The kitchen countertop has to be able to take a lot of abuse including the heat of pots, cutting and knives, and abrasive cleansers. The ideal countertop should be able to stand up to heat and the sharp edge of a knife.
Let us take a look at 7 of the most popular kitchen countertop materials being used today:
Granite – A natural stone, granite is a popular choice for its classic beauty and durability. Granite is the hardest and densest of the natural stones. It can create a kitchen countertop that is extremely scratch resistant and can keep its luster longer than most materials. granite slabs are the most expensive of all kitchen countertop surfaces, although it is still considered a very practical material in that it is virtually indestructible.
Marble – Another natural stone, marble is considered to be the height of elegance and will last longer than most kitchens. It is, however, is very expensive and requires some care: acidic foods such as orange juice will etch the finished surface of a marble kitchen countertop.
Slate – Because of its richness and beauty slate is usually used in interior applications such as kitchen countertops, bathroom sinks or fireplace surrounds. It can be used in either modern or traditional kitchens as well as in combination with marble. Slate is durable, strong, and can withstand hard use. It is less expensive than marble
Concrete – This is one of the biggest trends in kitchen countertops today. It is a good look for clean, industrial, and contemporary kitchen designs. Available in pre-formed sections or poured and formed on-site. Concrete is a good material for unusually shaped counters. Concrete kitchen countertops are expensive, require a sealant, and must be treated with care. The countertop can crack if the concrete should contract. Concrete can be stained any color. The most popular color is a natural gray tone. The top layer can be finished as desired.
Corian – A solid surface material that first became popular in the 1990’s It is highly recommended by kitchen countertop experts. It is a totally manmade product and is not porous. As a solid surface, it can easily be repaired if scratched or burned.
Stainless Steel – Advantages include very hygienic, easy to clean, has the ability to stand up to extremes wear, and heat. Stainless steel can provide a great look for an ultra-modern kitchen. Some disadvantages with stainless are that it can be noisy and that scratches can develop.
Tile – Tile surfaces can be tough, hard-wearing takes hot pans, heat, and stain-resistant as well as beautiful. There are many types of tiles including ceramic, porcelain, quarry, glass, natural stone, and mosaic. Available in many colors, sizes, and textures. It has good design flexibility. Tile can often be used for trim or backsplashes. The downside of tile is that the grouts can be easily stained. Also, the tiles can become chipped or cracked.