There are lots of options available in the market for kitchen counter tops, but here we give you 10 materials that comprise the majority of counter tops in residential kitchens. Consider all the pros and cons of each type, and see your kitchen through. Your choice could be limited by your budget or your preference for a particular material.
For some time, it has been seen that granite has been the counter top material of master choice when there are no other constraints such as money. Granite has a very posh feel and is a first choice defining elegance in a kitchen. Even modest, humble kitchens seem like luxury spaces when done in by the beauty of these marvelous granite counter tops.
It is impervious to heat to a great extent, is available in thousands of colors, is tough and hardy, gives an elegant feel to your home, needs little maintenance when it is treated with modern sealants.
It is an expensive material and the slabs maybe imperfect. The stone is porous and it does require sealants to prevent stains.Can crack easily. It is not a DIY material and your sharp knives will get blunted when used for chopping etc. on this surface.
A soapstone finish Soapstone, as shown above is another natural stone, which is usually dark gray in coloration with a smooth, beautiful silky feel. It is much cheaper than granite and is a great alternative. Soapstone can often be seen in period or traditional homes but can be also used in modern homes both as a countertop and sink material. As it gets older it develops a great patina finish which can look awesome.
It is quite hard and resistant to stains but even such scratches and stains give it more texture and is appealing to the eyes. Any damage can be sanded out and it is majorly heat resistant. This also cannot be DIY installed and needs mineral oil treatment.
Marble is a unique material and no two pieces look alike. Gives a very classy and polished look to your kitchen table top which can be a side counter or the island feature in your kitchen.
Because of its extremely high price , marble may not be often seen on the counter tops of kitchens. More often, used sparingly to give that added dash of luxury.
May not be good all over the place as it easily stains and scratches.. Newer sealers can help but its arbid, your choice of this stone over granite or soap stone. It is though water proof and heat proof. This also cannot be placed without professional help and stains and scratches easily. Repairs maybe difficult.
4. Quartz (Engineered Stone)
This counter top material which is known as “quartz” is actually an engineered stone product which may contain about 93 percent quartz particles and other minerals. This is then shaped into slabs and bound together with resins. Its not the same as natural quarried quartz stone.
It is available in a larger range of colors than probably granite and its surface is nonporous which is mostly resistant to scratching and staining. Some might pass for marble with veins showing. It does not require any sealing being non- porous.
Similar technology is now vigorously being used in so-called glass counter tops, which consists of small particles of recycled glass which is then blended with resins and later is shaped into counter top slabs. It can be installed by yourself. Though it is quite expensive.
5. Solid-Surface Material
Solid-surface material, is a man-made material which is made up of a blend of acrylic particles and resins that are pressed carefully into sheets and other shapes. These materials have been there for around 50 years.
It is not very expensive and is good if you have loads of counter top space which you need to enable with good durable stone if your budget does not allow the above mentioned stones. It is available in many colors and patterns. The joints will not be visible. It also does not stain easily. But is not very heat proof and cannot be installed without professional help.
6. Ceramic Tile
Ceramic tile is a very durable material and affords easy cleaning. It is much less expensive than natural stone, quartz, or solid-surface counter tops, and can be handled by DIYers who are wanting to do things their own way.
There have been many new innovations in porcelain tiles and these offer many more options in designing. This includes tiles that look like wood or marble and then can be made to look like leather or even cork. An enormous range of colors and styles are available. These are also not too bothered by hot pans. Some mishaps that can happen are stains which are not very easy to clean. Custom made tiles can be expensive. The finish is not as grand as with granite or marble.
These are plastic coated synthetic material with smooth, easy to clean surfaces. Laminate sheets are tightly bound to a particle board core. They have become recently very popular because they are available in myriad colors , styles and patterns. These are popular in retro designs to give a historic feel. They are easy to maintain, much cheaper and DIY installation is possible. But if they get damaged they are not easy to repair and seams are visible. So consider…
8. Wood or Butcher Block
These offer a very warm, happy, lively feel and have an appealing ancientness attached to them. They can be bright and in many colors. They give a country look, easy to clean, can be sanded and resealed and long lasting if cared for, well.But can be damaged by water and stain as time goes by. The surface can get scratched by knives as you chop along.Oiling and sealing is important and it is a bit expensive.
9. Stainless Steel
It is heat resistant, durable and a seamless counter top. Not liable to be damaged by heat, easy to clean and adds a classy and efficient feel but if scratched the marks are difficult to remove. It is not a good chopping surface.. It also can be noisy.
It can be constructed right inside your kitchen with the family looking with giggly eyes. It creates a highly polished slab. It can be textured or stained with acid to create many color variations.It is resistant to heat and scratching. It provides a special and different kind of look. Many designs, textures and colors are available. Its custom made so the cost is quite high. DIY is not possible.It can crack over time. It gives an industrial look and is porous. It needs regular sealing.
So this was an exhaustive list with clear indications of pros and cons. Do go through it at your leisure if you are on top of the counter-top now, in your life….