An important aspect of a kitchen design is selecting the right countertop. However, selecting the right one is not an easy task, since there are so many different types that are available for choosing.
Here we have listed the different types of kitchen countertops. This information will help you select the best countertops that meet your budget and needs.
Ceramic is generally the cheapest countertop material. Ceramic is made of clay that is hardened by heat. The material is also durable and available in a variety of colors.
There are three different types of ceramic tiles; porcelain, unglazed, and glazed ceramic tiles.
Porcelain tiles are the most durable of the three types of ceramic tiles. These tiles are non-porous and can resist scratches.
They are made of a denser and finer clay that is hardened at a higher temperature. These can also withstand extreme temperatures making them great for the kitchen.
Unglazed ceramic tiles also have a dense and hard surface. These tiles are inexpensive. However, they are prone to stains. Sealing is necessary with unglazed tiles to prevent staining.
Glazed ceramic tiles are coated with a glass-forming mineral. These tiles don’t require sealing, and they offer greater protection against stains compared to unglazed tiles.
They can have a high gloss, semi-gloss, or matte finish. Tiles with a high gloss finish look good, but they are prone to scratches.
The scratches and dirt are less visible with a semi-gloss and matte finish. However, they are more expensive than tiles with a high gloss finish.
Granite is a natural stone that is durable and resistant to stains. Since they are a natural stone, the tiles are porous and require sealing to ensure they remain in good shape.
Granite countertops are resistant to heat. The countertops won’t blister or melt when exposed to high heat. You can place warm pots on the granite countertops without damaging the material.
However, you should not put hot objects on the surface for long periods as it can cause cracks.
Granite countertops have a high score when it comes to hardness. You won’t have to worry about chips and cracks due to the impact of a sharp object.
However, if the granite gets cracked or chipped, it can easily be repaired using a color-matched epoxy.
Quartz countertops can be made of natural or engineered quartz. These countertops have a smooth and uniform surface.
Unlike granite tiles, these tiles don’t need to be sealed. However, repairing damaged quartz tiles can be difficult.
The main benefit of quartz countertops is that they are strong and durable. They are also non-absorbent, due to which they are not easily stained and resist bacteria. These countertops are available in a large variety of patterns, colors, and designs.
These countertops are resistant to scratches, but they can be damaged when exposed to heat. You should use a trivet if you want to put anything hot on the surface.
Slate is a naturally occurring metamorphic rock that has a beautiful texture. The tiles provide a rustic appearance to the kitchen. They are easier to clean and maintain than granite and travertine tiles.
Slate countertops have an attractive texture of stone and a spectrum of dark colors. You can select from a wide variety of colors, including gray, green, blue, red, brown, purple, and black.
They have non-slip and non-absorbent properties making them perfect for the kitchen. The material resists heat and cold well. They are less porous than marble and granite, making the countertop resistant to etching and stains.
Glass countertops are available in stunning colors and shapes. These tiles are made of thin pieces of glass, having a translucent glaze. Homeowners who want an out-of-the-ordinary countertop will like the glass countertops.
The countertops are available in a large variety of patterns that are set on a mesh backing. They can be shaped into a large number of different styles. You can also pair them with natural stone countertops to create a unique look.
A common mistake with natural stone countertops is that it makes them prone to stones. You won’t have to face this problem with glass countertops. They offer a distinctive look and give your kitchen a modern edge.
Marble is a natural stone with a classic and timeless look. Countertops made of marble are a popular choice among homeowners.
They are available in different colors and designs. The cost of the marble countertop depends on the color, thickness, size, and type of the kitchen countertops.
Marble is a metamorphic rock and as a result, has a crystalline property that enables the natural stone to take a polish.
The best thing about marble stones is that no two slabs are alike. It gives you a great variety when it comes to selecting a countertop. The stones are available in different colors, including gold, pink, yellow, white, and black.
Marble countertops are prone to scratches and nicks. They also absorb the oils from the pans and hand. So, taking care of the marble countertop is not easy.
Laminate countertops were a popular choice among homeowners in the 80s and 90s. The material can imitate wood and natural stone.
Laminate kitchen countertops are made of plastic fused with particleboard or craft paper. You have a large variety of options with laminate countertops. Plus, they are easy to clean and maintain.
Laminate countertops don’t provide a classic look as granite, marble, and other natural stone countertops. But many homeowners buy these countertops since they are relatively inexpensive.
A drawback of laminate countertops is that they are easily chipped and cracked. They also suffer from delamination over time due to water damage.
Repairing laminate countertops is not possible. The countertops may require a replacement after a few years due to wear and tear.
Travertine is a type of limestone that is formed near-natural spring deposits. This material has been used to construct ancient buildings such as the Theater of Marcellus and the Colosseum.
Countertops made of travertine are expensive but durable. The countertops are typically available in warm and neutral tones, including beige, brown, black, grey, cream, orange, blue, gold, yellow, and ivory.
Travertine countertops have a luxurious appearance. They have a striking resemblance to marble countertops. The shine of the countertops depends on the type of finishes, which includes tumbled, polished, chiseled, and honed.
You can find travertine countertops available in the market as solid slabs and tiles. The slab-based travertine countertops are preferred for the kitchen as there is no grout line where dust and bacteria accumulate.
People who want a stylish but antique kitchen countertop should go with this material. The material is also durable similar to natural countertops.
Butcher-block countertops are aptly named because they can be used as a cutting surface. The soft surface won’t dull the knives, unlike concrete and marble countertops.
Moreover, the soft surface also results in a quieter kitchen when preparing meals.
Butcher block is a wood material including American black walnut, American cherry, and hard rock maple. Hard rock maple is a light-tone hardwood that is valued for its strength and durability.
American cherry and black walnut are more expensive than maple, which is sought after for its red-tinted and rich deep color.
Concrete countertops are becoming popular in the kitchen since they are completely customizable. You can paint the countertop in any color and design.
The material can also be acid-stained and etched to create a look that is unlike any other.
One of the benefits of concrete countertops is that they are resistant to stains. While the material can crack due to impact, it is easy to repair the cracks so that they are not noticeable.
Acrylic Solid Surface Countertops
The acrylic countertop was developed by DuPont about three decades ago. The countertop is made of reinforced acrylic composite resin material.
These are expensive but offer great value for money due to resilience, versatility, and strength.
Acrylic material is non-porous, which makes it easy to clean and maintain. Sealing is not required like natural stone that makes the material more cost-effective in the long run. You may not have to replace the acrylic countertop surface once installed.
Stainless Steel Countertops
Stainless steel is a modern countertop material with a slick finish. It is mainly used in commercial kitchens. The main appeal for stainless steel countertops is that they remain new for several years.
The material won’t rust, crack, or become stained.
With stainless steel countertops, mold and bacteria formation is not a concern. Moreover, the material doesn’t absorb odors and stains. The material will last for decades with minimal care and cleaning. It may be expensive but offers great value for money.
Make sure that you research your preferred material before making the final decision. You should read the pros and cons of the material. In the end, the decision about the countertop will depend on your budget and preferences.
Other articles you may also like:
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- How to Repair Water Damaged Kitchen Cabinets?
- What to Do with Old Kitchen Cabinets?
- What Is the Effect of Using Oven Cleaners on Kitchen Countertops?
- 9 Best Material for Kitchen Countertops (with Pros/Cons)