Kitchen: Countertops

Modern white kitchen clean interior design deco architectureThere are many countertops to choose from for a kitchen. Each type of countertop has its own strengths and weaknesses and therefore careful consideration must be made when selecting a new one.

Types of Countertops

Granite countertops are a popular choice when building or renovating a kitchen. This stone countertop is elegant and sophisticated in its own beauty. Granite is durable, can sustain heat well and can last a lifetime.  It is also available is a myriad of colors and patterns to suit any kitchen. Keep in mind that granite is porous and therefore can absorb and harbor bacteria so special cleaning and maintenance is required.

Laminate countertops are the standard type of countertop. It’s plastic-coated with a smooth-surface which is easy to clean. Typically the laminate is cut to the required size and then finished on the edges. Unfortunately, scratches and chips are nearly impossible to repair.

Solid surfaces such as Avonite, Corian and Swanstone are becoming popular choices in kitchen. These solid surfaces allow scratches to be sanded out and are stain- resistant. These countertops come in a wide selection of colors and patterns. A drawback of these countertops is that they are not heat-resistant and therefore hot pans cannot be placed on the surface.

Ceramic tile is a much less popular choice for kitchen countertops but it is a choice to consider. Ceramic tile is durable and is an easy do-it-yourself project. It is heat resistant and is available in many styles and colors. Unfortunately tiles do not last a lifetime and are prone to chipping or cracking. Another consideration is the grout surrounding the tiles – it can be very hard to keep this clean as it is not stain-resistant.

Quartz countertops are becoming a popular choice in kitchens. It’s available in an assortment of colors and is scratch-resistant. This engineered stone has a non-porous surface so it does not absorb bacteria, unlike granite. As it is stain-resistant and requires virtually no maintenance, it is a very good choice for kitchens.

Current Trends in Countertops

One current trend in countertops is the thickness of the countertop. Countertops nowadays are about 2 inches or just over 2 inches thick, compared to previous styles of just over an inch thick.  As this thickness makes the countertop more expensive, some people choose only to use the thicker top on the island or breakfast bar. These thicker countertops are typically stone, with granite being the top preference. For cheaper options, laminate countertops have recently become more natural-looking in appearance and can have more stylish details, making it a popular choice for those with budget constraints.

Pricing of Countertops

While there are plenty of types of kitchen countertops to choose from, they all vary significantly in price. Granite and quartz are the more expensive of the popular countertop choices. However, both of these types add great value to a kitchen so the investment is definitely not lost. As well, these countertops typically will last a lifetime. Ceramics can be a cheap do-it-yourself project however if bringing in a contractor to do the work, the cost rises dramatically.  Laminate remains the cheapest option of all and is perfect for those who change the style in their kitchen regularly.

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