When it comes to cooking at home, your most trusted workhorse is your kitchen countertop. Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of granite counters, or you admire the timeless beauty of marble. Either way, you know that improved kitchen countertops can give your kitchen a look you want. Besides the aesthetics, there are other considerations you should weigh before you settle on your countertop material.
Your kitchen countertop choice needs to match the overall style and quality of your home. Countertop materials that may be appropriate for a starter home are probably not the same as you’d use in your forever home. Counters also need to match the expected use they’ll receive. Is your kitchen more for show and entertaining, or does it need to stand up to the rigors of daily use?
Here’s what to consider:
Do you need countertops that can stand up to heat, stains, and scratches? Are you expecting your countertops to last a lifetime? Alternatively, do you expect you’ll change your kitchen’s style down the road?
Do you need low-maintenance countertops, or are you willing to give them the white-glove treatment?
Depending on the linear feet of countertop your kitchen demands, how affordable is your dream countertop? Always take into account the expected longevity of your material choice. Some counters required special care, or else they will wear faster than others. When you divide the cost by the number of years your countertop should last, you’ll have a more accurate base for cost comparison.
Four Fabulous Kitchen Countertop Materials
If you want a hard-working, durable stone countertop–granite delivers! Because it’s a natural stone, no two slabs are exactly alike, placing it among the most expensive material choices per square foot. Granite is available in a wide variety of colors and designs, depending on the mix of stone embedded with the quartz.
Both heat and stain-resistant, granite kitchen countertops will tolerate considerable abuse. However, granite does need to be sealed as it is a porous material. Choose a granite you love because it will outlast you!
Not to be confused with quartzite, quartz countertops are an engineered stone. The quartz is synthesized in resin, making a very durable, nonporous material that does not stain and is heat-resistant. Unlike granite, quartz countertops do not need to be sealed. They are the epitome of low maintenance.
Manufacturers have mastered the process of mimicking natural stone, so you’ll find a color and pattern to suit your taste. So if you need a hard-working surface that will stand up to the most demanding chef, quartz could be your countertop of choice. Also, with a lifetime warranty, you won’t ever need to replace them!
Made of 100% solid acrylic, Corian is one of the most robust kitchen countertop materials. Corian is stain and scratch-resistant but not heat-resistant. Even if a scratch does occur, the material’s color is infused throughout the entire countertop, so scratches and imperfections can be professionally sanded out, extending the life of your countertop Even better, Corian solid surface countertops are easy to clean and maintain.
You’ll also appreciate the seamless appearance of solid surface countertops. Color options are nearly endless. At LJ’s, we only carry the best quality solid surfaces so you can trust their durability.
Don’t dismiss laminate as a choice for countertops! Today’s laminates are lightyears beyond what was around in the 1970s. Laminate is manufactured from layers of paper infused with melamine resin. Today’s technology has improved the high-def quality of the color, pattern, and embossing, making them an attractive choice.
These countertops cannot be repaired with a light sanding like solid surface countertops, so you’ll need to treat your laminate more carefully than other countertops. However, if you follow the rules for their care, your laminate will serve you well for many years at a fraction of the cost of granite or quartz.
See and Touch
By all means, look online and browse magazines, but there’s nothing like seeing and feeling actual kitchen countertops for yourself. Stop into LJ’s to see and touch samples of what’s available. Feel their durability. Besides, our designers are on hand to help you make the perfect selection!