Ahh, kitchen counters, while installing a new kitchen or remodeling your present kitchen, countertops are more important than one thinks. Kitchen counters see much more messes and mishaps then you could ever imagine. They need to be strong and durable to stand the test of time. While choosing countertops, white looks pretty and is a stylish color to use in the kitchen. One wants to be sure to choose wisely when it comes to the material of their kitchen counters.
Choosing Countertops that look Beautiful & Durable
Kitchen counters see food spills over and over again. They can be easily stained if not made out of top quality materials such as marble or quartz. Furthermore, a good idea for those who are determined to have their pure white kitchen counters is to have them laminated. It ensures an easy cleanup that will ensure your kitchen counters will stay beautiful for years to come.
Designing a kitchen with the kitchen counters that you want is easier than you think. There are numerous materials that can be used in your kitchen that will withstand the continuous onset of messes and spills.
Every Detail Counts While Choosing Countertops
Finally, one thing to remember about kitchen counters when designing your kitchen is that they stand out and can make or break the area. A kitchen counter poorly matched with the rest of the design and style will stick out like a sore thumb and could potentially dampen your remodeling project. The key to remodeling your kitchen or designing your home is to take your time in choosing the materials, even down to the knobs on cabinets or the color of the construction of the backsplash. Every detail counts.
Choosing the right countertop is one of the more pleasurable aspects of building a kitchen or a kitchen remodel. There are so many countertops and countertop materials to choose from that it can seem paralyzing, especially for a homeowner who’s decided they’re going to base the overall look of their kitchen, from the cabinets to the stove, fridge and wall color, on the color and texture of their countertop. It’s always good idea to have the kitchen decor in mind before visiting the stone mason or the big box store.
Some kitchen countertop materials are:
Granite is a tough, deeply beautiful volcanic rock. Granite countertops can come in the salt and pepper pattern familiar to most people, but they can also be violet, blue, white, black, red, brown or green. The stone is admittedly pricey, but not prohibitively so.
Marble was formed out of limestone over many eons of time. It is cool to the touch, which makes it ideal for pastry-making. It is much softer than granite and is often placed as an inset in a counter made of a tougher stone. It can come in colors from pure white to deepest black, and is prized for its veins, mottling and ability to hold light.
Soapstone is a dense, inert, non-porous stone but is softer even than marble. It does scratch easily, but scratches are easily repaired. Unlike the other stones, it won’t etch if acids are spilled on it nor discolor when hot pots and pans are put on it.
Slate is famous for fracturing into thin plates that are also used to shingle roofs. Like soapstone, it’s nonporous and doesn’t need be sealed. Slate is famous for its gray or blue-gray color and satiny matte texture.
Cambria, or engineered stone, is powdered stone mixed with resin and pigments. The stone is very often quartz. The resulting mixture can be poured into forms, cured and then installed like natural stone. Its colors and patterns are consistent, but thanks to modern technology they are not so consistent that the slab looks fake. Engineered quartz countertops don’t need sealing, resist stains and scratching and are easy to care for.
One of the great benefits of a solid surface countertop is that the counter and sink can be in one piece. This makes it impossible for the sink to leak or for dirt, grime and bacteria to accumulate beneath the rim. Solid surface is made of acrylic, comes in many colors and patterns and is very easy to clean and maintain.
Like engineered stone, concrete is poured into forms and can be shaped. Concrete can be stained, dyed, stamped and have such pretty items as shells, pebbles or sea glass embedded into it. Concrete kitchen countertops can also be highly polished.
In many municipalities, stainless steel counters are required for a professional kitchen. This countertop material resist staining, acids, heat and best of all, bacteria and pathogens. When kept clean and polished, it has its own industrial 21st century beauty. Like solid surface, a stainless steel counter can be made with an integral sink, and small scratches can be removed with an abrasive pad.
Laminate countertops used to be called Formica. It is made of layers of resin-impregnated kraft paper, is very tough and durable and is very much less expensive than stone countertops. It comes in a profusion of colors, patterns and textures, but only two types of grade. General purpose should only be used for the countertops, but vertical grade can be used for backsplashes. Vertical grade can also be used on the doors of kitchen cabinets.
Nowadays, laminate can be made to resemble wood, natural stone or other materials. Unlike stone countertops, these counters can be installed by the homeowner. The fabricator or a professional must install a stone countertop, or the warranty will be voided.
Ceramic tiles are made out of clay fired at high temperatures. These tiles are very hard, but beautiful and glossy. They are nonporous and don’t need sealing, though if there is grout between the tiles the grout will need to be protected. Having to seal the grout is, in fact, the one drawback of ceramic tile counters or backsplashes.
Some homeowners think that wood can’t be used successfully in a kitchen not just because the heat and humidity might cause the material to warp but because wood is thought to be unhygienic. Neither of these beliefs has to be true. Wood seems to kill bacteria fairly quickly, but a wood surface needs to be oiled fairly regularly to preserve its beauty. Most wood countertops are made, traditionally, of rock maple, which is a dense and strong hardwood.