One of the important details included as part of a kitchen remodeling project is choosing just the right kitchen countertop material. Some homeowners already have in mind exactly what they want and others may not have any idea. There are some things to take into consideration before making a choice such as:
- Budget – some materials are more expensive than others and by quite a bit. Decide on how much of your budget you can allow to spend on this part of the renovation project before making the final choice. You should also prioritize your expenses.
For example if you simply cannot imagine redoing your kitchen without top of the line granite counters then this should be the top of your list and the rest of the budget has to work out expense wise accordingly. On the other hand if you aren’t too concerned with your countertops then you can free up more money for the features that do matter to you.
- Use – If you are planning to use your kitchen a lot for cooking and baking then choose the material that works best for taking a beating. You don’t want to select a material that looks great when installed and looks terrible within a month because you actually used it a lot. If you really just use your kitchen as a place to store food and reheat restaurant takeout in the microwave then you don’t have to give this as much consideration.
- Cleaning and Maintenance – This is one that often gets overlooked but you have to be realistic about how much time and effort you are willing to invest into taking care of your counters. For instance, materials that are porous tend to capture dirt and will need more regular cleaning. If you don’t want to be bothered with a lot of cleaning, maintenance and upkeep then make your selection accordingly.
Examples of Material Types
These days there are almost countless possibilities for materials that can be used for kitchen counters. Try not to have your heart and head set on any one type until you understand the pros and cons of each. Although there are numerous others that could be included in this list these are some of the most common and popular choices homeowners consider for their kitchen:
- Granite – Sturdy and available in a variety of colors and patterns found in nature this choice is known for coming with a higher price tag. While it is relatively easy to clean it does require sealing every so often for longevity.
- Marble – Probably one of the most popular and desirable choices due to its luxurious finished look. However, it is very susceptible to stains even with sealing. Consider using another material for counters that will get the most use and this for more decorative accents.
- Tile – This is a popular choice because it can have a fantastic look without eating up too much of your budget. Of course this all depends on the type of tile you decide on. One advantage is that if a few tiles are damaged they can be replaced relatively easily and inexpensively. However, keeping grout free from bacteria and stains is not always an easy task.
- Laminate – Like tile this is often an option for those on a tighter budget or who would rather dedicate the majority of their finances to something like the cabinets or flooring. While it is easy to clean it is more prone to permanent stains and burns than other options.
Other popular choices include concrete, butcher block, stainless steel and soapstone – just to name a few.
The bottom line is that you should always choose what you want and not just what your contractor talks you into. However make sure the choice you make is actually practical based on the factors discussed at the beginning of the article. And you should still listen to what your remodeling contractor has to say. For example if he or she explains that your marble or granite won’t work because the cabinet base you chose isn’t sturdy enough then you are going to have to do some rethinking.