When choosing a countertop, it might not seem like a big deal at first. However, consider this: It is the place you use to prepare food, set things you need while working in the kitchen, and maybe even eat if you just want a quick snack or a bowl of cereal. So, it quickly becomes apparent that your countertops are actually the most used feature in your entire kitchen. Thinking about it that way, the decision seems a whole lot more important than it originally did! In addition, there are actually many things to consider when purchasing a countertop: the material used changes the price, ease of maintenance, the visual appeal, and resistance to the various hazards of cooking. It’s not easy! So, we are here to help you make the best decision for you with our guide on how to pick the best countertops for your kitchen!
Laminate costs, on average, between $10 and $40 per square foot. This makes it the cheapest countertop material on our list, and definitely an excellent choice if you are renovating your kitchen on a tight budget! Visually, laminate comes in a variety of patterns, colors and textures, so you will have your pick! In addition, it is quite stain resistant and decently resistant to heat, too. A simple wipe down is enough to clean it. However, it can get easily scratched, and longer term water or moisture exposure can cause it to peel. It also comes with the downside of being impossible to fix without replacing the whole thing.
Somewhat more expensive is granite, averaging between $40 and $60 per square foot. It is very durable, and resistant to heat, scratches, water and stains! It also comes with the advantage of beautiful natural appearance and unique patterns which mark each slab as wholly different. Unfortunately, it does require regular sealing between every six to twelve months. The edges of a granite countertop can also easily get chipped, and any damage that does happen to occur requires a professional to fix, which can be costly. So, seeing as its edges are surprisingly fragile, when packing it for transport to your home you will want to handle it with care! It is also very heavy, so it will require sufficient support or it will cause warping of whatever is supporting it.
Solid surfacing has a wider cost range, from $35 to $100 per square foot. Its lower costing versions have simpler patterns, colors and texture, but still look quite pretty! As its cost suggests, however, there is a truly stunning variety of looks you can give to solid surfacing, from glossy new countertops to more classical designs. Solid surfacing is very resistant to staining, but stands up poorly to scratches and heat. However, it requires no sealing, and is in fact very easy to fix, even without professional help! It is uniform all the way through, so you can even sand out the flaws. It also requires no sealing!
Only slightly more expensive, and just as versatile, is butcher block at $40 to $100 per square foot. It has a very classical and homey appearance, which can be somewhat modified depending on the type of wood used. It is also very easy to clean! You can use soap and water, and just need to oil it every once in a while. However, there are several downsides to butcher block. First, it does need to be regularly sealed. Second, while the damage can be easily sanded out, it can get easily scratched and is not entirely resistant to staining. Finally, if under the effects of moisture for prolonged periods of time, it will warp or swell, and can be susceptible to bacteria. Wood does lend itself to alteration easily though, so you could even install recessed kitchen lights into your countertop.
With an average cost of $50 to $80 per square foot, quartz marks a shift to more expensive material options! Quartz actually shares most of its features with granite. Just like granite, it has a naturally appealing look. It is also resistant to most every type of damage, but, unlike granite, does not require sealing! While quartz is admittedly more resistant to chipping at the edges, professionals at Heavenly Moving and Storage still recommend treating it with as much care as you would have granite, since in their experience most damage to the edges happens during transport.
As the most expensive natural material, marble costs from $60 to $110 per square foot. Marble makes for, hands down, the most beautiful natural colors and patterns among countertop materials. However, it scratches and stains very easily, and the stains can be quite difficult to remove. Furthermore it is susceptible to acids like citrus juice or alcohol, requires sealing, and it is very, very heavy. You will definitely need the services of a professional kitchen renovation contractor.
Concrete is surprisingly expensive at between $65 and $135 per square foot! Of course, its costs come from an absolutely stunning range of customization. As the price shows, however, letting your inner kid get the best of you quickly ramps up the price! And, while it is heat resistant and capable of taking quite a bit of punishment, concrete comes with a whole host of issues. It requires frequent sealing, stains very easily in spite of it, and moisture can become trapped in it, causing cracks to develop. It is also atrociously heavy, so you better have strong supports for your countertop! So, remember: looks are not everything you need when deciding on how to pick the best countertops for your kitchen.
With our guide coming to an end, we hope that we have helped you learn enough to help you decide on how to pick the best countertops for your kitchen! Just remember to strike a good balance between the appearance you want your countertop to have, the price of the material, and ease of maintenance, and you will be fine.