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Countertops get banged up with constant use. If you are looking to replace your kitchen countertops. Or, if you are building a new kitchen and want to choose a kitchen countertop that will last. You may not know where to begin.
Choosing a new kitchen countertop doesn’t have to be tricky. Consider your price range. Think about your kitchen aesthetics. Weigh the durability and maintenance of each type. Then, choose a countertop material to meet your standards.
Read on to find out the pros and cons of each type of kitchen countertop as you work through this big decision.
The first step in choosing the right kitchen countertop is to consider your price range. Countertops can get expensive. There are some materials that will cost much more than others.
Still, even as you think of your price range, you may want to consider how long the material will last. Even if a countertop material has a cheaper price tag, you want to get your money’s worth.
Cheaper isn’t always better. If you have to replace the cheaper material in a year or two, it will be more expensive in the long run.
On the other side, expensive doesn’t always equal better. Sometimes the material is more expensive because it is harder to manufacture. Sometimes style trends or transportation drive the prices of countertop materials.
You need to consider what you can afford, how long that investment will last, and whether you like it.
If you are replacing your kitchen countertops, it is important to think about your style. What look do you want in your kitchen?
Certain materials lend themselves to certain styles. Some kitchen countertop materials are timeless or work with several styles.
For example, marble countertops are classic. They usually stay in style and work with many different aesthetics.
Butcher blocks have become a popular material for kitchen countertops in recent years. This material generally goes along with a more rustic or farmhouse aesthetic.
Whatever your aesthetic, there is a material for your kitchen countertops that will tie in with your style.
The material you choose for your kitchen countertop is not only about cost and style. You need to select a material that will be strong and take the kind of wear and tear your family brings.
If your family is particularly rough on countertops, you may want a stronger material. Whether a countertop shows scuffs and bumps is important to think about.
Another thing to consider is whether it takes a lot of work to clean and maintain the appearance. Some materials need regular maintenance or show fingerprints.
These are factors to consider before choosing a kitchen countertop.
Now, let’s go through the main kitchen countertop materials you can choose from. Let’s parcel out the pros and cons of each and what styles they pair well with.
Marble kitchen countertops have a reputation for adding a sense of luxury to your space.
You can get marble with deep veining or a more natural feel. It comes in a variety of colors from black to white to orange to green. So, there is a color and pattern for every style.
Marble is a durable, long-lasting material. It withstands heat, cracking, and chipping. Yet, it does stain more easily. Marble also tends to show scratches.
Adding marble countertops can increase the value of your home, but it is expensive. For maintenance, you need to use a sealer like this one to keep the countertops in peak condition.
You also need a stone-specific cleaner for wiping down these kitchen countertops.
Wood can be a sustainable and interesting kitchen countertop material. You can get a variety of types of wood countertops. These can be darker or lighter in color, based on your tastes.
Most of the wood used for these kitchen countertops is maple, ash, teak, oak, or bamboo. This durable material lasts for years and provides a nice warmth to your kitchen.
Butcher block countertops are wood, so they are a more environmentally friendly choice. They also look great with rustic and farmhouse decor. They are mid-range in price.
This material pairs well with earthy tones like green. You can also install a farmhouse-style deep ceramic sink with an apron to complete the look.
Yet, wood countertops do sustain burns and scratches. They are also susceptible to holding onto bacteria.
You need to use a butcher block conditioner to maintain their appearance.
This wood option is a great choice for kitchen countertops.
A more affordable kitchen countertop material is laminate. Laminate contains particle board, resin, and plastic. It has patterned paper on top. This is heat pressed together.
Since it is completely man-made, this kitchen countertop comes in a variety of colors. You can get any style to match your kitchen aesthetic.
Laminate is usually the default countertop material in many homes. It is easy for someone who plans to DIY the project to install it themselves.
Although this is a cheaper, stain-resistant option. It does have some downsides. Laminate peels and scratches. So, it does not last as long as stone or wood.
This material is also prone to scorching. If you sit a hot pan on the top of laminate, you could have a disaster on your hands. If you decide to go with this option, don’t forget to have plenty of trivets such as these on hand.
There are many perks to having a laminate kitchen countertop.
There are several other stone kitchen countertops you can install. These range in options that are inexpensive to costly. They have many different styles and designs to meet every aesthetic.
Engineered Stone Quartz: This kitchen countertop material has about 90% quartz particles and 10% other. Engineered Stone Quartz is a strong, durable material available in many colors and styles. It has the appearance of pricier stones without the higher cost.
It is easy to clean and resistant to bacteria build-up. Yet, it is susceptible to heat and may melt. It also shows scratches and can fade in sunlight.
Granite: This is a naturally occurring rock. It comes in many eye-catching colors such as blue, beige, and black. You can match most aesthetics with this variety. Granite takes high heat well and is scratch resistant.
You do have to seal granite in the same way you do marble yearly. This is also an expensive and heavy material to install. This kitchen countertop is not recommended for DIYers.
Soapstone: This naturally occurring rock has a soft surface. It is strong, but it is prone to scratches and dents. This kitchen countertop comes in several shades of gray, so it goes well with more neutral palettes. It can withstand high heat.
You do have to apply mineral oil to the surface every month for the first year of installation. This helps it to develop a patina. The unique patina of soapstone kitchen countertops can make it look antique.
The soapstone material pairs well with a shabby chic look.
This style of kitchen countertop is usually more popular in the bathroom. Still, ceramic tile kitchen countertops are perfect for a retro ’90s appeal.
They are pretty inexpensive to install. You take a concrete base and apply the tiles down with grout. Most DIYers could complete this project.
The tile is strong, heat-resistant, and durable. You can customize your colors and styles to match your kitchen themes.
Yet, the grout in ceramic tile can become bothersome. When you cut or try to work on the surface of this kitchen countertop, the tiles may be uneven. The grout can become stained and hard to clean.
Still, there are some great grout cleaners on the market if you choose this option. It is a fun, interesting look that you can cater to your personal style.
A unique kitchen countertop material you could try is concrete. You can have these countertops custom molded inside your kitchen. You can add different textures and even tint your concrete.
This kitchen countertop has a higher price, but it is heat-resistant and long-lasting. Concrete does not scratch, but overtightening screws and faucets can cause cracks.
Concrete also can develop bacteria and be harder to clean due to its porous nature.
You do have to seal concrete kitchen countertops as you do stone.
When choosing kitchen countertops for your home, you want to consider a few things. Think about your budget. Some of the materials we discussed can get costly, especially with labor added in.
Decide what your kitchen aesthetic is. This should be the fun part. Then, pick a durable material by weighing the pros and cons.
Whatever you choose, this is an exciting adventure that will end with your dream kitchen.
If you’re looking to invest in a full kitchen upgrade, be sure to check out the 11 Best Kitchen Cabinet Colors for Your Home.