An upgrade to your kitchen countertops can give your kitchen an entirely new look and feel. The countertops and backsplash act as the focal point of any room and when complemented by the right paint and cabinet style, will make a kitchen feel warm, friendly and safe – exactly the way a good kitchen should feel. However, before you make any choices it is important to know some of the materials available to you. A good countertop
should be able to withstand extreme use, the elements, spills, and act as a tool for the kitchen to roll dough on or as a cutting surface. Certain materials are far better than others are, and their price may reflect that quality – but quality should always be the primary focus on such a worthwhile and highly used investment.
Granite is an incredibly beautiful natural product. It adds elegance and class to a kitchen with its unique patterning and colours. Polished to a glossy finish, granite is ideal for the kitchen because of its multipurpose surface and element resistance. To start, granite is perfect for baking, candy making and rolling dough due to its nonstick and naturally cool to the touch feel. Granite is also water, heat and stain resistant protecting very well against most alcohols, oil and even lemon or lime juice. It can also be used as a cutting board as it will not scratch or chip. Clean ups are simple with granite and usually just require a wipe. However, granite is slightly porous, so it is recommended to seal your countertop annually and in doing so; it can survive for many decades. Granite also retains its value in the home if properly cared for.
Marble is luxurious and available in many colours
and patterns. It is one of the most attractive surfaces available, in the same class as granite. The surface is great for baking and dough, as well as being heat and water resistant. It is hard wearing and very durable, and like granite easy to clean. However, while it is so stunning to look at it does require some additional maintenance. Regular sealing is required to protect against staining since items like oil, alcohol, sugar and citric acids will leave behind stains if left unattended.
Solid surface countertops are generally made of polyester, acrylic and mineral fillers. They are not as beautiful as granite or marble, but do come in a variety of colours and styles. They are very easy to clean, and any damage can be sanded away. It is also a very durable product and can be moulded into a single piece for the counter and sink, which helps hide the seams. It does however not look natural and sometimes dark coloured counters will show damage marks.
Wood is an interesting material that has some use in a kitchen countertop. It feels warm and ages beautifully. It is the perfect surface for kitchen areas where chopping is common and is very easy to place glassware and china on without worrying about cracks. It is also easily cleaned and somewhat resistant to surface heat. Its main disadvantages are that it should not be placed near sinks or have wet metal pots left on it, as they both leave heavy dark stains.
Your kitchen countertop has the ability to greatly increase the value of your home and serves to unify the look and feel of the kitchen. The decision about the kind of countertop material you choose should be carefully considered and planned out, to be beautiful now and well into the future.