Every kitchen has at least one countertop, and it hugely influences style, feel, functionality, maintenance, and budget. Such an essential piece deserves special consideration, but with a wide variety of materials and finishes available, getting a thorough overview can be challenging. Here are some commonly used countertops explained, so you can make an educated choice about which one (or more!) is the perfect fit for you!
The most popular countertop material these days, even recently eclipsing granite to move into the top spot. Although quartz itself is a naturally occurring mineral, it is considered an engineered stone when formulated into countertops. They are extremely hard and durable, scratch- and stain resistant, do not require sealing, have antimicrobial properties and let you choose from a vast selection of designs, patterns and colors – including some that mimic the luxurious look of marble.
Granite countertops are the classic choice. Formed naturally over the course of millions of years, granite contains about 20 – 60 % quartz and, depending on origin, various other minerals. As a completely natural material, each granite countertop is a unique piece of art, can include fascinating things like crystals and fossils, and comes in various gorgeous patterns and colors. Since some kinds of granite are extremely rare, it can add a touch of exclusivity to your kitchen!
Found in ancient cathedrals, palaces, and modern mansions alike, to many people, marble is synonymous with luxury. Marble is available in various color schemes, depending on origin, and as a natural stone, will not only raise your property value, but also add character to your home. It does require maintenance and is a soft and porous material that can stain and scratch fairly easily, as well as being quite susceptible to heat.
Far from being a dull and gray material, concrete countertops have been one of the hottest industry trends. One of concrete’s biggest advantages is that it can be poured on-site, and therefore be customized in ways no other countertop material can! Concrete countertops are an awesome fit for a contemporary, modern, and industrial look. Be aware that, depending on the finish, you may need to regularly seal and maintain it, and that concrete, while exceptionally durable, is incredibly heavy and may require your cabinetry or even flooring to be reinforced.
An absolute classic, and a great choice for rustic, old-worldy design, wood countertops have been around for centuries, and can come in a variety of interesting and artisan patterns and finishes. Wood is a sustainable and ecologically friendly material, and its softness means you are less likely to break fragile items like glasses on it. However, it also requires extensive maintenance to prevent stains and scratches and can chip very easily.
Soapstone, as a natural material, has a unique, warm look to it and is environmentally friendly. A high-density material (even higher than quartz), it is easy to clean, has antimicrobial properties and is heat resistant, which makes it a great choice for countertops! But beware, soapstone is quite soft and can chip or scratch pretty easily. Additionally, it naturally darkens over time, so the look will change.
Your individual style, usage and structural requirements may influence your choice of countertop. With a great variety of materials and variations available, it requires quite some thought to determine which will be your best fit. Zieba Builders is here for you to assist you with this tricky question, as well as any other inquiries related to your upcoming construction project! Do not hesitate to contact us using this form, or give us a call at (562) 439-5294!