Countertops are the focal point of your kitchen, and can anchor the style of your home. Arguably one of the most used rooms in the house, the kitchen is on the front lines of a family’s daily routine. A good countertop should be stylish but practical for the lifestyle of the homeowner. With so many trends to choose from, let’s take a look at the style, cost, and upkeep of the most popular choices.
One low cost and trendy option is butcher block countertops. Not only will this cost you less up front, but a wood counter will add warmth and an organic style to any space. This light alternative may be ideal for some food preparation but poses some challenges in upkeep. A wood surface is porous, not heat resistant or waterproof, and prone to staining and cracking. Many of these drawbacks can be mitigated with proper care such as oiling and refinishing, but butcher counters may not be ideal for every lifestyle. If you still love the style, we recommend committing to proper care and using wood as the counter on an island or limited space and incorporating more hearty countertops elsewhere.
Another option that is making appearances in modern homes is concrete. Not only can this be a less expensive alternative, but concrete can be pre-made or custom poured in your actual home. This material makes an industrial statement with its bold yet minimal design. It’s important to keep in mind that concrete makes for a heavy counter and is also prone to chip, stain, and fracture, which can be difficult to repair. While the potential fragility can be discouraging, concrete can be sealed to help protect against heat and stains.
Stainless steel offers another surface that can incorporate an industrial feel into your kitchen. This alternative is in many professional kitchens, is heat resistant, and can be an ideal surface to prepare food upon as it is easy to clean. Surprisingly, stainless steel can sometimes be more expensive than some economical stone options .
While prices for marble, granite and quartz counters vary, generally marble costs more on average. Marble offers both a timeless and elegant style and has been used in European kitchens throughout history. While the surface can be scratched or chipped, it is possible to polish out these imperfections. Additionally, sealing the surface protects against stains. As with other stone options, marble is heat resistant which is a luxury in the kitchen.
Granite is the most popular choice for home kitchens. It can stand up against, heat, knives, spills and any other catastrophe a kitchen should undertake. Granite does needs to be sealed to prevent staining and also is known to chip at corners though rounded edges reduces this risk. This popular classic offers a unique natural pattern in every slab and comes in a variety of styles contributing to its popularity in America’s kitchens.
Quartz is another stone option but is technically considered an “engineered stone” created from stone chips bonded with resin. Quartz is similar to granite in its ability to survive daily abuse from cooking with rounded edges helping to guard against chipping. This man-made material has diverse patterns all mimicking stone.
With so many options to choose from, its important to consider both style, intended use and your commitment to upkeep as you design your home kitchen. Under the right contexts, all of these materials have pros and offer a unique feel to your custom space.