Kitchen countertops have come a long way since the days of formica, various kinds of plastics or even particleboard! Now, natural materials have become the materials of choice – granite, marble and wood. I’d be very surprised if any of those go out of style soon. Consumers like the fact that natural products are often renewable resources, environmentally friendly and beautiful to look at.
Care, however, can be an issue. Natural stone and wood surfaces must be treated and oiled at least once per year. Beware of hot pots, sharp knives or food splatters. Any of those can cause irreparable damage in a moment of distraction. Despite the dangers, though, many people opt for these countertops, and they’re often installed automatically in newly-built homes. Stone surfaces, especially, can be expensive. But, with proper care, they will last a lifetime and always look as beautiful as the day they were first installed.
Do you love natural countertops but are put off by the cost? Then you’ll be very happy to know that there’s a less expensive way to own stone counters. Instead of purchasing a counter that is made completely from stone, you can choose a thin layer of stone that can be laid directly on top of your existing countertop.
Hybrid, or engineered, kitchen counters have become increasingly popular. These countertops are made by mixing polymers with glass, stone or plastic. Color and veining are added to match your kitchen design and preferences. Made to be nonporous (so stains won’t sink in!), hygienic and impact-resistant, this kind of countertop is less expensive than natural stone or wood, but can be much easier to care for.
Finally, just as popular this year as stone, wood and hybrid countertop materials is stainless steel. The concept of the professional kitchen in the home has not faded. Stainless steel looks clean, is hygienic and will not scratch or dent easily. Some people do complain that stainless steel makes the kitchen look cold, clinical and uninviting. But, with the right accent materials, like warm wooden cabinets and a natural stone backsplash, stainless steel will look stunning.
There are so many choices in countertops available today. Better yet, there’s really no right or wrong answer to the design choice you make. The ultimate trend is to build your kitchen space according to the materials and colors that make you happy.
So, which countertop material is your favorite?