Which Type of Kitchen Countertop is Right for You?

man holding head from too many choicesBefore you decide on a color or pattern for your new counters, the first major choice is to decide which type of kitchen countertop material is right for you.  Would something upscale like granite or quartz suit your style and the look you want?  Would you prefer something like Corian or laminate that requires less maintenance?  Traditional or contemporary?  Kid friendly?

With so many choices, your answer to these types of questions will help you decide the right type of countertops for your kitchen. Finally, at the end of this article is a video from Nadia at Howdini, walking through several tips to help you out.

Look and Appearance?

If you love a traditional look, granite, butcher block or other wood, or marble countertops are ideal.  For a contemporary flair, quartz, concrete or stainless steel might be better.

If you are artistic and want something creative and unique, recycled glass countertops or tile countertops give you wonderful freedom of expression.

Today’s laminates and solid surface countertops offer the widest array of colors and patterns, many of which mimic more expensive materials, so in them you’ll find something for everyone.  If you’ve got eclectic tastes, you might do some tasteful mixing and matching of kitchen countertop materials.

What’s your Lifestyle?

Are you a person on the go who isn’t a big fan of housework?  If so, choose a low-maintenance product.  Solid surface, laminate, recycled glass, quartz, engineered stone or stainless steel countertops require very little extra work.

If you enjoy working on your home and don’t mind giving countertops some TLC when required, your options include porous types such as granite or concrete countertops or wood kitchen countertops.

All of these need to be sealed periodically and wood does better if it is oiled every 2-3 months.  Grout on tile will also need occasional maintenance to counteract discoloration or stains.

Recycled materials are now making their way into kitchen countertop designs.  Recycled glass countertops use up to 90% recycled material.  Other solid countertop types are made from a high percentage of recycled paper, particle board, wood and other materials.  These are very attractive options that are also very friendly to the environment.

Family and Budget?

Some kitchen countertops are not as kid-friendly as others.  Those that stain easily include marble, some granite and concrete, and wood that isn’t well-maintained.  If your kids are older and doing some cooking on their own, keep in mind that laminate, Corian and other solid surface products, and some wood countertops don’t resist heat very well and hot pots or pans can leave a lasting mark.

If your budget is large, consider pricier kitchen countertops such as concrete, granite, quartz, Corian, or stainless steel.  Mid-range options include solid surface products, tile, some woods, and recycled glass countertops. Those on a limited budget can still find very nice kitchen countertops in butcher block, laminate and even tile, especially if you could install the tile yourself if you’ve got good DIY skills.

Which of these categories resonates with you?  Use your answers to narrow your choices – it will make the ultimate decision that much easier!  A wide array of materials, colors, patterns, styles and prices mean that there are great kitchen countertops made for every home.

1 Response

  1. Great article! I think the best low maintenance option is solid surface/corian. It is super low maintenance and the seamless lines of an integrated sink are very easy to clean.

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