Which Countertop Material Is Best For You?

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Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling your current kitchen, one of the first things you should consider is your choice of countertop material. There are various factors that you should think about when choosing the material that is right for you, each with its unique pros and cons such as appearance, durability and how easy it is to clean the countertops. Before making any decisions, do your research and consider the cost of each material, the durability and lifespan and what overall look you’re trying to achieve in your home, whether it’s rustic, modern, contemporary or traditional. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of 5 popular countertop materials available for you to choose from.

Quartz

quartz-bijou
Aran Cucine Bijou Collection
A quartz composite is made of about 90% quartz and 10% acrylic or epoxy binder. The benefit of this material is that it is non-porous, making it extremely stain-resistant and is easily cleaned. It offers a beautiful, luxurious finish that is durable and comes in a wide variety of styles and colors. Quartz countertops don’t chip or crack as easily as some other materials do, keeping its surface pristine longer. However, quartz isn’t as heat resistant as other countertop materials so you’ll need to protect the surface before placing hot pots and pans down with hot pads or trivets. The cost of quartz countertops can be comparable to the price you’ll pay for granite.

Natural Stone

granite Natural stone materials such as granite, slate and soapstone are popular choices for countertop material because of their durability and beauty. They’re long-lasting and offer a luxurious look, but usually come at a higher price point. They also require higher maintenance than other options to preserve its quality.
  • Granite: This natural material comes in about 20 various colors, each having a unique shade and tone, making each slab of granite completely different from the next. Granite is resistant to heat and scratches, making it easy to main its beauty. However, the downside to granite is that the material is porous and will need to be sealed properly to avoid stains. It will need to be re-sealed every 1-5 years depending on the variety of granite you choose. Also, it can easily crack and chip if a heavy object falls on it.
  • Soapstone: Soapstone is stain-resistant, durable and doesn’t crack easily, but it is a softer material than granite so it’s recommended to use chopping boards when preparing food (as you should regardless of your countertop to protect the surface). It’s a low maintenance material but it’s recommended that you oil the stone every now and then to maintain its look.
  • Slate: Slate countertops are the affordable option for a stone material. It offers similar durability as granite as well as the non-porous, stain-resistant benefits of soapstone. Slate countertops don’t need much maintenance, making clean up fast and easy. It’s also heat-resistant and doesn’t chip easily, however the corners are known to be a bit brittle and sharp so it is recommended that you round off the corners to prevent it from cracking or causing injuries.

Laminate

laminate
Aran Cucine Penelope Collection
Laminate, also known as Formica, is one of the popular choices for countertop and is one of the more affordable options. It is made out of plastic and hard particle board, yet is relatively durable and is low maintenance to clean. A simple wipe with a damp cloth will get the job done. Although it’s made from non-porous material and doesn’t stain easily, it is not heat-resistant, it can be chipped or scratched easily and can be difficult to repair. A benefit of laminate is that you can easily customize it to look more like the pricier options such as granite or quartz and pay a significant fraction of the price. It is also available in a variety of finishes, colors and patterns.

Bamboo

bamboo-countertops The great thing about choosing bamboo over wood is that bamboo comes from a renewable source, making it an environmentally-friendly choice for your countertop material. Unlike trees, bamboo plants grow extremely fast. In fact, it’s one of the fastest growing plants in the world. Some bamboo species are known to grow 3 feet in a single day. It is antibacterial, making it the perfect option for surfaces that will be used to prepare food in addition to tabletop surfaces where you’ll be eating. It offers a beautiful rustic look to your kitchen and is an affordable option for your surfaces. A drawback is that it is not resistant to heat and can be easily scratched.

Stainless Steel

MET Collection
Aran Cucine MET Collection
Stainless steel countertops offer a modern, industrial look to kitchens and is an extremely low maintenance choice, making it popular in the restaurant industry. It’s very durable and depending on the grade of the material, it can be as affordable or expensive as you want – it all depends on how long you want the material to last. The material won’t hold up well if you choose a cheaper grade. It’s a non-porous material, making it difficult for stains to stick and makes for easy clean ups. There are also a variety of finishes you can choose from, such as satin or matte. Now that you know the facts, it’s time to think about the pros and cons of each material and determine what best fits your needs and style. There’s sure to be a material that is perfect for you and your budget without sacrificing durability or making a statement in your kitchen.