require frequent surface sealing. If you are looking for a piece that will bring out the beauty of your kitchen, then crushed or recycled glass counters are the choice to make. Or if you’re planning to stay within a low budget, then laminate or butcher-block wood are the choices to make.
Well, all this might be confusing for you to deal with, but it’s okay as we are going to help. In this blog, we are going to discuss the different materials that can be used as a countertop for either a kitchen or bathroom. Always remember to divide it into three cost categories, which represent – low, medium, and high with a thought towards crucial factors such as durability, style, and maintenance.
Narrowing Your Choices
Finding the countertop materials that best suits you, your needs and your habits in the kitchen and bathroom. If you do a lot of food prep directly on the counter surface, then you might rule out a countertop that could show stains or knife marks. You have to think of the overall design of your kitchen and bathroom as the need to change is important. Along with your countertop, you have to consider contrasting your backsplashes as it works great in an ensemble with the countertops.
These include family countertop materials and quarried stones like granite, marble, soapstone, and slate.
Granite – Once considered as an expensive material, granite is more common today, and it is one of the most popular materials. These are sold through local countertop specialists as well as in many home centers and kitchen showrooms. Granite is available in a wide array of colors: vibrant blues and variegated browns to midnight black, deep red and mottled white. The pros of granite are the visible seams, a durable surface, and it is heat-resistant. However, the cons are that it must be sealed to resist stains, and it is quite expensive to afford, especially if you are on a budget.
Marble – As one of the natural stones, marble is a high-end stone that comes in fewer color patterns than granite and is also softer. It is perfect as there is an easy to work surface for activities like baking or making fresh pasta, but may show knife scars while taking care with acidic foods like citrus. Marble stone is durable, striking natural patterns that will go well with your décor. Well, the cons are that there is a high-maintenance and to be sealed quite frequently. Also, it is quite expensive.
Soapstone and slate – These are more exotic materials, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Both soapstone and slate are both non-porous, so they won’t need sealing. Soapstone is a softer material, and the use of a knife is limited as the marks might show up. As for slate, this material is a brittle, especially at corners. These two come in fewer colors that will suit any décor.
Mostly made of quartz, this engineered stone is an increasingly popular choice when it comes to countertops. It is an extremely hard material that needs no sealing, and it is durable. It is also low-maintenance and a wide range of colors and patterns. Engineered versions of this material are sold though specialists and home centers. The only cons that this material has is that it is expensive.
As one of the most popular trends in the past five years, concrete is a hard and durable material that makes a high work surface. It is recommended to have installed professionally. You can also see with the installers to mix it with a wide range of colors, and even do artistic treatments like embedding glass or other materials. The benefits of concrete countertops is that there won’t be any scratch also if you use a knife on it. It is heat-resistant and comes in different colors. The negative points are that it is expensive and always need sealing.
Widely known as the brand name Formica, this affordable material was once found in all American homes, for it is durable and hard-wearing, making it a resilient option. Out of the countertop material, plastic laminate is easily the most affordable. It has the added convenience of being one of the few available and ready to install at home centers. If you are planning to buy laminate to apply to an existing surface, do make sure only to buy matte-finish laminate. Remember thinner laminates or ones with the glossier finish are not suited countertop use. With realistic graphics, modern laminates have come a long way in the design department. The benefits are that it is the most affordable materials as well as one that has a lot of colors. The drawback is that it can chip or scratch and it is non-resistant to heat.
Where to go?
A2Z KITCHEN & BATH GALLERY is the place to go for all your kitchen and bathroom countertops needs in South Florida. You can contact them for all kitchen and bathroom remodeling solutions.