If you are lucky enough to buy a new home and be able to intervene in the interior design, you should carefully consider not only the design, but also the materials that are used for the kitchen and especially the countertops since these are usually one of the the busiest areas in a kitchen.
There are many possibilities, from marble or granite (the most expensive) to wood or even concrete for those who prefer not to spend a lot. Here are some tips to consider when deciding.
Before choosing a material for the countertop, we must ask ourselves what use we will give it. Some kitchens combine a worktop where food is prepared with a bar where you eat. Other countertops are simply surfaces where things are prepared. Others have to be large enough to store utensils and cans.
There are numerous countertop options on the market. Here are some of the materials used for countertops with their pros and cons according to one of About.com's interior design experts:
- Granite: it is the best option if we are not worried about money. It is elegant and its beauty contributes even that of the most modest kitchen. Pros: keeps warm; there is it in beautiful colors. Cons: it is very expensive; requires a lot of care; absorbs dirt; can crack; the range of colors available is limited
- Modified stone: this material, composed of 93% quartz particles, is available in a wider range of colors than granite, has a scratch-resistant non-porous surface and requires little maintenance. Pros: resistant to dirt and acids; simple care. Cons: expensive
- Solid surface: it is solid and does not scratch. It is usually bought to measure. Pros: it comes in multiple colors and patterns; seamless; resistant to dirt. Cons: vulnerable to heat, which can damage its surface; it can be a bit expensive
- Ceramic Tiles: They are durable, easy to clean and inexpensive, making them a good choice for the average home. Pros: heat resistant; easy to clean; wide range of prices, colors, textures and designs. Cons: uneven surface; tiles can crack easily; the separation between tiles accumulates dirt; custom designs are very expensive
- Laminate: plastic-coated synthetic material with a soft, easy-to-clean surface. It is cut to size. Pros: great variety of colors; simple maintenance; durable; cheap. Cons: it is practically impossible to repair cracks and breaks; trim and front can be expensive
- Wood - Provides a warm look and is available in many colors and finishes. It is the ideal complement for a rustic kitchen or with wooden cabinets. Pros: easy to clean; soft; can be sanded and repaired. Cons: can be damaged by water and dirt over time
- Steel - Provides a contemporary and industrial look. Resists heat and is durable. It can be made to measure, avoiding joints. Pros: heat resistant; easy to clean. Cons: expensive; noisy; can be dented; can't be cut over
- Marble: less common due to its high price. Stains easily and requires ongoing maintenance. Pros: waterproof and heat proof; its beautiful. Cons: expensive; porous; stains easily unless thoroughly sealed; can crack; may need periodic sealing
- Concrete: This is a good option if you want a countertop with unusual shapes, but its high price does not fit into most people's budget. Pros: heat resistant; can be tinted; exotic and unusual appearance; additives reduce porosity; the new finishes are more decorative. Cons: high price; can crack; it may look industrial; it is porous, although it can be sealed.
Related: Countertops, Kitchen renovation on a budget, Kitchen decoration