How to Choose the Right Kitchen Countertop Material

It’s tempting to choose your kitchen countertop based on looks alone. Unfortunately, the look of a countertop doesn’t take into account your daily lifestyle. This is why one of the key considerations I discuss with each client is maintenance.

How much or how little maintenance are you willing to do?

This may seem like a silly question. But, properly maintaining your countertop is essential to the long-term beauty and functionality of your kitchen. And, that’s something in which I believe. I believe your kitchen should look as stunning as the day it was finished 10, 15 and 20 years later.

The following are six of the most common materials homeowners consider when we discuss countertop designs. However, there are a wide variety of choices available. As we explore different countertop ideas, it might be none of these are right for you and we need to go a completely different direction. That’s okay.

The right countertop is the countertop that fits your lifestyle and appeals to you aesthetically.  

6 Common Kitchen Countertops

1. Marble

In recent years, marble has started to grow in popularity. The elegant look often offers a light countertop solution that can visually open up a space. Additionally, marble is fabulous if you are passionate about making pastries. The material tends to stay consistent in temperature, allowing pastry dough to be rolled and manipulated more easily.

However, marble is also one of the most temperamental and high maintenance countertop surfaces. It has a tendency to stain and etch. This means everything from a spilled glass of wine and flying bits of salad dressing to a damp sponge or dirty spoon can quickly mar your surface.

Pros: Extremely Elegant.

Cons: High Maintenance. Easily Stained.

2. Granite

Granite is the most common natural stone used for countertops. It offers an ultra-durable and relatively low-maintenance surface. Additionally, it comes in a wide variety of colors ranging from blacks and beiges to whites and greens.

However, no two pieces of granite are alike. This means looking at a small sample doesn’t always equate to what’s delivered. When dealing with granite, it’s preferable to see the full slab when making your selection. Here at Eren Design, we work closely with trusted stone dealers to ensure we get the highest quality products.

Additionally, granite needs to be sealed. The stone is naturally porous, meaning it can absorb liquids, fats, and oils. Once a foreign matter is absorbed, the stain is typically impossible to remove. Overtime, the sealant wears off. Typically, we recommend reapplying sealant once a year.

Pros: Variety of Colors. Extremely Durable.

Cons: Some Maintenance Required.

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3. Quartz

Without a doubt, the easiest countertop surface to maintain is quartz. A man made product, it doesn’t accept stains – making maintenance a breeze. If you spill something, you simply wipe it up. Easy-peasy.

However, quartz looks a bit different than natural stone. For some clients, it doesn’t offer the earthy tones they want. Manufactures are constantly making improvements, and some of the quartz varieties have started to more closely resemble both marble and granite.

Pros: Ultra-Durable. Low Maintenance. Eco-Friendly Friendly.

Cons: Untraditional Finish.

4. Denton

Relatively new to the countertop market, denton has started to gain popularity for its eye-catching looks and eco-friendly manufacturing process. Similar to quartz, this man made product is extremely eco-friendly and low maintenance. Made from crushed glass, these unique counters are either encased in a clear acrylic or embedded in concrete.

Though denton is relatively strong, the corners can crack under extremely heavy weight. Additionally, highly acidic foods or harsh cleaners can cause the surface to be marred and/or stained.

Pros: Low Maintenance. Eco-Friendly.

Cons: Corners Susceptible to Cracking Under Heavy Weight. Surface Susceptible to Stains from Acidic Materials.

5. Wood

Wood is prized for its ultra-natural and warm look. A large butcher-block counter can instantly make a kitchen feel homier. Additionally, the softer surface is easier on knives and any dishes which the clumsier members of your household drop.

Wood can also be a very environmentally friendly solution for homeowners, as they can opt to utilize reclaimed wood. There a variety of types of wood used, including:

  • Maple
  • Cherry
  • Oak
  • Birch
  • Teak

Though technically a grass, bamboo is also used to simulate a wood-like appearance. One of the biggest issues with wood is the maintenance involved. In order to keep your kitchen countertops safe and germ free, wood needs to be sealed and treated on a regular basis. Wood can be scratched and dented easily – especially if you plan to use it as a cutting board. And, wood is extremely susceptible to water damage. Leaving a damp cloth or sponge on the counter, even for a short time, can quickly cause a stain to develop.

Pros: Appearance. Softer Surface. Eco-Friendly Friendly.

Cons: High Maintenance. Susceptible to Water Damage. Scratches and Dents Easily.

6. Ceramic Tiles

Unlike a single surface, tiles are installed in a pattern. Sometimes these patterns are simple, such as large rows of squares. This is often more affordable option for homeowners. (It’s also worth noting both marble and granite tiles are often utilized as a money-saving solution.)

Alternatively, tile countertops can be incredibly intricate. They can feature a wide array of colors and patterns. Some homeowners love they ability to have a customized design that acts as a built-in art piece.

On the flip side, tiles require grout. The more grout you have, the more grout that can fail. When your grout fails, moisture can seep below the surface of your countertop and become trapped, allowing mold to grow and further damage to occur. Additionally, tiles can crack over time. Depending on the design and location of the cracked tile this can be incredibly difficult to repair.

Pros: Customized Design. Affordability.

Cons: Cracking Tiles. Failing Grout.

Have questions about which kitchen countertops are right for your remodel?

Schedule a complimentary consultation today.

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