A good quality kitchen countertop is very important to those who spend a lot of their time in the kitchen. There are many types of materials for countertop available in the market, and each material has its own advantages and disadvantages. Since a kitchen countertop is quite an investment, you’ll want one that is durable and easy to maintain. Depending on your usage level and purpose, you should know which material suits your kitchen needs best. We’ve broken down the pros and cons of the 6 most common countertop materials.
Granite is durable and a good working top for hardcore use. As it is a natural material, the design for each granite slab will never be exactly the same, which makes every piece unique. It is also timeless and visually appealing, making your kitchen look gorgeous and elegant. The material is very hard and is scratch-resistant.
Being a natural material, it needs to be carefully maintained. Stains, oils and wine spills must be wiped immediately. Plus, you might need to reseal the slab every year to retain its quality.
2. Solid Surface
It is durable with the advantages of being resistant to heat and stains, and most importantly, it is repairable. Since it is made of acrylic and polyester, any burn marks can be sanded off, and holes can be filled. Solid surface is available in various designs and colours, making it the top choice for kitchen countertop in many homes.
Solid surface is often regarded as the imitation stone, as its look can easily resemble granite and marble. Other than that, it is just as good as any other natural material, if not better, in certain aspects as discussed above.
You will have some room to be creative should you decide to opt for a tile countertop. Tiles are cheap and come in various designs and shapes. If one tile gets chipped or damaged, you can easily replace it without needing to change the whole countertop. If you are a hardcore chef who cooks daily, go for heavy duty tiles. Tile countertops are suitable for all sorts of kitchen activities from baking to butchering.
If the tiling is not carefully and creatively done, you’ll end up having an outdated and cheap-looking kitchen. Another disadvantage of tile countertops is the grout (the mortar in between the tiles). It can be difficult to clean and eventually lead to bacteria build-up in the crevices. Another thing to note about tile countertops is that it doesn’t have a smooth and even surface, which can be annoying when you’re trying to stabilise a chopping board.
4. Stainless Steel
This is THE material for kitchen enthusiasts who desire an industrial-looking kitchen. Since it is metallic silver, it can be paired easily with the other colours in the kitchen. It is also resistant to heat, scratches, water and chemical cleaners. Most commercial kitchens in hotels and restaurants only use stainless steel countertops because it is the most hygienic material, as it inhibits bacteria from building up and is easy to clean. Once you’ve invested in a stainless steel countertop, you’ll end up using it for a long time because it is very durable and requires low maintenance.
Stainless steel will instantly make a kitchen look modern and industrial, but it also gives off a ‘cold’ look, which may not be to everyone’s liking. Another drawback of stainless steel is the clanging noise it makes when it comes into contact with other steel pots and pans. Smudges such as fingerprints are also easily seen on steel surfaces compared to the others.
This man-made material comes in various patterns, textures, and colours. So you can really use your imagination when designing your dream kitchen. Quartz countertops are also very durable with advantages of being waterproof and scratchproof as well as resistant to chemical cleaning solutions.
Despite being the most sought-after material for kitchen counter, quartz comes with a fairly high price tag. Homeowners also need to be careful when putting very hot pots and pants directly on a quartz countertop. Although it is heat resistant, it cannot withstand the heat as well as granite or marble.
Solid wood slab or butcher block wood will give any kitchen a warm country look when matched with white cabinetry. The wood slab is available in various colours and grain patterns. A properly sealed wood slab is durable enough to be used for butchery purposes as well (which explains the name).
Over time, the slab needs to be resealed, depending on the frequency of its usage. Also, homeowners must be extra careful in not letting the slab come into prolonged contact with water. Any spilled water must be wiped dry immediately and coasters must always be used with glass of cold water. It is important to pay attention to this matter as the wood slab will absorb the water which will consequently decrease its lifespan.