How to Select Kitchen Countertops


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The kitchen countertops may be only one element, but they can make or break your kitchen. Besides the fact that they need to be durable and deal with anything related to food preparation, they also must look on point and pull the entire interior design together.

Now, with so many options available on the market, you may think that choosing the right version for your home is a piece of cake. But scientists warn us that, the more options we have, the more difficult it will be to take a decision.

Since we know you don’t have time to waste pondering too many options, below are several tips to help you narrow it down to the kitchen countertops that will truly work with your home.

Consider your Needs

Before you can make any decisions with regards to material, color, and overall design, it’s important to assess your needs.

  • How much cooking will happen in the following years?

  • Do you have small children that may like to use the countertops as their canvas?

  • Do you entertain guests in the kitchen?

  • Or are you the kind of person who uses their oven as a storage facility?

Based on the answer to these questions, you will know if it’s important to focus on durability more than the general aspect. For instance, laminate is a material that looks great, but it doesn’t bode well with heat and rogue knives. On the other hand, granite is a popular option for kitchen countertops, but it needs sealing. This puts natural stone on top in terms of durability and resistance to time.

It’s also important to know how you’ll be treating your kitchen. If you’re the kind of person who rarely cooks complicated meals and likes to entertain guests, you may be OK with selecting more sensitive materials. But if you’re constantly preparing meals and the time for maintenance is limited, then we recommend focusing on durability.

Choose the Perfect Material

Now that you have an idea of what the future holds for your kitchen, we can browse through the most popular materials.

 

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Laminate

It is an affordable material that’s easy to clean and maintain. However, it doesn’t resist heat and punctures, so you’ll need to be extra careful when working with hot pans and knives.  

The good news is that it resists to stains and you have lots of color, textures, and patterns to choose from. This makes it ideal for a kitchen with an elaborate interior design, where everything must fit with the rest of the room.

Marble

While a bit on the expensive side, this is a gorgeous material that will keep its aspect for years to come. Not to mention, it has no issues when it comes to dealing with heat!

But, on the downside, it’s easy to scratch and chip and, even though marble kitchen countertops are sealed, it is highly susceptible to stains.

Granite

One of the most durable materials on the market, granite is a popular choice for countertops. It looks amazing in the kitchen (due to the plethora of natural colors and textures) and has no issues with heat and scratches.

However, granite’s weakness is around the edges. If you drop something heavy against the edge, there is a high chance that it will chip. Also, granite countertops should be resealed every 6 to 12 months.

Quartz

Quartz gives an interesting, stone-like aspect and offers more patterns that natural stone. Also, given its non-porous nature, you don’t have to worry about stains or bacteria. Finally, it behaves well in relation to heat and scratches.

Wood

If you’re looking to get a cozy feel every time you use the kitchen, wood countertops are perfect. The natural wood aspect provides a certain warmth and looks amazing in combination with almost anything.

Furthermore, wood is easy to clean, scratches can be easily mended, and it only requires some oiling now and then. This being said, you should also know that it needs to be disinfected periodically because wood harbors bacterial
 

These are some of the most popular materials, but there are other options out there, such as concrete, stainless steel, paper composite, and even tiling.  Of course, in the end, the decision is yours, but it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each material before selecting one.

Other Details

With the material selected, your options are narrowing down rapidly. However, you still have to figure out the pattern, color, and general aspect of the countertop before you can move on to other projects.

For this, keep in mind that this is a piece that needs to create harmony in your kitchen. Furthermore, because it is located at a middle level, it needs to blend well with the cabinets, the floors, and the ceiling.

For this, you have several options:

  • Create a splash of color that highlights the rest of the kitchen – This works with monochrome designs and creates an interesting contrasting effect. However, before you choose a dark countertop for your white kitchen, keep in mind that darker colors show smudges, crumbs, and scratches more easily.

  • Select a pattern and nuance that blends in – This is fantastic for a continuous design and usually works well with small spaces because it creates an optical illusion.

  • Go several shades darker or lighter – While there will still be some contrast, the transition will be milder, and the overall aspect is quite interesting.

The best way to make sure the pattern, texture, and color you selected go well in your kitchen, is to do the test with samples, which are easy to find in specialized stores. However, before you start looking at samples, it’s best to determine the room’s overall color scheme.

You can do so using a color chart, to understand how colors complement each other. This way, even without the help of a professional interior designer, your kitchen will have that put-together look you admire in magazines!

In Conclusion

As you can see, the perfect countertop for your kitchen is not easy to find. However, this is an important element in your everyday life, so it’s only natural to require some thought and searching. After all, this is an investment in your house’s overall value and your family’s well-being for several years to come.

So, before you go hunting for the best materials and patterns, make sure you have the budget to make the right decision.   

Author Bio:

Nicole Andrews is the marketing manager for euromarble.com.au in Sydney, Australia. With a background in interior design, she enjoys writing about the latest industry trends. In her spare time, she walks her dog Rusco down at Bondi Beach.

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