If you are thinking about redoing your kitchen, the issue of countertops has definitely come up. Today’s homeowner has more options than ever before when it comes to materials. While everyone seems to have their own opinion about what looks best, it’s important to keep functionality in mind and think hard about what you will be doing on your brand new countertops. Each different material has its own strengths and drawbacks that must be considered. Here at Simple Home Quotes, we have pulled together a list of the common materials used in countertops to give you a better idea of what would work best in your kitchen.
Marble has long been considered one of the finest materials for a countertop. Its natural grain patterns and beautiful color are a real draw. Unfortunately, marble is porous and has some drawbacks that must be considered. It is softer than many other natural stone options and is therefore more susceptible to scratches. It also needs to be resealed periodically which can mean more cost for upkeep. It can also be prone to staining, especially if you have a light or white colored piece of stone.
Granite is the top choice for many homeowners and builders. It is a very hard stone that is basically scratch, heat and stain resistant. It has been known to chip on the edges if you aren’t careful and also benefits from being resealed every once in a while. It is also an expensive option since it is a natural material, like marble, that must be mined and then processed.
Countertops made of engineered stone, typically quartz have really taken off recently. Available in an almost infinite array of colors, these countertops share many of the same characteristics of granite but are in many cases more durable and require less maintenance. They generally a bit more inexpensive when compared to granite as well.
Concrete has also greatly increased in popularity recently. Since it is formed custom for every kitchen, quality can vary depending on your installer and the materials they use. When done right, it gives a clean, modern look but can develop hairline cracks and chips. Like other stone options, it needs to be sealed and can develop stains.
Laminate was the standard in houses across America for years. This option, generally made of Formica, can be made in any color or pattern and is very resilient. It is usually the most inexpensive countertop option by some margin. Many people consider HGTV to have been its downfall. Once everyone saw beautiful new countertops in all the houses they were seeing on TV, demand shifted quickly. Laminate countertops can also chip and become de laminated with time and moisture which is typically not worth repairing and is generally just replaced with one of the options above.