Choosing the perfect countertop surface for your kitchen remodel doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it can be a lot of fun learning about the different kitchen countertop options and materials, and why they may or may not be the ideal choice. Many homeowners fall in love with – and are tempted to choose – a countertop based on appearance alone. But don’t forget about important factors like durability, maintenance, and affordability. They must be able to stand up to daily use as well as being as beautiful as possible. Before making a decision, ask yourself a couple of questions regarding your kitchen countertop options:
- How Often Will You Use the Surface? Do you prepare three meals a day, or are you a weekend cook? How you and your family use the countertops should influence your choice.
- What’s Your Budget? Besides its good looks, granite is a great stone choice if you want something that’s generally more affordable. Other natural stones will cost a bit more.
- What’s Your Style? Your kitchen’s style is a key factor in deciding which countertops work best. Traditional kitchens lend themselves towards a solid colored granite, while sophisticated or modern ones may use marble or slate.
Kitchen Countertop Options For Your Remodel
Of all the countertop materials you can buy, stone is the gold standard for both durability and character. No matter what your budget or style, there’s a material that’s sure to be just right for the look you want. Unaffected by water or hot pans, stone countertops will last as long as your home will, and maybe even longer. Just a little routine preparation and care to ward off water marks, stains, and etching is all it takes. Stone counters can be restored by a professional in the event damage like a chipped edge occurs.
Granite, Soapstone & Marble
Granite and soapstone are the most durable and will last the longest. Because granite is a bit porous, it needs to be periodically resealed; soapstone does not. Both can withstand heavy loads, but granite is more resistant to chipping. Keep in mind, though, that all stone is inflexible; so when struck with enough force they will all crack, chip, or break. Both materials, however, can probably take whatever your family throws at them.
Granite is available in a variety of beautiful shades including blacks, greens, corals, beiges, and whites. No two pieces are exactly the same, and you can choose a polished, shiny finish or a soft, matte look. The cost of granite depends on a variety of factors, including color, finish, and origin of the stone. Marble is a very durable material, but not usually a great option for high-traffic kitchens. It, along with limestone and sandstone, is more porous than granite, so it stains more easily and is more prone to chips and scratches.
Some other countertop options you may have heard about includes partially synthetic stone countertops like quartz and cultured marble. They typically have shorter lifespans than natural stone countertops but still last a very long time if properly maintained. The resins they contain make them non-porous, but they’re also more susceptible to sun, heat, and any damage put on by household cleaners. If your budget allows for it, natural stone will likely save you money over the long run. Engineered stone countertops come in a wider variety of colors other than natural stone, they are more durable and simpler to maintain. However, they don’t really save you any money over granite, as both materials cost about the same.
Mix and Match
If you’re torn between two surfaces, consider mixing and matching. Some homeowners choose to do their countertops and island in two different materials. Others insert the second material into a countertop for specific tasks, like a butcher block for chopping or marble for preparing crusts and pastries.
As you can see, there are a lot of factors that go into choosing the right stone countertop for your kitchen remodel. Visit one of our showrooms to see all the kitchen countertop options we have available for you. Contact Abbey Design Center today to get started on having the most stylish and efficient kitchen around!