Countertops play a crucial role in setting the mood in a kitchen. They also have a functional role to play, serving as a suitable countertop for cooking, baking, prepping, and other needs. Such work surfaces in the kitchen can be made from many materials. Each of them works for different indoor environments and has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a look at 5 popular picks for kitchen countertops.
Granite is possibly the most widely used material for kitchen countertops. This speckled granite look displays a beautiful array of colors and patterns that work perfectly with transitional and traditional themes. Each piece of granite is unique, so you also bring this exclusivity to your kitchen when you choose this material. Also, splashes, nicks, cuts, heat marks, etc. they do not appear on such surfaces and therefore wear is less visible on granite countertops. On the downside, granite needs to seal well to avoid staining. The material is also extremely heavy, so it can only be placed on strong and sturdy cabinets.
Marble is a material that looks and feels rich in any interior setting. Its luminescent surface and unique veins make it an unrivaled choice for traditional homes. The elegance of a marble countertop is incomparable with any other stone. It tolerates heat well and is therefore a suitable choice for pastry and confectionery needs. However, marble easily stains, even when sealed. It also easily cracks and chips. As a result, it becomes less sensitive to use marble on the entire kitchen counter; most homeowners restrict the use of marble to a limited space.
This metal seen in commercial kitchens is now also a favorite in residences. This old-fashioned material is a good choice for lovers of metal countertops. Zinc has a smooth, matte appearance and develops a rich patina with time and excessive use. The material is also malleable, making it an excellent pick for details. Zinc’s antimicrobial properties also add to the metal’s appeal on kitchen work surfaces. Zinc can also be easily cleaned with just a wipe with a cleaning cloth and a mild liquid. However, metal is expensive. It easily develops scratches and heat marks, which can spoil the appearance of your countertop. Acids and liquids can also react with the surface and leave undesirable marks on the countertop.
Laminate countertops are made from a mixture of paper, resins, and particle board fused together. It has been a popular choice for decades, also due to its considerably lower cost. Today’s laminate countertops are as stylish as work surfaces made from any other material. Many upgraded designs mimic real stone, wood, and other expensive materials, but can be installed at a fraction of the cost of the original. Laminate is also easy to clean and maintain, and can also be placed on lightweight cabinets. On the other hand, this material is prone to scratches, burns and some kind of staining. In addition, the layer that forms the laminate can peel off with time and use. Laminates will also not work with the bottom mount sink and can be difficult to repair or replace if damaged.
• Wood / butcher block
Wood countertops are a classic addition to kitchen spaces. They always stay fresh and are ideal for country, rustic and cottage style kitchens. The warm, natural feel of wood tones is appealing in kitchen spaces. Even if scratches develop, you can buff them or leave them as is for that worn look. On the downside, wood expands and contracts with exposure to moisture and heat. It can also warp or crack if not treated properly. The block should also be oiled to fill in scratches and keep the countertop well protected.
In addition to the above, you can use soapstone, engineered stone, recycled glass, pewter, and many other materials on your kitchen countertops.