Choosing the Right Kitchen Countertop

Finding the perfect kitchen surface doesn’t need to be hard. The trick is to not be tempted into choosing a countertop solely based on its appearance. Cost, durability and maintenance also need to be taken into consideration during your kitchen’s remodel.

Think about your lifestyle and what you’re most likely to be doing in the kitchen on a daily basis in order to help choose the right surface. If you are looking to achieve a certain look but find yourself restrained by your budget, the chances are that there’s another material which suits both your lifestyle and pocket. Check the pros and cons of each material before making your decision.

Granite

Granite is available in a range of shades, including black, white, greens, corals and beiges. It’s worth remembering that no two pieces are the same and variation in the pattern is common. Most people find that these variations add to the appeal, though it makes matching difficult. Granite with a polished finish has a shiny yet darkened appearance which delivers a high end look and offers a durable prep surface. In comparison, honed granite is soft and matt. You’ll find that it’s resistant to scratching, chipping, cracking and heat, making honed granite one of the most durable worktops available.

Granite requires considerable care and you must remember to wipe up stains quickly. Annual sealing of the surface is recommended. The cost of granite depends on colour, finish and the origin of the stone.

Marble

Marble is hugely popular due to its pleasing aesthetics and ability to disguise wear and hide light stains. If you’re looking for a countertop with timeless appeal, marble could be just what you’re looking for. As marble is porous, staining can be a problem. This is why regular sealing and special care is important as it keeps the marble looking its best.

Quartz

If you’re in search of an almost maintenance-free kitchen surface, quartz is stain, acid, scratch, heat and impact resistant. Furthermore, due to its non-porous surface, quartz has no need to be sealed. Available in a wide range of colours and patterns, quartz is close to granite in popularity.

Engineered Stone

Close in cost to granite, engineered stone is attainable in a wider variety of colours and is highly durable, making it easy to maintain.

Glass

Achieving a sleek, streamlined appearance is simple with glass. Panes can be can be cut to any shape and texture and offer endless colour options. Though pricey, glass is contemporary and easy to clean.

Thanks to a non-porous surface, glass is durable, stain resistant and also one of the most hygienic options on the market. We advise choosing glass which is at least 1 inch thick and tempered to ensure durability.

Concrete

Concrete is extremely versatile and can be cast to any shape or be custom tinted to achieve any shade you desire. You can also choose from several finishes, including trowel (soft), ground (sanded to expose the sand aggregate) or pressed (reveals marble-like graining).

Concrete mixes well with other materials such as glass, tile and marble which can give you the opportunity to add interesting and unique inlays. Kitchen surfaces made of concrete can withstand heavy use however they aren’t as heat resistant as other surfaces. Extreme changes in temperature can cause concrete to warp and damp sponges can cause discolouration. Make sure you seal the surface up to four times a year and wax with a past every 2/3 months to prevent spills from etching the surface.

Stainless Steel

Commonly found in commercial and modern kitchens, stainless steel is almost indestructible; worktops are custom-made to fit your kitchen and will coordinate with any colour. The wipe clean surface is the most hygienic available as it makes preventing bacterial build-up simple. In order to maintain the distinctive look, fingerprints should be wiped off frequently and care must be taken to avoid dents in the surface.

Wood

Wood has a classic, warming appeal which is synonymous with the cottage look. Decorative and functional, variegated wooden surfaces are ideal for food prep and even chopping meat but only when properly sealed.

Homeowners appreciate that wood is easy to clean, heat resistant and any scratches can be sanded out; however water is notorious for damaging wooden surfaces. Wood harbours bacteria and requires disinfecting regularly. The surface needs oiling frequently to seal it effectively.

Laminate

The most affordable option, laminate is stocked in a wide range of colours and designs which resemble natural wood, stone or even quartz and available at a fraction of the cost. Be careful, as laminate scorches at the touch of a hot pan and can be easily scratched, however, in recent years, laminate is becoming more scratch resistant.

If you would like to discuss countertops in more detail, get in touch with a member of the team at S Simpson Joinery today.