Nowadays, a kitchen remodel, even a minor one, can significantly boost your home’s value. Just replacing those humdrum fixtures, cabinets or countertops will give your kitchen an upbeat feel and pleasing quality. When it comes to countertops, there are many materials, colors and styles out there. Do you need some help finding the right one? Trust the expert kitchen remodelers from Handyman Connection of Blue Ash to give you the best advice.
Comparing kitchen countertops
Selecting which material countertop you want is your first step. Then you’ll be able to see all the colors and designs available. Your decision, of course, will be based on what you can afford, so let’s start from some the most expensive countertops to the least expensive and discuss the pros and cons of each.
Stainless steel is among the most costly countertop materials due to the fact you have to have it custom made for your kitchen. Offering a sleek and stylish look, stainless steel countertops blend seamlessly with stainless appliances and are extremely durable. However, steel is susceptible to chemical discoloring, denting and scratching and required frequent polishing.
Another pricey countertop material is paper composite. Made of paper fibers combined with resin, this material is highly resilient. It has a warm elegance and is much lighter than concrete or natural stone. However, the material can scratch easily and requires regular mineral oil applications with light sanding to keep it looking nice.
Concrete countertop material is also up there in price because, like stainless steel, it has to be specially made to order. However, you can get it tinted and textured according to your wishes. While the material is strong, it isn’t heat resistant and is prone to chipping and scratching. Also, because concrete is porous, you’ll have to seal it often to keep it from staining.
Next in line is the soapstone countertop. This material has a matte finish and possesses a natural softness that goes well in a vintage or country-style kitchen. It requires habitual oil rubbing and can crack through time, however.
Then there are stunning granite, quartz and marble countertops. Since marble and granite are porous, their surfaces must be sealed often to prevent staining and the growth of bacteria. Quartz, however, is nonporous and doesn’t require sealing. Although granite is considered the hardiest natural countertop material there is, quartz, an engineered stone, is even stronger than granite. Because granite and marble are natural materials, they tend to be slightly more expensive than quartz.
Solid surfacing countertops, also manmade, compare in price with granite. This material comes in gorgeous styles that mimic marble, concrete, stone and quartz. Moreover, it’s waterproof and resists heat and impacts. Although scratches can easily appear on its surface, they can be buffed away.
Another attractive and popular choice is ceramic tile, though less expensive. With a huge availability of colors and designs, you can create beautiful patterns to reflect your taste. Ceramic tile resists heat well; however, tile edges and corners are vulnerable to chipping.
The most affordable countertop material is laminate. Through the years, laminate countertops have improved in durability and style. Laminate is a smart choice if you need to invest in other important kitchen updates such as cabinetry or flooring. The key, however, is to get it professionally installed so that edges, seams and other details will turn out perfectly. In addition, if not properly installed, water can seep below the surface and cause the material to rot and swell. Although practically maintenance free, this material easily scratches.