A beautiful, functional kitchen is more than just cabinets. Selecting the perfect countertop material is equally important, but it may be a difficult choice if you don’t do your homework first. Here is a handy guide to help make sense of it all before you buy!
If you are on a tight budget, you may want to consider laminate. This durable and affordable countertop material has come a long way in recent years. While it’s still comprised of layers of plastic bonded to particleboard to make a solid surface, today’s laminate looks better than ever. It’s not just the price tag that’s appealing! Laminate comes in a huge variety of styles, with edges and designs that are made to look more like marble or granite. As an added bonus, laminate is highly resistant to stains and grease, and it’s easy to clean and maintain.
Granite is by far the most popular countertop material today, and for good reason. It is undoubtedly beautiful, and since it is made from natural stone, no two pieces will be exactly the same. And thanks to advances in technology and shipping, granite is more accessible than ever. This means homeowners no longer have to break the bank for a unique, high-end look.
Granite is generally sold in 9×5 foot slabs. Keep these dimensions in mind when planning your kitchen design to avoid any waste. Also keep in mind that granite requires a little extra TLC. If it has been properly sealed, granite will repel most stains. Just be sure to wipe up spills promptly, and keep the surface clean on a daily basis.
Engineered stone is made from crushed down rock and polyester or acrylic resin. The finished product has the look of natural stone, but is far less fragile and virtually maintenance-free. Although it could possibly crack like granite, it is less likely to scratch and does not need to be sealed.
Engineered stone also comes in a wider range of colors and patterns than granite. This is due to the fact that it is manufactured instead of quarried. This makes it a good choice for homeowners looking to perfectly match their countertops to their cabinet finish or floors. Just know that engineered stone often costs as much as natural stone without giving you the real thing. It can also discolor over time when exposed to direct sunlight.
Stainless steel countertops are known for their anti-microbial properties and ability to resist heat. That is why you often see them in restaurants. They are less common in home kitchens because they can be expensive and hard to come by. They are also hard to keep shiny. Stainless steel countertops show water spots, and can be smudged up when touched by greasy hands. Still, they have a unique appeal for home chefs, and are right on trend in homes looking to add some industrial flair.
Wood countertops bring a bit of natural beauty indoors. Unfortunately, they can easily be damaged by water, making it difficult to keep that warm, beautiful appearance. On the plus side, wood countertops are resistant to bacteria, and won’t your knife during food prep.
While you could use wood throughout your entire kitchen, it works best as an accent countertop. Picture a white kitchen island with a butcher-block top, surrounded by dark cabinets and granite. It’s the perfect way to incorporate the mix and match trend popular in kitchens today. Just avoid using wood in areas where there is a sink!
At The RTA Store we help make your dream kitchen a reality with RTA (Ready To Assemble) and Pre-Assembled kitchen cabinets, and accessories with the same (if not better) quality you would find at any retail store but for a fraction of the price. Stop by our website or give us a call and let us make your kitchen dreams come true with the help of our free kitchen design tool!