Your guide to choosing a practical and beautiful countertop!
Choosing kitchen countertops can be a daunting task. You have to make sure that it ticks all the boxes – design, aesthetics, cost, and practicality. As the center of your home, you want to make sure that what you choose can last a lifetime or is on-trend. Each material has advantages and unique features which is why we at Your House Your Garden have put together a guide that will make your renovation or remodeling decision, as homeowners, easier.
Countertop design tips and inspiration!
The different types of countertop materials include:
Butcher Block Countertops:
Wood countertops, or Butcher block countertops, is a budget-friendly option that you can choose to install yourself. This countertop material is made out of wood strips that are fused together to give your kitchen a timeless feel and add warmth.
Butcher block countertops, which consist of wood, means that they are durable, work well with other countertop materials, and will develop an aesthetic patina over time. If you’re looking for a sustainable and neutral option, Butcher block countertops are for you.
This is a versatile material that can be custom-made to look like marble, wood, or granite countertops. A custom concrete countertop can be different shades of gray, specific shapes, or textures to match different kitchen design styles. You can also purchase a reinforced option for a durable and lightweight counter.
A granite countertop is an aesthetic and sustainable choice for your kitchen. This heatproof material will need regular sealing but will rarely need repairs because it will not stain, is resistant to chemicals, and will scarcely chip or crack.
Granite countertops are made out of natural stone slabs or granite tiles so each one has a unique color and mineral pattern that can visually elevate your kitchen’s interior.
Another popular type of kitchen countertops that homeowners love is marble. This natural beauty is made out of heatproof stone slabs that now comes in different finishes. Every marble countertop is made out of unique stone slabs that will require some planning to figure out which pieces go together.
Depending on your kitchen design, you can choose a marble countertop that has slabs in hues of white, gray, black, green, yellow, or pink or with vibrant veining.
A slate countertop is aesthetic, durable, and even more low-maintenance than granite, marble, or a concrete countertop. Slate is a non-porous material that does not absorb liquid or chip easily, and won’t easily be marred by hot pans. Slate is also more affordable than marble or granite countertops but offers subdued colors that can complement vibrant interiors.
Solid Surface Countertops:
Solid surface countertops are a mid-range material option that is a combination of minerals, pigment, and resin which makes it an alternative to natural stone. These countertops are nonporous, easy to clean, and easy to repair. If you are looking for new countertops that can mimic real stone but provide a seamless finish, look into solid surface options.
Ceramic Tile Countertops:
Ceramic tile is a material typically used for flooring and backsplashes but is a great choice for kitchen countertops as well. Ceramic or porcelain are fired to create this type of countertop which can be resistant to stains and waterproof if it is sealed correctly.
Recycled and non-recycled glass is another great choice for your kitchen countertops. A glass countertop is heat-resistant, stain-resistant, and scratch-resistant and can be translucent, colored, smooth, or textured. This material allows you to custom-design your countertops to be a certain thickness, glass, and finish.
Quartz is an engineered stone material that is made out of 95% ground mined natural-quartz crystals fused with 5% of resin to form slabs for kitchen countertops. Quartz countertops are durable, anti-microbial, and versatile. The resin ensures flexibility which even allows fabricators to shape them onto a curved kitchen countertop.
Compared to other types of countertops, soapstone is not as common because it is naturally made from steatite stone. This natural stone is rustic, resistant to heat, resistant to stains, does not crack easily, and is environmentally friendly.
Its composition, dense and compact particles, means that soapstone does not need to be sealed regularly either. Soapstone is softer than granite, another natural stone, but can easily be carved for different countertop shapes and sizes.
Laminate countertops are on the more budget-friendly side of the spectrum. Laminate countertops are layers of plastic laminate bonded to kraft paper of particleboard that create a solid surface.
Another reason laminate countertops are so popular is that they are available in a variety of textures, colors, and patterns that can mimic marble or stainless steel. Laminate countertops also mean DIY installation and easy to maintain option.
Stainless Steel Countertops:
Stainless steel countertops are not prone to rust, stains, and can withstand heat. Choose from a satin, brushed metal, mirror polish, or antique matte finish even for large expanses of countertop. Stainless steel is also an elegant choice and can be customized so that even your kitchen cabinets or sinks match your countertops. Though not the most budget-friendly, these countertops can last a lifetime.
The most popular countertop manufacturers are:
Caesarestone offers premium quartz countertops that are timeless, durable, and has endless design potential for all kitchens.
With innovative designs, Cambria Quartz has become a leading provider of stunning and quality countertops. Customize and enjoy the natural stone, low-maintenance, durable countertops that Cambria has to offer.
Corian countertops are designed to withstand daily wear and tear and fit seamlessly into contemporary-style kitchens. Corian countertops are easy to maintain, will last years, and can be made out of custom-made slabs with different color combinations and designs.
Countertops manufactured by HanStone are heatproof, can withstand scratching, and does not stain. HanStone has designed its countertops to prevent bacteria or mildew growth and has a variety of non-porous, colouful options available.
Viatera surfaces offer you strength, hygiene, and minimal countertop maintenance. Each countertop is produced with high-quality and sustainable quartz which is an elegant and reliable choice for homes and businesses alike.
If you’re looking for spill, stain, impact, and scratch-proof countertops, Silestone has a beautiful selection just for you. This manufacturer designs countertops for life and there are a variety of patterns, finishes, and colors to choose from.
How much do different materials cost?
Your countertop, on average per square foot, will cost:
- Butcher Block: $35 to $200
- Ceramic Tile: $30 to $200
- Concrete: $70 to $150
- Glass: $25 to $100
- Granite: $45 to $200
- Laminate: $20 to $50
- Marble: $125 to $250
- Quartz: $100 to $150
- Slate: $50 to $65
- Soapstone: $20 to $185
- Solid Surface: $75 to $120
- Stainless Steel: $20 to $150
What factors play a role in the cost of countertops?
The different factors that will affect how affordable your new countertops will include its:
- Availability: The demand for what you’re looking for will be a factor.
- Color: Some colors, hues, and patterns are rarer than others which will be more expensive.
- Edge Profile: Intricate designs are more time-consuming and detail-oriented which is why you will need to take this into consideration.
- Installation Fee: If you’re not installing one yourself, professionals may charge you anywhere from $1800 to $4000.
- Quality: Not all surfaces are manufactured equally and materials that have been treated or have different grades will vary in price.
- Size and Thickness: A much larger and thicker option will cost more simply because it will take longer and more materials to manufacture.
What is the most affordable type of kitchen countertop?
The most budget-friendly material you can buy for your kitchen’s countertops is laminate. Made famous by Formica, laminate countertops have endless design options that can easily be integrated into any kitchen. However, laminate can be difficult to repair, has a relatively short lifespan, and is susceptible to delamination and chipping.
What is the best countertop material?
The best kitchen countertop material is granite. A granite countertop can withstand a pan that has been heated up to 1200°F (649°C) which makes this material a popular choice in commercial kitchens.
Additionally, each granite slab is a unique color, durable, and affordable even if you choose to get it professionally installed.
How do you choose new countertops?
The most important question to ask yourself is how your kitchen space is used. This will help you determine whether or not you need a slab that will not stain or be prone to scratches. You should also think about how much maintenance you are willing to put in after you install new countertops because some will need sealing more often than others.
Also, think about your space and the style of your current kitchen to narrow down materials and the different shades they are available in. Would you rather have wood that has been sanded down for a rustic feel or a tile surface that is vibrant and modern? You should also consider your budget before heading out to the store and picking out potential countertops.