Countertops are a major feature in a kitchen. If you’re planning to replace your current countertops, there are a few factors you may want to consider before choosing a new one. Below are just some of the main factors to consider when choosing a kitchen countertop.
A big factor for people is often appearance. Different countertop materials can provide different looks and textures. Wood tends to be a great rustic option for giving your kitchen a natural touch. Metals like steel and copper can provide a shiny industrial look. Stone materials such as granite, marble and quartz can provide an earthy luxury look. Then there are synthetic options, which are available in an endless selection of colors and textures. Make sure that the look of the material matches the general style of your kitchen – if the rest of your kitchen decor is very rustic, you may want to stick to a rustic countertop option rather than choosing something synthetic.
Some countertop materials are a lot more expensive than others. It’s important to consider your budget when choosing a countertop. Luxury stone materials like marble and granite tend to be the most top-end options. The most affordable options tend to be synthetic options. It’s worth noting that you can buy partially synthetic countertops that mimic the appearance of granite and marble for a fraction of the price – these could be a good option if you’ve got your heart set on granite or marble, but you can’t afford either.
If you’re undertaking some major kitchen remodeling, you may want to think beyond simply replacing your current countertop. This could be a chance to completely change the layout of your kitchen. If your countertop space is currently quite limited, consider whether there could be ways of increasing countertop space. By extending or rearranging the room, you may be able to consider adding a longer countertop with a breakfast bar or possibly an island. Carefully consider the depth of your countertops – most countertops are between 24 and 26 ½ inches.
Certain countertop materials are more durable than others. If you’re going to be using your countertop regularly and you want it to last for years, you may want to factor in durability. Quartz is known to be one of the toughest materials – it’s scratch-resistant and stain-resistant. Metal materials won’t stain but can scratch easily. Wood will scratch and stain unless laminated. Synthetic options like Corian are much more likely to get damaged over time and tend to have a shorter life than other countertop options.
You can preserve certain countertop materials by regularly refinishing them. A ‘butcher’s block’ wooden worktop can be kept in good condition by oiling it and sanding it. Stone materials like granite should ideally be sealed regularly to keep them from getting stained and discolored. Materials like quartz are known to require very little maintenance. You should consider how low-maintenance you’d like your countertop to be – neglecting maintenance could negatively affect the appearance of your countertop over time.