Best Choose 3 Options for Kitchen Countertops
It’s a huge decision, choosing a material for your kitchen countertop. Huge both in terms of cost and in their impact on the aesthetics and practical function of your kitchen. Top-end, premium kitchen countertop materials are a significant part of a kitchen remodeling budget. A well-chosen countertop makes your kitchen more useful and easier to maintain, and it can also serve as an important design element of your kitchen.
The range of materials that can be used for kitchen countertops is amazingly diverse, and some materials on the list may be surprising to you. Each material has its advantages and disadvantages, all of which need to be weighed when choosing. The more esoteric materials, such as bamboo, zinc, and stainless steel, may prove to be too expensive and hard to maintain for most people. For most homeowners, the will include materials such as slab granite, engineered stone (quartz), solid surface material, as well as traditional laminates and ceramic tile.
But it’s best to rule nothing out until you learn a little more about each option.
A laminate countertop is formed from a thin layer of plastic laminate material bonded to a core of particleboard or MDF (medium-density fiberboard). Laminates are made by many manufacturers, including Formica and Wilsonart, and hundreds of color and style options exist.
Laminate countertops are one of the most affordable options.
Installation is an easy DIY project when you install pre-fabricated (post-form) countertop sections.
Great variety is possible if you build a countertop from scratch using designer laminates. Thousands of colors and patterns are available.
Laminates are considered inferior by some home buyers; they may be a drawback when you try to sell your home.
Laminates can peel up, chip, and scorch easily.
Laminate countertops can feel hollow and lightweight compared to other materials.
Although once considered the black sheep of the countertop industry, laminates are now available in such diversity that they are making a big comeback. Don’t overlook laminates until you see what is available.
Ceramic tile counters are made from individual clay-based tiles adhered over a cement-board core using thin-set mortar adhesives. For kitchen countertops, grout seams make tile a less-than-ideal countertop material, but newer ceramic and porcelain tiles are available in large sizes (1 x 2 or 2 x 2 feet) that can help minimize the number of seams and make for easier upkeep.
Tile is second only to laminate as an inexpensive countertop material.
Ceramic tile is relatively easy for a DIYer to install.
Modern porcelain types offer diverse design options—porcelain tiles can look like natural wood, real stone, and many other materials.
Grout seams are easily stained and are hard to clean.
Ceramic tile is brittle and prone to cracking. Repair is difficult, requiring full replacement of damaged tiles.
Ceramic tile countertops are a good option for DIYers seeking to save money, and newer porcelain and glass tiles give a much wider range of design options than ever before. But tile in any form requires a lot of maintenance, and the many grout seams can be a headache to keep clean.
Many types of natural stone are popular choices for a kitchen countertop, and of these, the most popular option is a countertop made from a solid slab of granite. Beginning life as a quarried slab of solid natural stone, granite countertops are fabricated to specification and installed by professional crews.
Solid granite slabs make very heavy and durable countertops.
No two pieces of granite are alike, making each countertop entirely unique.
Considered a premium building material, granite countertops tend to improve home real estate values.
No-seam countertops are usually possible.
Granite is a fairly expensive material.
Like many other types of natural stone, granite requires periodic sealing in order to protect it from stains.
Granite is not a DIY-friendly material—it must be installed by pros.
Of the natural stone options, granite slabs are the most popular, and for good reason. Solid granite slabs make very heavy and durable countertops and improve home values. Slabs are a better choice than the other granite options—modular granite and granite tile.