Picking a counter is no easy task. It is one of the essential visible elements to your kitchen, but at the same, it’s also the one that will be the most stressful to chose. So what about the kitchen countertop materials? We want to ease you into the process.
Let’s introduce the three major types of kitchen countertop materials:
- Wood (includes laminated and solid wood)
- Stone (groups all natural stones, such as granite, marble; as well as all composite materials such as ceramic tiles)
- Glass (usually tempered glass, making it more resistant)
Laminated and solid wood are fairly similar materials. The laminated kind is a panel-based Kraft paper stacked over a sheet of decorative paper. This design makes it a little cheap, but it can be broken down into a variety of interesting patterns/decorations (wood, metal, stone, etc…). Due to its composition, it is very easy to maintain. You should know that its heat resistance will depend on its design and initial conception.
Because of the accessibility and aesthetic possibilities attached to it, laminated wood is the preferred material of kitchen aficionados.
On the other hand, solid wood is made with a blend of laminated wood. The wide variety of species allow anyone to craft their own kitchen counter according their style. It should be noted that solid wood counters do need a regular maintenance schedule.
Natural stones, like marble or granite, have all similar characteristics. For one thing, these materials are very resistant to stains, acids and heat. Granite will usually be offered in specific, mostly traditional colors. Other stones, such as X, can be done in a wider variety. Quartz is a mixture of different minerals/resin, giving it a more solid aspect. Finally, never underestimate ceramic tiles. They are usually the most reliable of kitchen countertop materials. They will easily resist to scratches, stains, and heat. Watch out for cracks however if you end up dropping something at an angle.
Glass is a material that can bring brightness, and modernity to your kitchen. It needs to be chosen for a very specific purpose, as it usually offers a very stark decorative choice. It can be available in an array of colors. Although resistance to heat, the tempered glass needs to be treated carefully as it remains fragile. Scratches are bound to happen in a busy kitchen.
As you can see, the choice of kitchen countertop material is clearly dependent on how you are going to use it. Not only that, but the decor, color scheme and overall look of the kitchen is of tremendous important.
Don’t hesitate to use a comparative table of the materials to make your decision on which one to pick.
There’s always the option of mixing the materials. For example, you can integrate a ceramic-tile counter with a solid wood extension (that doubles as a table).
What is your preferred countertop material?