START YOUR KITCHEN REMODEL WITH THIS KITCHEN COUNTERTOP GUIDE
Explore the Options for Your Kitchen Countertops
Countertops play a huge role in the design and feel of your kitchen, which is why it’s so important to put thought into which countertop material is the best choice during a kitchen remodel. There are a lot of factors that go into finding the right countertop for your lifestyle. So before you head over to your local Lincoln, California home improvement store, read over this guide to learn about the pros and cons of each countertop style.
Granite is our favorite countertop material for kitchens. It’s durable, easy to maintain, and comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns. The natural stone can create a stunning look without the drawbacks of a material like marble. Because granite is a natural material, keep in mind that a sample piece you bring home to evaluate in your kitchen might not match the actual pattern and color on the full slab. Granite should be sealed during the fabrication and installation process, and then at least once more annually.
Few materials say “luxurious” the way that marble does. This stone often comes in a creamy, smooth pattern that complements many different interior design schemes. However, the beautiful look of marble comes at a price. The stone is soft and naturally porous. This means that the countertop will scratch and stain easily. If you’re remodeling a show kitchen that won’t actually be used for cooking, you can probably get away with marble, but otherwise, we wouldn’t recommend it.
Wood has become popular recently because it lends itself quite well to the “French country” kitchen design and promotes a natural look to the space. However, there are a few flaws with wood countertops that make them unsuitable for kitchens. If you’ve ever used a wood cutting board to chop vegetables, you know how easy it is to score and scratch the surface. Each scratch creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, which is not something you want in a cooking environment.
Wood also has to be oiled and treated on a very frequent basis, and if you forget, the area around your sink or other wet spots will quickly become warped, stained, and even damaged by mold and mildew. In short, you should probably leave the wood to other areas of the home.
Quartz is an engineered material made from a combination of natural and synthetic materials. Because it’s not mined directly from the ground, you have a lot of flexibility in choosing the color and pattern you want. It’s also 100% non-porous and will not stain (we’ve tested with lemon, hot sauce, and other common stain culprits). It doesn’t have to be sealed or cleaned with any special solution beyond hot, soapy water. The only drawback of quartz is that it is heat sensitive, so think twice before you set a hot baking sheet directly on the counter.
Contrary to popular belief, quartzite and quartz are two different materials. Quartzite is a naturally occurring stone that withstands heat and is harder than granite. When installed, quartzite should be sealed, and then it’s best to re-seal it once or twice a year to keep it scratch and stain-resistant. Because quartzite is so durable, it can be a bit pricier during the installation process if your kitchen has a lot of angles or decorative cabinets. The countertops must be cut with diamond blades.
Corian is a solid surface material that is man-made. It tends to be cheaper than granite, and it has a good variety of styles and colors to choose from. Corian does not require sealing, but unfortunately, it stains and damages easily, and it simply can’t match the depth of design that you find in a natural stone material.
Concrete is another material that is seen in trendy kitchens lately, but we would not recommend it. It’s porous, which can lead to staining and bacteria growth, and it’s easy to crack. Many people see concrete countertops as the DIY alternative to having a professional installation, and while it is easier to DIY concrete than granite or marble, that’s not to say that it’s easy. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up with a surface that is grainy or uneven.
Unless you’re on an extremely tight budget, you’re not going to want laminate countertops. This man-made material can come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, but it’s affordable for a reason. It stains and damages very easily, and it simply doesn’t have the same feel and beauty as natural stone. If you’re deciding where to splurge and where to pinch pennies in your kitchen remodel, you’ll be much happier with a higher quality countertop.
So if you’re looking for a new countertop for your kitchen remodel, our top two recommendations for durability and beauty are granite and quartzite. That said, RCO Home Improvement has many different countertop materials, styles, and patterns to choose from. Whether you live in Sun City, Elk Grove, or another northern California area, give us a call or schedule a visit to explore the countertops in person!