By : Diana Koh
11 October 2016
The kitchen countertop you choose can make or break the overall look of your kitchen.
Having been through kitchen renovations, we have culled some pointers to help you choose the right countertop – so you can stay happy with the choice for years to come.
There are 3 things to keep in mind:
Firstly, the look you want for your kitchen.There is such a wide variety of countertop materials, so knowing the look you want for your kitchen will help narrow down your choice. If yours is truly country kitchen style, then materials like concrete and granite are probably out. You should look instead at wood countertops which are ideal in capturing the bucolic charms of a rustic kitchen. 🙂
Secondly, consider usage. Are you a heavy-duty cook? If you whip up meals for your family daily, you need a countertop that can withstand stubborn stains and hard knocks. Given the different properties of countertop materials, this is where your choice gets a bit more difficult. For example, solid surface countertops are generally stain-resistant and scratches can be buffed out. BUT place a hot pan on it and the damage is done for life. 🙁
Thirdly, your budget. For most of us, keeping to a budget is a must. Why hanker after that beautiful marble top if this means you have to forgo the double bowl kitchen sink that you really need. Given the wide range of materials, you will most probably be able to find a good compromise – like choosing faux marble laminate countertops instead of the real thing.
Next, we will check out 5 popular kitchen countertops to help you decide.
Granite is incredibly popular among flat owners, and it is easy to see why. Granite’s beautiful mottling and natural colours make each piece unique. It can withstand splashes, knife nicks, heat and other wear and tear. Since it is a natural stone, granite must be sealed every year or so to avoid stains. As it is heavy, you would need strong supporting cabinets.
Another popular choice is solid surfaces. Fun fact – many people call it Corian, which is actually a brand name. Solid surfaces come in numerous colours and patterns, many of which resemble natural stone. They are non-porous, so maintenance is easy. No sealing or special cleaning is required, and you can have that seamless look, with no cracks to trap dirt. However, you cannot place hot items on solid surfaces – not recommended if you do not exactly have deft hands.
Laminates, are plastic-coated and available in a range of colours, with some even resembling granite. This is a good choice if your budget is small and you want something easy to clean and maintain. The downside is that laminates can get stained, burned and scratched, plus they peel off easily. With laminates, you will not be able to install an under-mount sink and this may affect the look you want.
Stainless steel is in vogue among home owners and it is no wonder – it looks stunning in kitchens and can be customised to size. Resistant to heat and bacteria, it is nearly indestructible. However, stainless steel can scratch and dent, and fingerprints show up easily. Chemicals can affect its colour and cause unwanted etching. It can also be expensive due to the custom fabrication required.
Some people like wood (or butcher block) for its warm, natural appearance. You can skip the chopping board since you can cut directly on it. The resultant scratches give it a nice worn look overtime, and if you wish too, you can sand down the scratches easily. But wood swells and contracts with moisture, and so it must be oiled regularly to protect the surface from water. Also, it harbours bacteria and needs frequent disinfecting.
From wood to granite, we have shared how these popular kitchen countertops could work for you. Let us know if you find them useful, and also your experiences renovating your kitchen at email@example.com!