The kitchen is the heart of every home. It is the most utilized space in the house, which accounts for various daily activities such as preparation of food, cleaning utensils, cutting vegetables, etc. A kitchen countertop is a horizontal surface in the kitchen, which is used for the preparation of food. It is installed on the top of the cabinet. Kitchen cabinets are box-shaped pieces of furniture with drawers for storing kitchen items.
There are numerous types of kitchen countertops available in the market. Designs of kitchen countertops depend on the function, durability, and aesthetic appearance of materials. Choosing the right material for your counter is important as it affects the functionality of your kitchen. It also adds to the resale value of your home at the time of selling. Here we have given a guide to select the kitchen countertops, which a homeowner must know before planning or remodeling the kitchen.
Natural stones such as granite and marble are most widely used materials for kitchen countertops. Due to technological advancements, many more materials are nowadays available which can be used in kitchen countertops such as concrete, laminate, recycled glass, reclaimed wood, porcelain, tiles, etc. According to the requirement and budget of the user, one can select any of the below given type of kitchen countertops.
List of Materials used for Kitchen Countertops
Materials for Kitchen Countertops
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- Soft Wood
- Hard Wood
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- Stainless Steel
- Tempered Glass
- Textured Glass
- Compressed Paper Or Fiber
- Cultured Marble
- Quartz Surfacing (Engineering Stone)
- Acrylic Plastic
- Polyester Acrylic
- Phenolic Resin
- Recycled Glass
- Reclaimed Wood
An Ideal Kitchen Countertop should possess the following features:
- The top surface of the kitchen countertop must be smooth so that it can be cleaned and dries easily.
- Kitchen countertops must be hard enough to perform normal kitchen operations like cutting, chopping of vegetables, etc. without any damage.
- It should not allow the growth of bacteria. It should be hygienic and also eco-friendly.
- Kitchen countertops should not be porous, i.e. they should not absorb oils, acids, juices or any kind liquids.
- It should be fire, scratch and heat resistant.
- Of course, it should look elegant and should be easily available and should be cost effective.
- Kitchen Countertop should have good strength and must be easy to install.
- Its edges and corner should be smooth so that its sharp edges doesn’t injure user including children who accompany mother much of the time.
- Dust, smoke, flour, etc. should not accumulate on it.
Factors to be Considered while Choosing Kitchen Countertops:
There are many factors which have to be taken in consideration while selecting a kitchen countertop for your home. Some of the major points which need to be kept in mind are as follows:
01. The Kitchen Style And Arrangement
The overall interior design of your kitchen and the layout and arrangement of the kitchen which may L-shaped, U-Shaped, G-shaped or any other must be considered. Kitchen countertops should be modern and such that they fit owner’s lifestyle and culture as well as enhance the look of kitchen.
02. Usage Intensity
If you love cooking and food preparation then it is advisable to choose countertop material which does not scratch and stain easily such as granite, stainless steel, quartz surfacing, glass and laminate kitchen countertop. If there is less food preparation and more use of electronic gadgets involved such as microwave, electric cooker, etc, then you may select softer materials such as marble, wood kitchen countertops, etc.
03. Number of Users
During house parties and gatherings, people accumulate in the kitchen. Hence you need tough and durable countertops like stainless steel, concrete, tile and laminate. Granite countertop is always a good option.
If you have kids at home, consider kid-friendly countertops such as solid surface, stainless steel, resin and quartz and not with sharp edges.
04. Care and Maintenance
Choose countertop with solid surfaces, like glass, porcelain, stainless steel, quartz, resin and laminate which needs less care and maintenance. Where moderate care is anticipated, you can select the tile, concrete, butcher block, reclaimed wood, etc. Granite and marble kitchen top need daily cleaning, regular polishing but if they are porous, it will stain and allow bacteria to grow.
Life and Cost of a Kitchen Countertop:
The cost of countertop is directly related to its life. Cost is very high for countertops providing longer life. The cost depends on the material durability and the cost of the raw materials. Hence the cost of kitchen countertop increases with the rise in quality of raw material. However, note that sometimes costly materials are not durable and user-friendly.
Kitchen countertops made from artificial material has low cost and gives an elegant look but require frequent maintenance. Granite, marble, and quartz are slightly high in cost, but till date, they are the ultimate choice of the homeowners. Stainless steel is high in cost but it is easy to clean, durable and most hygienic countertop as it has the ability to inhibit bacterial build up.