There are more countertop materials available now than ever before. With so many options, it can be tempting to simply choose one based on looks alone. However, there’s a lot more to consider than just aesthetics. Homeowners are wise to assess how they use a kitchen before deciding on any countertop material. What works for a single business person who is rarely home can be dramatically different than what’s needed for a busy family with kids.
Granite still remains the top choice in countertops. With a wide variety of shades and variations, and two finishes (polished and honed), this surface offers infinite possibilities. Costs can range from very affordable to expensive depending on the color, finish, and origin of the stone.
The benefits of granite are substantial. This surface is strong, durable, and resistant to scratching and staining. It also provides a bacteria-resistant surface that is easy to clean. There are few downsides to granite other than it does need periodic sealing to prevent staining.
Other Natural Stone Materials
Granite is not the only stone in town! Marble, limestone, and soapstone are also popular choices. They all offer a high-end look that is often chosen for top kitchen remodels in Orange County. Because these surfaces are softer than granite and require regular care to maintain their appearance, they are typically not recommended for homeowners who want a low-maintenance, high durability surface.
Engineered stone products such as Silestone, Cambria, and Caesarstone offer both durability and a wide variety of patterns and colors. These products are often priced higher than granite. Because they are engineered, it’s much easier to get additional slabs or replacements that will match exactly to existing countertops. Like with granite, they are stain and bacteria-resistant.
Concrete countertops are gaining in popularity – especially in contemporary homes. They are available in three finishes: trowel (smooth), ground (sanded to expose the sand aggregate), and pressed (to reveal marble-like veining). While concrete can enhance a sleek, modern kitchen design, it isn’t always the best choice for busy families because it requires special care.
Extreme or abrupt changes in temperature can cause concrete counters to warp, curl, or crack. Even wet towels or damp sponges left on concrete can cause discoloration. As well, acidic foods can damage the surface. To keep them looking their best, this type of countertop needs to be sealed up to four times per year and waxed every two to three months.
Butcher block and other wood countertops can give a kitchen a warm, country-like feeling. They are also easy to clean and scratches can be sanded out. Water is the biggest problem for this type of countertop. Frequent oiling and sealing can help prevent warping and cracking.
This is the most inexpensive of countertop options, and it offers great versatility in terms of colors and designs. However, it can be easily damaged by hot pans placed on the surface or scratched by knives. It also isn’t considered a desirable countertop surface by homebuyers and can potentially affect the resale value of your home.
Square edges have long been standard for kitchen countertops, but decorative edges like radius, bullnose, bevel, egg, and ogee can add a more customized look. To maximize the look of any countertop material you choose, work with a design expert to choose a coordinating backsplash.
Not sure what type of countertop material you like the most? You may want to consider the latest trend in mixing and matching surfaces. Choosing one material for a kitchen island and another one for the rest of the countertops can be visually interesting. Another popular option is to install countertops for specific tasks. For example, butcher block can be used where you chop. Are you a baker? A marble slab can be the perfect place for kneading bread dough, rolling out pizza crust, and making cookies.
If you’re in the market for countertops, take the time to consider how you’ll use the kitchen, as well as what you want it to look like. Want more information? Contact the expert team at Sea Pointe Construction today.