How to select a countertop

IMG_2688-cropAnother tough selection to make when deciding on a kitchen design is what type of countertop to use. The kitchen countertop is not just a place for you to do your most magnificent food prep (and create your biggest messes); it can tie a kitchen together and provide a focal point for the whole design. Here are the most popular types of kitchen countertops, and the pros and cons for each.

QUARTZ AND ENGINEERED STONES

PROS: Engineered stones are resistant to stains, easy to clean and maintain, and do not need sealing or reconditioning. They are stronger than other stone types and because they are non-porous they are less likely to collect bacteria. Engineered stones come in multiple designs and patterns.

CONS: Engineered stones are durable, but they aren’t 100% scratch or chip proof. Surface markings can also be noticeable on plainer designs. The engineered stones also do not stand up to heat from cooking appliances or dishware.

GRANITE

PROS: Granite stands up to heat and the elements, which means that it can be used in high-traffic and outdoor kitchens. The surface is not prone to scratches and if it is properly sealed it won’t absorb liquids. It is more durable than other materials such as marble, and is also available in lots of colour options.

CONS: Granite seams are more visible. It needs to be properly sealed or it will be prone to bacteria and damage, as it is highly porous. Granite also has a high price point and needs a lot of continual maintenance. It does not hold up as well in busy kitchens.

LAMINATE

PROS: Laminate is inexpensive and is replaceable at fraction of the cost of other materials. It can easily mimic the design and look of granite and quartz, and its multiple available edge profiles can help hide seam lines. It stands up well to heat and stains.

CONS: Laminate is easily scratched by knives and may also crack. It is also not heat proof.

WOOD

PROS: Wood countertops are known for their natural beauty and visual and physical warmth. They are compatible with multiple styles of kitchens and can act as a bold statement piece. They are gentle on delicate glassware and china and environmentally friendly, as they can be made from re-purposed wood.

CONS: Wood is prone to stains and burns, and it needs to be sealed as it is very porous. It will also tend to discolour around the edges of the sink. Wood is usually a higher price point than other materials as well.

MARBLE 

PROS: Marble has a unique beauty and elegance that you won’t find with any other material. It comes in a variety of colours and patterns, and it won’t chip or dent. It is also resistant to heat.

CONS: Marble is expensive. It has to be sealed a couple of times a year, and even when sealed it can be still scratched or etched by acidic materials. Marble countertops require a high level of maintenance and you should avoid spills and heavy usage.

As you can see, there are a lot of options for that perfect countertop. Hopefully this helps you on the journey to find the one that’s perfect for you.

See you next week!

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