Remodeling a kitchen is a huge undertaking. The longer a project takes, the more disorganized you feel. One of the best pieces of advice we can give you is this: go into your kitchen remodel with all of your research done and your final decisions made.

Perhaps one of the hardest decisions you’ll be faced with is which countertop material to use. Every household has different needs, and every homeowner has his or her own distinct tastes. Given the number of modern options for countertops, choosing from among them can become a stressful task. Check out our quick primer below for the best and worst characteristics of the most common types of countertops.

Local Look: Check out locally owned and operated Classic Marble Granite and Tile on Dorchester Road in N. Charleston for an array of beautiful, custom countertop options for your home.

crc2Granite

Granite is a natural material that comes from igneous stone deposits. The type of mineral present in the rock dictates the color and veining that make every slab of granite so unique.

Pros:
  • There’s a granite pattern out there to match every style and taste.
  • Superior strength and durability for longevity
  • Resistant to scratches and heat damage
  • Stain resistant when sealed properly and regularly
Cons:
  • Can be a pricey option compared to materials like wood or laminate
  • Poorly sealed granite can be a breeding ground for bacteria
  • Cracking and chipping may occur if heavy items are dropped on the counter

Laminate

Laminate countertops have a hard particleboard core with layers of plastic laminate bonded over the top. These are sometimes looked down upon as a cheap option, but modern styles are much more durable than they have been in the past.

Pros:
  • One of the least expensive countertop materials
  • Greatest number of choices for color, pattern, and even texture
  • Easiest to clean
  • Seams can be hidden more easily than with other materials
Cons:
  • More prone to scratching and burns
  • Difficult to repair if damaged

Wood

Butcherblock and reclaimed wood are both great options for those who enjoy cooking/baking and who value functionality; they’re also very trendy right now.

Pros:
  • Handles cutting well
  • Scratches or scars can add character
  • Can be sanded and resealed over time
  • Coordinates with nearly every type of cabinet and flooring
Cons:
  • Can harbor germs if not cleaned properly
  • May warp if they get too wet
  • Require more maintenance (must be oiled every 1-3 months)

 

Quartz

Because quartz is an engineered stone, it offers the advantages of granite but requires less maintenance.

Pros:
  • Not porous, so it doesn’t have to be sealed
  • Has the look of granite but offers a wider range of colors and designs
  • Great durability
Cons:
  • Can be fairly expensive (but less costly than granite)

Solid Surface

Solid surface countertops like Corian make for a good compromise between laminate and granite.

Pros:
  • Wide variety of colors and styles
  • Non-porous, so not prone to stains or bacteria
  • Can be fitted seamlessly
Cons:
  • Can scratch easily, though not as difficult to repair as laminate
  • Not heat resistant

crc3Stainless Steel

Perfect for a retro or contemporary look, stainless steel is a great material for those who prefer clean lines, a professional look, and less maintenance.

Pros:
  • Simple look that blends easily with most styles
  • Gives a kitchen a professional look
  • Comes in a variety of finishes
  • Very durable and can be easily cleaned
Cons:
  • Can be expensive
  • Must be wiped down regularly since it smudges easily
  • Not a good look if you prefer a warm, inviting look

Concrete

Concrete is a very of-the-moment material for countertops. Its pros and cons are about equal, so most people choose it for its trendiness.

Pros:
  • Durable and very hard
  • Not easily chipped
  • Easily formed to fit odd shapes and sizes
  • Can be pigmented to fit different color schemes
Cons:
  • Installation can be expensive
  • High maintenance due to its porous nature
  • Spills can create stains quickly
  • Very trendy, so could be considered passé in the next few years

crc4Tile

While tiles don’t seem to be extremely popular, they are a great way to personalize your kitchen.

Pros:
  • Unlimited options as far as customization
  • Wide variety of colors, sizes, and designs
  • Cost-effective material
Cons:
  • Installation can be pricey
  • Can crack easily if not properly cared for
  • Grout must be sealed often to prevent collection of germs, otherwise cleaning can be a pain

What countertop material have you chosen? We’d love you to share your before & afters on the Pink Verbena Facebook page!

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