Looking at renovating your kitchen? The biggest decision you can make is choosing your countertops because not only should it be aesthetically beautiful but it also needs to work according to your lifestyle. Important considerations include functionality, longevity and cost. There are many options out there on countertops that it can get confusing but have no fear- here is a brief low-down on the most popular countertops.
Granite is a natural stone that is mostly composed of quartz, alkali feldspar and plagioclase. This stone is very unique because it comes with a variety of rare colours and intricate veining. Even used in a modest kitchen, it can add opulence to the space.
PROS: It is very popular in kitchens because it is durable, scratch resistant, heat resistant and germ resistant. Will upgrade any kitchen and add value.
CONS: Requires regular sealing to maintain due to it’s porous nature and can be very expensive.
Quartz is a manmade stone consisting of 90% natural quartzite stone and 10% of resins, polymers, and various types of pigments. It mimics the look of granite/marble and it can stand heat, scratches and stains. These features make it a very popular choice for not only kitchens but also bathrooms.
PROS: Stone can withstand heat, scratches and is antibacterial due to the resin and polymers. You can achieve the luxurious look of marble or granite at a cheaper price.
CONS: This stone is very heavy so installing can be difficult. Edges and corners can also chip so you would need to hire a professional to repair.
Marble countertops are synonymous with luxury and add a lot of value to your home. It is a “softer” natural stone but offers a one of a kind aesthetic that is often emulated by manmade material. This stone is most often seen in very lavish homes with high price tags and are a desirable feature.
PROS: Very unique veining as no two slabs are the same. This natural stone is waterproof and heatproof and adds lots of value to the home.
CONS: Expensive and is prone to scratching and staining due to its porous nature. Regular maintenance is required if you choose to install.
Laminate are plastic-coated synthetics with a smooth surface that are made by bonding the laminate sheets to a particleboard (MDF) core. This surface requires little to no maintenance and is very easy on the pockets. This is a great option if you are tight on a budget but still want a beautiful design thanks to new printing technology and decorative edges.
PROS: This is inexpensive, scratch resistant, stain resistant and heat resistant. An added bonus is that it is very easy to install.
CONS: It does not have re-sell value as it can get cracked or damaged very easily. Over time it can also succumb to delamination due to water damage in which case you would have to replace the entire counter.
This material has been around for over 50 years and was once an upscale option for kitchens but now has come down as mid-tier. Solid surface countertops are essentially a blend of acrylic particles and resins that are pressed into sheets. They tend to mimic natural stone and are a great option if granite and marble are out of the price range.
PROS: Resists staining and any damage incurred can be easily sanded out. As it is manmade, there is a large variety of colours and patterns to choose from.
CONS: Although cheaper than natural stone, solid surface is still a little pricey. They are prone to heat damage and can only be installed by professionals.