The good news for homeowners getting ready to choose the countertop for their new or remodeled kitchen is that there are so many options available. That’s also the bad news – because so much choice can make the decision-making process even harder.
Fortunately, our design experts can help you make an informed decision. Here are introductory tips on choosing the perfect kitchen countertop for your needs, including a review of the five most popular countertop materials.
At Caruso Kitchens, we recommend a four-step process focused on function, style, material mixing, and budget.
The appropriate type of countertop for you depends in large part on how you’re going to use it. Do you cook often and use a variety of high-end techniques? Do you host dinner parties or feed a family in your kitchen? Do you have children? All of these affect your needs for durability, stain resistance, and maintenance.
What look, feel, texture, and shades do you find appealing? Do you prefer that your countertop feels cool to the touch? How important are vibrant colors? Do you want a seamless appearance? Do you like a thick or thin counter? Be specific and thorough with your kitchen designer.
You’ve narrowed things down to two types of countertops. One material is highly heat resistant, but the other is so much easier to clean. How to choose? Pick both! Depending on kitchen size, style, and functional needs, mixing your materials can be a great design choice. You may decide to pair a quartz-topped counter, for example, with a butcher-block island.
In setting your budget, remember that in addition to the cost of materials, you may have delivery and installation fees, plus any alterations such as custom edge treatments. Having the budget can help break the tie when you’re having trouble making a final decision.
There are many options for countertop materials. Most homeowners find themselves choosing one of these five.
The top choice for many homeowners, granite countertops are highly durable. When properly sealed, granite resists scratching, chipping, staining, heat, chipping, and water. It’s not inexpensive, however, and requires regular maintenance (resealing). Due to weight, granite countertops require sturdy cabinet boxes.
Quartz is nearly as popular as granite and, being engineered stone, can be mixed with pigments to create custom countertop colors and patterns. It is acid, scratch, and impact resistant without any need for sealing. Although heat resistant, quartz is not heatproof. It’s also on the upper end of the cost spectrum.
Concrete countertops are eco-friendly, extremely durable, and highly customizable. Concrete can be tinted in any shade, embedded with textured materials, and cast in any shape. It can also seamlessly integrate sink and backsplash. However, concrete countertops must be sealed periodically to avoid staining and can develop small cracks over time. Because concrete countertops are custom-made, their cost is similar to that of granite and quartz.
Solid surfacing such as DuPont® Corian® is nonporous, durable, and virtually maintenance-free. No sealing or special cleaning is required, and most scratches and burns can be buffed out. There are many color and pattern options. Depending on the type of solid surfacing chosen, the cost can equal the lower price points of granite and quartz.
The most budget-friendly option, laminate is very popular and available in many colors and patterns. It’s heat-resistant, scratch-resistant, and easy to clean. It’s also lightweight, so a thick cabinet base is not required. Because its core is made of particle board, laminate will eventually wear and can warp from exposure to excess moisture. For that reason, it can’t be used with under-mount sinks. If damaged, replacement is usually needed as it is hard to repair.
Caruso Kitchen Designs has been creating award-winning kitchens for Colorado homeowners for three decades. Our skillful designers will put their 150 years of combined experience to work helping you create the kitchen of your dreams. Located in Lakewood, Colorado, we proudly serve Lakewood, Louisville, and the Denver Metro Area. To schedule a no-obligation appointment, contact us today.