Renovating your kitchen is something that takes quite a bit of planning. You have the cabinets to take care of, the hardware, the floors – but perhaps the countertop is the most difficult choice to make. After all, those countertops will have to handle every spill, every accidental chop or scratch. Many people don’t even use a cutting board; they cut on the countertop directly. With all that abuse in mind, what are the types of countertops that you can choose from? What are their qualities? This article should help you make your choice.
1. Granite Countertops
Granite countertops are the most popular among high-end products, due to their elegant texture. They aren’t cheap, but they are usually very durable and versatile. However, due to the grainy nature of granite, these countertops will also require a certain degree of maintenance. They are typically resistant to scratches and heat, but if they aren’t sealed properly, the granite’s porous nature may lead to staining.
2. Quartz Countertops
Often referred to as engineered stone, quartz is a great alternative if you are looking for a variety of patterns, colors, finishes, and textures. It is very durable, and since it is not porous, it’s not prone to staining. Also, it is low maintenance, as you won’t have to regularly re-seal it (like you would with stone). These types of countertops are quite expensive, but the price is worth it when you consider the quality and durability that they offer.
3. Laminate Countertops
If you are looking for something on a budget, then you might want to consider laminate countertops. Often referred to as plastic laminate, these countertops are (you guessed) made of plastic. These surfaces are heavily pressed and bonded, which makes them quite durable. In fact, they also come in a variety of patterns and are made to resemble fancy surfaces such as granite or marble. Still, since it is made of plastic, after all, you can’t expect it to be as durable as the “original”.
4. Concrete Countertops
Are you looking for a durable type of countertop? Well, you can’t go any stronger than concrete. Due to the strength of this material, it’s not as easy to chip as quartz might be. Plus, due to its nature, you may have it shaped however you like. Choose the right pigments or customize it with the right embellishments, and you’ll have a unique concrete countertops that you cannot find anywhere else.
5. Recycled Glass
If you want to go green, then you could opt for recycled class. Featuring up to 90% recycled glass, with the rest of it being formed of a cement binder, these countertops are the eco-friendly alternative to your average countertops. Plus, since they are not porous, they reject stains and are very easy to clean. Their only issue is that you have to be careful when you are installing them, as they can crack if you put them through a stress point.
6. Marble Countertops
Marble is a great addition to every kitchen, as each piece has its own pattern. You won’t find two marble countertops that look the same. They are rich in color and veining, and they fit a variety of kitchen styles going from traditional to modern. Even though it is quite expensive and has a relatively porous nature, this material is very resistant and offers impressive durability.
7. Resin Countertops
Resin countertops have become quite popular nowadays, due to the fact that they are highly customizable. You may color the resin, pour it over surfaces, and get whichever effect you want with it. Many people create their own pieces of art, and then “immortalize” it using resin. With its semi-translucent effect, you may even add flowers to the countertops, and they will still look pretty. Plus, the flowers will never wither. This type of countertop may be prone to scratches, but its beauty effect is superior if the right artist makes it.
The Bottom Line
Countertops come in many types – and more of them are being developed continuously. Ideally, you should choose one that is resistant to scratches and heat, since that’s what it has to deal with every day.