When you remodel or build a new kitchen or bathroom, one essential element is the countertops. The countertops can even be the primary design cue from which the rest of your decisions are based. So, choosing the perfect material is an important decision. Because there is such a vast selection of countertop materials available these days, it is good to learn some basic properties. A countertop can be made from nearly anything hard and water-resistant, but here are some of the more popular products.
Comparing Popular Countertop Materials
- Stone: Countertops made from natural stone are the most popular these days. But they are also among the most expensive. Natural stone is beautiful, and it comes with bragging rights that it is a natural product. There are many varieties of rock used currently. Marble, quartz, and granite are the big three, but white kitchen soapstone countertops are also gaining popularity. The downside of stone are the natural imperfections, the availability, the cost, and some types of stone are prone to staining. Manufactured stone is also an option; it is nearly indistinguishable from natural stone and cost-effective. Manufactured stone is consistent in quality, and the patterns are available for later upgrades, which is not always possible with stone.
- Stainless Steel: Stainless steel makes a different kind of statement in a kitchen, and it speaks of professionalism and high standards. Chefs and foodies love a stainless counter; it allows you to forget about being careful and lets you cook however you want. But stainless is not beautiful; it is stark and hygienic. So, if you want a cozy kitchen look, this isn’t it.
- Butcher Block: Butcher block is making a comeback; it is an original countertop surface used because of its effectiveness, not its look. It was a kind of surface that could take some serious abuse, like cleaver chops all day long. Modern butcher block is not intended to be as roughly used because it is polished and lovely instead. It is the opposite of stainless in character, but it still hits a chord in a foody’s kitchen. It is an easy material to use for custom counters too.
- Concrete: Concrete is an interesting alternative. If you can find a skilled artisan that has perfected the medium, concrete countertops can be beautiful and highly adaptable to unusually shaped areas. Concrete can be colored or finished with patterns and can be every bit as stunning and food safe as stone. You might think that concrete would be a less expensive option, and it can be. But if you are looking for high art. You should be prepared to pay premium prices.
- Epoxy or Acrylic Based: When it comes to epoxy or acrylic counters, there are manufactured options that are ready to use, or you can have custom counters made. Like concrete, the quality of the custom-made versions provides an unlimited variety of patterning, but your results will depend on the craftsman’s skill.
Because the main products used for countertops are all reasonably durable, the most crucial consideration for a countertop material is its appearance. The best thing to do is pick the pattern and color that works for your sense of style.