Find Your New Kitchen Countertop Material

If you are remodeling your kitchen, you probably have a lot on your mind right now. One of those questions is undoubtedly the material you want to use for your kitchen countertop. No matter if you are planning to build a kitchen island, a bar-style countertop or something completely different, this part of your kitchen is sure to see some heavy use.

If you’re working with a kitchen remodeler or an architect, they have likely already introduced you to your options. However, if you didn’t have the time to delve deeper into the different materials, Kitchen Magic’s remodeling veterans share a helpful inside scoop. So what are some of the most common and popular countertop materials, and what are their main advantages and drawbacks?

Marble – Beautiful and Sturdy

Perhaps the best-known stone used to furnish homes, marble has been a staple of our architecture and home décor for literal millennia. This stone is very hard (and heavy), which is enough to make it the ultimate countertop material. The swirling patterns that are commonly found in this material are always unique, giving your countertop that much more character. Marble is also heat and water-resistant, making it very suitable for use in kitchens (and bathrooms).

That being said, this material is usually very expensive, so if you are on a budget, it may very well be outside your price range. Additionally, if you damage the surface, repairs can be very difficult to perform, and once again – expensive.

Granite – Epitome of Durability

Another well-known stone material, granite is known for its durability and heat resistance, two features which make it the go-to material for kitchen countertops, all other things being equal. Thanks to its wide natural range, you can find natural granite in a variety of colors, so making it fit your color scheme should be no problem.

However, just like with marble, the high price tag on this material is one of the main reasons why we don’t see it used in all kitchens. It will also need to be professionally sealed to prevent damage and staining.

Quartz – Stylish and Sanitary

Even though it may not get as much attention as other stone countertop materials, quartz is not to be disregarded out of hand. In fact, thanks to the natural variety of quartz, it offers a significantly wider selection of styles and can even mimic some of the more expensive stone materials.

More importantly, though, it offers something other stone materials still struggle with a bit – it is scratch and cut resistant. Quartz is actually the fourth hardest mineral on Earth, preceded only by diamonds, topazes and corundum (which is basically rubies and sapphires). Coupled with the fact that it is easy to clean, quartz countertops are ideal for people who want to have a stylish and modern kitchen, but don’t want to spend long hours cleaning.

Thanks to its non-porous nature, it is much less susceptible to germ build-up than any other countertop option, even without a sealant.

Wood – The Beauty of Natural Materials

Even though stone countertops provide a much sturdier surface to work with, natural wood brings something stone cannot give you – warmth. With a natural variation of colors, you will be able to match your kitchen’s color scheme and if you pick harder wood like oak, even the hardness of stone will not be missed.

High-quality wood is a great building material for just about anything in your home – it is long-lasting, easy to care for, and can be sanded down if damaged and resealed to appear brand new. It does come with some caveats when it comes to being used as a kitchen countertop, though.

If you don’t maintain it properly, it is prone to physical damage from knives and the like, water damage, and even bacteria can be a problem if the wood is not cleaned and maintained regularly.

Stainless Steel – Modern and Minimalist

On the complete opposite side of the spectrum from wood, you can find stainless steel. Where wood brings warmth and quaintness, stainless steel provides a modern and industrial look that pairs well with contemporary design.

Stainless steel is amazingly easy to clean, very resilient to water and heat damage, and can be made to your exact specs really quickly and easily.

That being said, it can also be somewhat expensive, as stainless steel is considered a premium material. It is also not ideal for cutting, as its smooth surface can be easily scratched by knives and similar implements.

The material you should use on your countertop is not always easy to pick, but you should start with asking yourself what you want to do with it and which material best suits your needs. Professional contractors can help you make the right choice and help make your entire kitchen remodeling experience a little less overwhelming.



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