Countertop is considered to be the most essential part of the kitchen which in turn is an important element of the house. There are different purposes which are fulfilled by a countertop as it can be used for preparing food, storage place for the appliances and eating food too. If your existing countertops are not in good condition then it is the time to give a fresh look.
Selecting a specific type of countertop can be difficult because there is a huge variety in terms of color, style, material and patterns. You can choose whichever material and style you want but it should go with your kitchen. The countertop has to be long lasting with a perfect finish.
When cost is considered the granite countertops are very expensive as compared to the tiles and laminate. Plan your budget and accordingly select the best material which is effortless to clean and requires less maintenance.
If you are looking for elegance then granite is the right option. The excellent combination of stone as well as beauty will surely leave you tempting. Kitchens and bathrooms are two places where durability is needed and so this option is great. The stain resistant feature also comes in to consideration. The granite is used in multipurpose ways as it can be used on walls and floor both.
Advantages of Granite
- Natural heat
- It is difficult to damage it therefore is long lasting if properly cleaned and maintained.
- Gives a superb look to the kitchen.
- Requires less maintenance and durable.
- Granite is very hard and ranks second after diamond.
- Chemical resistant
- Purposeful and adds value to the kitchen.
Wooden countertops are also a good option as it is attractive and gives finesse to the kitchen. There are different shades and textures which you can select. If you want the countertops to be sustainable then this is the ideal option as it comes with LEED standards. It is eco friendly and at the same time protects it from bacteria and other stuffs. The only factor is that regular maintenance is required to use it for a long time especially near the sink. Wooden countertops when used for a long time can diminish their color but it is easy to get it repaired. You can refresh it by sanding and re-oiling.
Advantages of Wood
- Available in natural form and eco friendly.
- Cleaning is easy
- Gives a smooth and even surface for use.
- Adds a vibrant look to the kitchen.
- Wood is known for its anti-bacterial properties
- Wooden countertops can be employed for cooking purposes
- Excellent for chopping and preparing food
- The stray marks from knives can be removed easily by sanding it. Then re-oiling can be done for a smooth look.
- Ideal for sink areas and perfect for kitchen
A single color available in soapstone is gray and it is the only limitation that you will come across. The color will gradually give an appealing appearance. It has innumerable features and perfect for homes which are very old. In comparison to other materials the buyers mostly select this one. Because it is a soft material therefore scratches will develop but mineral oil can be used to give a long lasting look.
Advantages of Soapstone
- Soapstone is made from natural elements like dolomite, talc, chloride, magnetite etc. There is no use of synthetics in its preparation.
- It is heat resistant which means that the surface has no effect if hot vessels are placed on it.
- If by chance any acid or alkali falls on the surface it will not have any harm on the surface but can be cleaned easily.
- Versatility is another important characteristic as it can molded in to any shape you like while granite and marble cannot be molded easily.
- It gives an exclusive look to the kitchen. Regular cleaning can enhance its color and the countertop will become more beautiful day by day.
The prices of limestone are a bit high so it can prove a costly affair. Lots of maintenance is required or else the scratches will appear on the surface and it will not look nice.
Marble is also a good option and has no effect of heat on it. Removing stains from the marble are also difficult and so it is ideal for bathrooms and not for countertops. As compared to the other stones you need to put in extra money to regain its beauty and charm.
It is one of the best choices for countertops as it is a solid material not a coating. This is the reason that scratches can be cleaned by sanding and oiling. It will easily fit in any style you want as it comes in a number of shades and designs. It is not costly and so anybody can go for this option.
For the people who just want the purpose to be fulfilled can go for this option. It is cost effective and at the same time will give a brilliant look. It is not a smooth surface and so you can find some kind of difficulty in cleaning it. The slate is porous in nature so water can go inside and develop bacteria.
This stone is made by combining quartz and resins together. The examples include corian, zodiaq etc which are quite popular. Scratches do not develop so easily and best for countertops. Being light it makes the work easy and effortless.
Ceramic tiles add a touch of elegance to the kitchen. It is heat resistant and also needs less maintenance. You can even give your own touch and make it look beautiful. Less money is involved in this option and still it looks awesome. But the only problem is that it can get cracked easily and therefore you need to get it sealed after regular intervals of time. This can sometime become messy and unavoidable.
This entirely a fresh option as plastic can be combined with stone to make your countertops durable and effective. It is low budget investment and available in unique styles. You are free to pick any color that you like. For cleaning you need a soft cloth dipped in little water and this is all. But if it gets damaged or burnt then it cannot be repaired.
For the people who do too much of baking can consider this option. Butcher block gives an inviting look to the countertop. Even the cabinets can be well furnished and styled the way you want. In order to keep it away from bacteria you will have to clean it properly. The cost of this option is affordable and fit in your budget. In order to maintain the same touch you can use mineral oil after every two to three months.
If you are just aiming at cooking and nothing extra then stainless steel is yet another great choice. There is no tension of placing the hot vessels on the surface or the dampness. It is protected and has no effect of the above things. The surface will not crack or lose its shine. The stainless steel countertops give a cool look and are ideal for any type of kitchen. But the traditional styled kitchens may not go with the stainless steel option as it may look weird.
Glass is an ultimate option if you want your kitchen to look different. There are numerous options and colors which you can pick. It is easy to match the shades with your existing kitchen interiors and gives a fabulous look. There are various kinds of textures which you can try but its charm is only when you keep it clean. Therefore you will have to take pains in cleaning the surface and getting the same look ever. Though it is heat resistant but still care has to be taken that it does not come in contact with a hard material.
Similar to stainless steel you have the copper countertops which can be matched with the pots and pans of the kitchen. For the fresh look you can surely try this option as there is no need of maintenance but only regular cleaning is required. As copper is a soft material hence it will change its color. You will have to take care and add a touch up.
Even concrete is in fashion nowadays and used in countertops. Though it is costly but you can mix concrete with sea shells and other objects to give a unique outcome. It is an excellent idea to try this option. There are many people who have admired it as the countertops really look different. Even sea glass can be mixed which will add a unique touch to the kitchen. There are different types of shapes available hence you can select and customize your countertop. The disadvantage is the price and that it can go out of trend any time.
Even edges are an important part so you can consult your designer about the type of edge that will be suitable. You have various options like waterfall, bullnose, rounded etc. The edges can be shaped according to the surface so that a finishing look comes. Wood is the best material which you can try as it easy to carve it any shape and design you want. If the edges are sharp then clean it properly or else the food can go inside thus resulting in bacterial growth. So the best option is to laminate them such that it can cover the edges completely. In case you are using tiles then its color should match with the surface so as to give a neat look.
When you are searching for different materials consider that the material is resistive, durable and easy to clean. It should be able to reflect the heat back and keep the surface bright. The color should be soothing to the eyes and less maintenance is required. Another thing which you can do is to use a combination of material which will prove efficient as well as functional. Stone work is best for areas near the stoves and ovens. Even solid surfaces can prove to be excellent. Butcher block is ideal for chopping and glass looks elegant. The only thing is that you must be satisfied with the end result.
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