A countertop is the most noticeable part of your kitchen as it occupies the maximum space and is used constantly. Choosing the right kitchen countertop can, therefore, make a huge difference between an average-looking kitchen and one that is truly stunning as well as functional.
Getting this right doesn’t have to be arduous. You can choose the right kitchen countertop by understanding some of its basic aspects.
This post sheds light on the essential factors that you must consider when picking the perfect countertop for your kitchen.
A. Factors to Consider When Choosing Kitchen Countertops
Countertops set the tone of the kitchen. They must be in sync with a kitchen’s decor and its intended purposes. Here are five things to consider before you narrow down your options to one.
Kitchen countertops can be made from an array of materials. An experienced kitchen remodeling expert will guide you as to which countertop material will best fit your purposes. A study by Statista reveals that granite, quartz, and wood are the most common choices among homeowners.
Ideally, your countertop material should be able to withstand the wear and tear from your daily cooking, chopping, and other activities. It should also be sturdy enough to resist scratches and cracks.
Further, your preferred countertop material must be easy to clean. Raw vegetables, meat, and fish often have bacteria on their surface that remain behind on countertops. If your countertop material is easy to clean, the chances of your food getting contaminated reduce considerably.
2. Color and Design
Your countertop will play an integral role in amplifying the aesthetic beauty of your kitchen.
When choosing the countertop color, ensure that you are not deciding it in a store with paint strips and samples in your hand. Instead, buy a few strips of your favorite color and inspect them in a room lighting condition. Check whether it complements your kitchen.
When choosing the countertop design, ask your remodeling contractor to show you how the various designs will look in your kitchen using a virtual reality tool. You can then choose the design that does justice to the kitchen’s decor and instills a sense of satisfaction
3. Ease of Maintenance
From spills to stains, your countertop will undergo its fair share of messes. Needless to say, it’ll require some maintenance from time to time. The effort needed for proper maintenance must, therefore, feature on your list of considerations when choosing kitchen countertops.
The surface of the countertop should be so that it is easy to remove stains and keep it sparkling with minimal effort. Moreover, it should be resistant to cracking and breaking (unless of course, it receives a high-impact blow).
Durability is integral to determining the quality of the kitchen countertop. You should ensure that your preferred countertop can withstand the heat around the stove or cooktop. It must not get damaged if searing pots/pans are placed on it.
Further, the countertop material must be resistant to staining. It shouldn’t get easily discolored due to the spillage of oil, wine, lemon juice, and other liquids that are known to stain surfaces and that’s why we do not recommend marble in your kitchen
The countertop finish significantly contributes to the aesthetics of the kitchen. You should ensure that your preferred countertop finish perfectly blends with the kitchen’s overall appearance.
Polished, honed, and antiqued are the three popular choices among homeowners. While the polished finish is entirely smooth with a reflective mirror shine, the honed finish is smooth with a matte surface. Antiqued finish, also referred to as leathered or brushed finish, has a soft surface with a slightly textured appearance.
Speak with an OMG Kitchen & Bath Specialists to discuss your options before making the final call.
B. Evaluating Kitchen Countertop Materials
As mentioned, several options are available when it comes to kitchen countertop materials. Here are the most common types of kitchen countertops materials available in the market, along with their pros and cons:
a) Granite Kitchen Countertops
Granite has always been the countertop material of choice due to its innate ability to enhance the overall appeal of the kitchen. It delivers gorgeous aesthetics and adds timeless aura and appeal to the kitchen. The best thing about granite is that it is resistant to heat and scratches, and can perfectly endure stains with regular sealing. Some of the pros and cons of granite countertops include:
- Strong and durable.
- Available in a wide array of colors.
- Almost maintenance-free when treated with newer sealers.
- Fairly expensive for those tight on budget
- Can crack under stress or if it’s not installed properly
- Requires regular sealing to keep it resistant to stains
Price: A granite countertop can cost you anywhere between USD 50 and 100 per square foot
b) Quartz Kitchen Countertops
Wood countertops add a rustic charm that enhances the overall appearance of the kitchen. They are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners due to their ability to add a natural aesthetic to interior design. Some of their pros and cons include:
- Easy to clean
- Lasts long if proper care is taken
- Can be resealed, as needed
- Offers an exclusive country look to the kitchen
- Expensive countertop material
- Prone to scratches
- Susceptible to damage through water and stains over time
- Can crack, if not maintained
- Needs periodic oiling and sealing
Price: The price for wood countertops starts from USD 60 per square foot.
c) Wood Kitchen Countertops
Quartz countertops are manufactured by combining ground quartz with synthetic resins and colorants under heat and pressure. Despite being relatively new in the market, they have amassed a loyal following because of their attractive appearance and durability. Some of their pros and cons include:
- Easy to install
- Hassle-free maintenance, as no sealing is required
- Uniform slabs with minimal imperfections
- Easy to customize in any size and shape
- Resistant to stains and impervious to heat and acid
- Can be expensive
- Heavier than their counterparts
Price: Quartz countertops can cost you something between USD 50 and USD 150 per square foot.
d) Concrete Kitchen Countertops
Concrete countertops can be a great choice if you are fond of contemporary kitchen designs. They have a shiny surface that instantly grabs the attention of onlookers. Some of their pros and cons include:
- Available in a wide range of color options
- Resistant to heat and scratches
- Provides a chic and elegant look
- Difficult to install, can be done only by experts
- Can crack over time
- Surface allows water seepage unless regularly sealed
Price: The price for concrete countertops starts from USD 65 per square foot.
Replacing a scratched, scorched, or stained countertop can transform your entire kitchen. However, you should know how to choose the most suitable countertop for your kitchen, keeping in mind its overall design and color. The above guide should help you understand some of the essential factors that must be considered when choosing a kitchen countertop. Happy remodeling!