Kitchen Countertops: Ideas and tips
Friday, November 13, 2015
Granite, Quartz, Laminate, & More
“What do most people use for kitchen countertops these days?” That’s a common question we hear from homeowners who are inundated with kitchen countertop ideas on HGTV and in magazines. Despite the dizzying array of material choices, granite countertops are still far and away the most popular choice…
Countertop Materials: Homeowners have an abundance of kitchen countertop materials to choose from in two essential categories: Natural and engineered surfaces.
Natural countertops include granite, marble, limestone, travertine, slate, wood, soapstone, onyx, and any other sufficiently hard material found “as is” in nature and cut into slabs or tiles.
Engineered surfaces include any countertop that is heavily processed or “man made” from raw materials. These include engineered quartz (which is ground-up quartz mixed with resin), plastic laminate (like Formica), solid surface acrylic (like Corian), ceramic tile, stainless steel, copper, glass, concrete, terrazzo, and even recycled paper. Inside some of these categories are thousands of sub-choices that can boggle the mind. But there is no need to be intimidated…
Back to Reality: If the plethora of kitchen countertop options is overwhelming to you, stop right here. While it’s interesting to know what is available, the majority of clients stick with tried and true granite countertops, which are available in hundreds of colors. Engineered quartz is also a great everyday choice.
Mixing and matching kitchen countertops is one way to be adventurous without committing the entire kitchen to one material. For example, some people choose to put a different granite color on the island in order to set it off visually from the rest of the kitchen, while others may want a kitchen desk with a carbonized bamboo countertop. Talented cooks may wish to cordon off a section of their countertop with a block of marble for rolling dough and a butcher block countertop for chopping food.
Practical Issues: Keep in mind that some alternative surfaces are less durable than granite countertops and may show wear rather quickly. Caring for your counters will be a consideration, as will food safety and stain resistance.