Our Complete Countertop Guide
Selecting the right countertop can be a daunting task. Designed to last a long time, countertops are one of the main anchor points in a kitchen design an many factors go into choosing a material that is right for you. Not only do you want to select an aesthetically pleasing material, but also it needs to fit well for your family’s needs and budgetary concerns. Our complete guide on kitchen countertops will provide your with some tips on selecting the perfect countertops for your kitchen remodel.
Questions to ask before selecting a countertop material:
There are several different questions to answer before selecting that perfect kitchen countertop. While that exquisite Carrara marble may be your dream, it might not fit well with your needs. Combining the right design with the right purpose will ensure you select the right fit.
1) How will you use the countertops?
Do you have a big family or small children that inevitably spill or make messes all over the counters? If so, perhaps you need a material that is stain-resistant, less porous, and easier to maintain. Quartz or a solid surface countertop could be the right choice for you.
Maybe you cook a lot and need your countertops to withstand continuous use. Then, a stainless steel, commercial grade countertop would work best for your needs.
2) How much maintenance are you willing to put in to your countertops?
Each type of material requires a different level of effort to maintain its integrity and look. Porous materials such as marble or granite require frequent sealing, while butcher block requires yearly oiling along with sanding to remove any scratches or nicks.
If a lower maintenance, higher durability material is needed, consider an engineered quartz or even soapstone. Each of these materials require less maintenance and generally are more durable materials.
Selecting the most realistic level of maintenance you are able to put in is critical – remember countertops are built to last a long time, meaning your maintenance levels will continue each year.
3) What dimensions do you require?
The length of your countertops and the footprint of the kitchen will also an integral part in what material you select.
Some materials, such as soapstone, are cut in smaller lengths. Longer countertops would require multiple pieces of soapstone to cover the entire area causing visible seams.
Additionally, more length equals more cost. Therefore, budgetary concerns come into play. Instead of covering both your countertops and island in expensive marble, consider mixing materials to reduce cost. Use the marble on the counters and a less-expensive butcher block on the island. Not only does this reduce your overall cost but also creates a unique design focal piece.
Whether you are looking for a durable, kid-resistant countertop or the marble counters of your dreams, it is important to weigh the benefits and downfalls of each material before selecting you final piece. Countertops are designed to last for quite a while, so selecting something you are willing to live with for years to come is important. Make sure it matches the needs of your family at the right level of maintenance at a cost you are comfortable with.