Choosing kitchen countertops for your home can be a difficult process. There are a whole range of topics to consider including the style, material, color and much more to ensure that it fits the bill. To help you in this decision I have come up with 6 things you should consider before buying a kitchen countertop.
There are many different materials of kitchen countertop to choose from, some of the more popular choices include wood, granite, glass, composite stone, stainless steel and laminate. Some other materials include quartz, Maia and Corian all of which are also great choices. Each material has different qualities that may or may not meet your specifications. It is up to you to make this decision based on what you expect and need from your kitchen counters.
Kitchen countertops come in a variety of shapes, sizes, designs and colors and choosing one can be difficult at times. The type you choose will no doubt depend on the style of kitchen you have and what you want it to look like. If you’re looking for something bright and cheery then glass is always a good option. Stainless steel offers a sleek and professional look, it is often used in industrial kitchens however many homeowners are now opting for it. Wood is sophisticated and stylish offering a warm and inviting look to your kitchen whereas laminate can be almost anything you want it to be. Able to take on the characteristics of other materials laminate is cheap and cheerful for your desired look.
If you’re looking for a countertop that is easy to upkeep there are a number of options available to you. Stainless steel, laminate, marble and glass are all easy to clean and require little maintenance. Wood on the other hand although wonderful, requires an element of upkeep to ensure that it remains presentable and hygienic. Wood scratches easily and needs oiling on a regular basis. The oil is used to protect the wood from marks that could appear from hot pans and dirty cups. It also helps to stop water seeping into the wood causing it to warp, smell and become contaminated.
The cost of your kitchen workspace will no doubt play a crucial role in what you buy. Understandably some are much more expensive than others due to the nature of them. Granite and marble benches tend to be on the pricey side as they are difficult to source and can take a while to shape. Laminate on the other hand is quick and easy to make so is therefore considerably cheaper. It is also very thin and easy to fit. When deciding on a countertop for your kitchen first consider your budget and the rest can be worked around.
Hygiene as you will be aware is very important to maintain in the kitchen. With all types of food and matter resting on your benches it’s important to ensure that they are clean and sterile. Failure to do this could result in cross contamination which in turn can cause illness and food poisoning. Different countertops provide different levels of hygiene based on their material and upkeep levels. Stainless steel is by far the most hygienic form of countertops a person can buy. Its surface is hard and smooth with no cracks or pores so that germs and bacteria can’t accumulate and grow. Wood on the other hand has plenty of pores and cracks meaning germs can seep into them and multiply. In order to keep them at bay the wood must be treat accordingly and handled with care. The likes of laminate countertops and marble countertops are also easy to clean however they still don’t clean as well as stainless steel.
A good countertop should last you a decent number of years and even a life time if looked after properly. Different materials offer different levels of durability and selecting the right material will depend on how you intend to use your workbenches. Granite for example is heat resistant, water resistant difficult to scratch and difficult to stain. It is therefore the mother of all countertops as it is impervious to most things. Laminate countertops on the other hand will not withstand high temperatures and should not be used for directly placing hot pans. Wood can also scratch if cut on and hot pans can scorch it. Granite is extremely tough and scratches can be sanded out of it to make it look as good as new. Glass is almost as good as granite, it can scratch easily but these can be polished smooth.