In choosing a countertop material for your kitchen, it’s important to remember that there are a few different factors that should go into your decision-making – not just looks! A kitchen countertop will see more functional use than, say, a bathroom, so durability and maintenance considerations will have to be accounted for. Luckily, there is a wide range of options for any taste or budget and RJS Stonetops will layout a few ground rules below.
Granite is one of the most common and popular choices in stone materials, and is available in a wide variety of colors, finishes and styles to match almost any dream countertop. The cost of granite is dependent on its appearance, finish or origin, giving you even more options to choose from; granite in all its forms, however, tends to be very durable.
There are other natural stone materials for countertops, namely soapstone, marble and limestone. They are slightly more delicate than granite and require more careful cleaning and use, as well as periodic sealing. Take a look at your own kitchen usage to see what level of durability your countertop will require.
For a stone countertop that’s a little heavier-duty, you may want to go with an engineered stone option. These are both durable, easy to clean and available in an array of colors and finishes, although they do fall into generally the same price range as granite.
Another choice is a concrete countertop, also available in plenty of pigments and finishes. Concrete does require maintenance (waxing and frequent sealing every year) and is vulnerable to abrupt changes in temperature or moisture, such as spills or dampness.
Solid surface countertops are highly stain and scratch resistant, the latter being easily buffed out. They’re seamless and come in a wide variety of colors, but can be damaged by heat such as hot pans.
Wood is a classic and attractive option, and easier to clean than one might think. However, water can damage a wood countertop, so it’s important to seal it frequently to prevent this from happening.
Laminate, the most affordable material on this list, also comes in a variety of designs and colors. Unfortunately, it’s also vulnerable to heat damage, among other types such as scratching. It’s worth it to shop around to find the most scratch-proof laminate available, as the technology does exist!
If you can’t pick just one, try mixing and matching materials – for example, different materials on an island than the rest, or even using insets of different material to correspond to different tasks or areas. Another option for customization is using decorative edges instead of the standard square: it may be pricier, but can add a distinctive look to your countertops.
Try to get an idea of what your dream countertop will look like before you commit to any one option, whether it be a showroom display or just viewing samples on your own. You can view our extension photo gallery here or visit our showroom where a specialist would be happy to assist you.