Any remodeling project requires making a lot of decisions, and homeowners have more choices for almost everything than ever before. Case in point: selecting new countertops means looking through a dizzying array of materials in a virtually endless selection of colors and textures.
As the local experts in kitchen remodeling in Southeast MI, one of the most common questions we get is, “What is the best material for kitchen countertops?” Like so many aspects of home renovation, there’s no simple answer. Every countertop option has its own pros and cons, and the granite that looks perfect in one kitchen could overwhelm a different space.
Although many of our clients come to us with a general idea of how they want their home to look, once they see the many different options for their countertop replacement, they need more help making sense of their choices. Here, we outline some of the most popular materials and their pros and cons to help you select the best one for your home.
What to Think About When Buying New Counters
When clients ask us, “What is the best material for kitchen countertops?” we usually ask a few follow-up questions to get a better sense of your preferences, lifestyle, and overall goals for the space, like:
- How much maintenance are you willing to do?
- Are you willing to mix and match countertop materials?
- Do you need extra stain or heat resistance?
- What is the aesthetic you want for the space?
- Are you revamping the whole room or just replacing the work surfaces?
- What is your budget?
Once we have a sense of your expectations, we can narrow down the selection to find the right one. From granite and engineered stone to metal and laminate, there’s a solid surface for every taste and budget.
The Most Popular Kitchen Countertop Options in Southeast MI
To give you a better idea of your choices, the following are some of the most popular materials for residential kitchens.
Durable and long-lasting, granite is by far the most sought-after counter material. With a wide array of colors and natural patterns, these counters look great with nearly every kitchen style. It’s naturally heat resistant (so you don’t need to worry about putting hot pots and pans down on it) and not prone to scratches or abrasions, but it does require regular sealing.
Engineered quartz looks like natural granite, but the mixture of natural stone and acrylic polymers is easy to maintain since it doesn’t require sealing or special cleaners. It’s less expensive than granite too, but it doesn’t resist heat and is vulnerable to fading. Still, for busy families that need an attractive and bacteria-resistant countertop that can withstand frequent cleaning, it’s an excellent compromise.
Few counter materials can match marble for a luxurious, high-end appearance. Natural marble is one of the most expensive options, but it resists heat, cracking, and scratches, and with regular sealing, it looks beautiful for decades. If you like the look of marble but not the maintenance requirements or price tag, choose an engineered stone that looks like marble.
In a rustic or country-style kitchen, nothing looks better than a wooden butcher block counter. An environmentally friendly option, butcher block is long-lasting when properly maintained. Protecting the surface from moisture and stains and oiling and sealing the wood frequently keeps it in good condition.
An affordable option, laminate is a lightweight, non-porous surface made from particle board, resin, plastic, and paper. Although the surface is easy to clean and stain-resistant, it’s also vulnerable to heat damage and scratching. Of all the countertop options, it has the shortest lifespan, but it’s easiest on the wallet and comes in a nearly endless variety of colors and patterns.
Using ceramic tile on the counter is a great way to achieve a one-of-a-kind look and add color and texture to a kitchen. Tiles are affordable, durable, and heat-resistant but can also be vulnerable to cracking and chipping. The grout between tiles is also prone to staining, so these counters require some careful care and maintenance.
For a contemporary or industrial-style kitchen, look into stainless steel, copper, or brass countertops. All are fairly expensive, but they are non-porous surfaces that resist heat, staining, and bacteria. Copper and brass develop a stunning patina over time that only adds to the overall look of your kitchen.
A relatively new trend in kitchen countertops, concrete allows a fully custom look that’s impervious to virtually anything you throw its way. Concrete is both expensive and heavy, but skilled craftspeople can add tints and patterns for a 100% unique surface. Concrete is vulnerable to moisture and staining, so it requires regular sealing, and in rare cases, natural shifts can cause it to crack or break,
Make Your Home One-of-a-Kind
No rule says you have to use a single countertop material throughout the entire kitchen, so if you love something but have concerns about its cost, durability, or maintenance requirements, consider using multiple materials. For example, marble stays cool, making it ideal for baking, so add a small marble slab to the island, and use a less delicate stone elsewhere. It’s your kitchen, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different options to get exactly what you need.
Southeast Michigan’s Best Source for Custom Kitchens
Choosing countertops is just one part of a kitchen renovation project. Instead of overwhelming yourself with choices and falling down the endless rabbit hole of Pinterest ideas, make an appointment with one of the accomplished designers of Cabinet Creations for help. We can tackle the biggest kitchen challenges, from choosing a cabinet color for black countertops to overhauling a dark and inefficient layout, giving you a dream kitchen that’s both beautiful and functional. We’ll arrive whenever you need us, helping to make sure you get a fantastic installation.
Whether you’re still wondering what is the best material for kitchen countertops or want to discuss new custom cabinets, call Cabinet Creations at (248) 618-3332 to speak with a team member and start your project.
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