Countertops play a large role in a kitchen design; they need to be visually appealing and stylish, but also efficient, functional and practical.
Installing new countertops adds value to your home and gives your old kitchen or bathroom an impressive boost. But with so many options available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
So how do you choose, and what do you need to know when it comes to different countertop types?
Start with considering why you’re doing it – is it a part of a complete remodeling project, or are you simply updating countertops to give your kitchen a much needed facelift, or replacing the weathered and damaged old ones. Are you transforming your entire kitchen style, or staying with the existing look; and, is your style more traditional and classic or modern and sleek?
Next, determine your budget before you start selecting, as prices can vary considerably. Measure the total surface area, since countertops are normally priced by the square foot.
Finally, get clear on your main concerns and priorities – do you do a lot of cooking and need durable, functional countertops, or do you spend very little time in the kitchen, and need countertops that are more decorative?
The good news is – latest kitchen remodeling trends blend convenience and multi-functionality of materials with design and appeal.
Some of the most popular countertop choices include:
Granite and Marble
Granite and marble continue to be the top choices in countertops, as they provide versatility, durability, unique beauty and a polished look, and add value to your home. They are natural stones available in a variety of shades, and since they are porous, these countertops require periodic sealing to prevent moisture from entering and staining the stone.
Marble countertops are more porous and softer than granite; since they’re less resistant to stains and scratches, they’re a better installation choice for less used areas, such as the bathroom.
Make sure you really like the pattern and color of the marble or granite you choose, because they are not something you can easily (and cheaply) change once it’s installed.
Offers an exceptional combination of beauty, convenience, and functionality, and is a great choice for any kitchen style and family needs.
Quartz is non-porous, scratch resistant, and easy to maintain – no need to seal or polish its surface. It also has built-in anti-microbial protection, which inhibits the growth of mold, mildew, and odor-causing bacteria.
You can select from a wide-range of gem-like colors; whichever one you choose; the natural beauty of quartz will be reflected in multi-dimensional hues.
Laminate and Corian
Laminate countertops are your solution if you’re looking for affordable, low maintenance countertops, durability and patterns and colors versatility. Laminate is commonly referred to by the most popular brand name, Formica.
Homeowners should know that they are not always easy to clean, and are rather easy to damage, since they’re not heat or scratch resistant.
Solid surface countertops include Formica, Corian, and Staron, and have seamless surfaces that resembles the look of granite and stone.
Products like Caesarstone and Silestone offer many of the same advantages of natural stone countertops, and can be engineered to match the patterns and grains of natural stone slabs.
They are easy to maintain, and unlike natural stone, many synthetic stone countertops don’t need to be sealed regularly, and are also more resistant to the chipping, pitting or cracking.
Wooden butcher block countertops are a versatile and affordable home design trend – it adds warmth in your modern kitchen as well as an authentic feel to a vintage farmhouse.
Wood ages well, acquiring more character with use. It is, however, naturally porous, meaning that those countertops will require regular maintenance, so regular waxing or oil treatments are a must.
In terms of durability, butcher-block countertops have several advantages and disadvantages; if scratched or burned, the damaged wood can be sanded down with ease and re-oiled/re-stained; but if it gets dented by the impact of a heavy object, there isn’t much that can be done.
Available in a variety of materials, from ceramic to natural stone to recycled glass to handmade porcelain, as well as shape and colors. Cost will vary depending on the type and size of the tiles, and size of the countertop surface.
The biggest advantages of tile countertops are the endless design options, individual ones can be replaced easily and affordably, and many are heat-resistant.
Disadvantages include the need for grout between the tiles, which can stain, and that tiles can sometimes chip or crack easily.
Concrete countertops are gaining popularity, because you can customize them according to color and design, and rocks, shells or colored glass can be added for texture and uniqueness. While this modern option may be popular, it will likely cost the homeowner more per square footage compared to laminate and tile.
Concrete countertops are extremely durable but also lend a nice aesthetic alternative to more conventional kitchen countertops.
Yes, the countertop options are many, and which one you choose will depend on many factors, so give yourself some time first to explore different choices – consider how different materials and styles will look next to your kitchen cabinets, flooring, and your overall home style.
Spring is the perfect time to do spring cleaning of your home, and also a great time for home renovations. Your new dream kitchen can be ready for you to enjoy and proudly showcase during your summer parties and gatherings.
Whether you’re planning to just update your kitchen countertops or do a full remodel – consider updating countertops for your bath or bar areas, too.
At Harbor Stone, our knowledgeable and friendly contractors are dedicated to helping homeowners in Greater Philadelphia area make their homes more attractive, current, and comfortable, while increasing resale value of the property. We’ll help you select and will install.
Give us a call, or contact us online, so we can help you select the right design and the best looking and most functional countertops to fit your home décor, budget and lifestyle today.