One of our favorite parts of working with clients on a kitchen remodel is getting to select the countertop material. Growing up everyone we knew had laminate countertops in solid colors, if you were lucky enough to have white or ivory, your kitchen looked pretty "rad." But for the unfortunate few of us who grew up with olive, orange, or golden yellow (shout out to all of you 70's and 80's babies) you know how quickly those kitchens felt dated. These days there are so many options from natural stone to man made products, to fit every budget. We want to give you a simple run-down of our favorites, and some budget friendly options that will make your kitchen feel oh-so cool!
Still the top choice of most homeowners is traditional granite countertops. They offer a high-end look that adds to your kitchen's value but also gives you a pretty durable surface. Granite is a natural stone that is quite rough and textured, but when it is ground and polished during the countertop manufacturing process, it takes on a smooth surface. The variations throughout the stone are considered desirable since they give the slab character and differentiate it from others. So, it is important to select slabs quarried from the same stone to ensure that the color and amount of veining are similar.
Granite requires a bit more care to keep its good looks, you should wipe up all stains quickly: especially oils, wine, acids and soda, and follow a regular sealing routine about once a year. Granite is on the pricier side, but the granite countertops you select might be the last countertops your home will ever need.
One of the toughest countertop materials available is quartz. Quartz countertops differ from granite and marble countertops in one significant way: quartz is an engineered product while the other two are solid stone. Engineered quartz countertops are stain, acid, scratch, heat and impact resistant and, thanks to their non-porous surface, and don't need to be sealed like natural stone countertops. (Parents rejoice!) Quartz is available in a wide range of colors and patterns, from white to black with a spectrum in between of creams, browns and grays. It's the perfect family-friendly countertop.
By far the most budget-friendly option, laminate countertops are enjoying a resurgence in popularity thanks to new patterns that resemble natural stone, wood or even quartz at a fraction of the cost. Laminate countertops contain a hard particle board core with layers of plastic laminate bonded over the top of it. These are note the same counters we grew up with! The plastic laminate is tough and fairly durable, but they can be more easily scratched than most surfaces so it is best to do any cutting in the kitchen on a cutting board. Laminate is not as heat resistant as other surfaces so hot pans should not be placed on laminate countertops.
Concrete countertops are one of the newest types of kitchen countertops offered. New innovations in the way concrete is formulated means that modern concrete countertops are relatively light and can be produced in an array of colors, so they are highly customizable. You can choose any stain color and texture. Concrete is also energy efficient, when the temperature in your home rises, concrete captures the heat and releases it when the temperature cools down.
They are very durable and hard, and not easily chipped. Concrete requires a level of maintenance about the same as a granite countertop would, they need to be sealed regularly in order to make the surfaces easier to clean.
Sturdy acrylics are used to produce solid surface countertops. They have quickly become a popular choice for many homes, offering the advantages of laminate countertops but with greater quality and without the main disadvantages. They are very hard,durable countertops. Solid Surface countertops are available in hundreds of different colors as well as many patterns. Many of the looks are patterned after more expensive materials like granite, stone or quartz countertops. Because of the variety, these countertops can be used in virtually any style of kitchen modern or traditional.