If you’re remodeling your kitchen, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is what type of countertops to install. Your kitchen countertops are so important – they’re where you prep, cook, and do all things food-related. You want to make a good choice for your lifestyle and your budget. If you’re confused about all the options, here is a quick and easy guide to some of the pros and cons of the most popular choices.
Wood, or butcher block, is one of the most classic options of kitchen counters, and it’s coming back as very modern and contemporary. Wood surfaces are solid and long-lasting when properly cared for. They won’t damage knives. Scratches can be sanded away, but it needs regular maintenance of oiling every couple months or so. It is not heat resistant, can burn, and it’s vulnerable to water damage so wetness must be sopped up and never left standing. Starts at about $26 per square foot.
Solid surfacing is exactly what the name describes: a solid option for your kitchen countertops. The synthetic material is tough, versatile, and will not stain. It can damage knives and scratch, however, so use a cutting board on it, even though scratches can be sanded away. It is not heat resistant. Starts at about $40 per square foot.
Stainless steel is a surface that’s extremely hard to damage, and bacteria won’t grow on it because it has no pores. It is very easy to clean and heat-resistant, but it can scratch and will show fingerprints and smudges. It has a modern look to it, but it also looks harsh and barren, even sterile-like feel to it (think doctor’s office). It is an expensive option, but it will last a very long time. Starts at about $130 per square foot.
Ceramic tile has been the most popular option for American homes for years. It is heat-resistant, very easy to clean, and doesn’t easily stain. Because each tile is a separate entity, ceramic tile countertops are very easy to repair or replace tiles if necessary, and it’s a good idea to purchase extra tiles when you install it. The grout lines, however, can stain and are a little harder to clean. It has an economical easy-to-afford price as well. Starts at about $25 per square foot.
Natural stone countertops can be made of marble, granite, limestone, or slate. It is a more expensive option, but it’s very stylish and classy. Granite is heat-resistant and won’t easily stain, but marble and limestone are more fragile. Granite is probably the better choice, but it will dull knives when cut on and needs to be properly sealed to resist stains. Starts at about $60 per square foot.
Concrete is becoming a more popular option in many kitchens. It is very versatile and can be decorated in many different ways including color dyes and embedded accents. It can also be poured to fit any shape of countertop. It can stain and crack, however, so it must be properly sealed and maintained. It is heat-resistant and does not easily scratch. Starts at about $60 per square foot.
Jessica Vance is a writer and decoration professional who works for an Arizona tile store. She often writes and helps give advice to others on getting help with various home improvement projects.
Photo Credit: New Inspiration Home Design