Kitchen countertops continue to be a focal point in any kitchen. One of the reasons is that kitchen cabinet details are being simplified. There are many choices in the kinds of products – both natural and manmade – that you can select from. Each has its plusses and minuses. Here are a few of the elements to be considered when entertaining countertop ideas.
Texture: In recent years the texture has become as important, if not more important, than color in regards to countertops. Physical texture for countertops, for the most part, will always be smooth for functionality, but visual texture has proven to be an important aspect of surface aesthetics. Variations in stone or other products can add interest to your kitchen.
Stone: Granite continues to be popular, but other stone materials are becoming popular including soapstone, slate, and onyx. Each type of stone varies in cost, installation as well as maintenance requirements.
Glass: Glass countertops introduce practicality and beauty to kitchen and bath spaces. Non-porous, hygienic and impervious to stains, glass countertops can be wiped up with common glass cleaner. They are made of a high percentage of recycled glass, so are considered a green material.
Engineered Stone: Engineered stone imitates the look of natural stone by combining small stone chips, resins, and other pigments. These surfaces have quickly become some of the most popular options in countertops because they deflect stains better than natural stone without the use of sealers. While quartz surfaces won’t stand up to heavy impacts like granite will, quartz is highly resistant to scratching, scorching and staining and is also easy to maintain. Some quartz (Zodiac by DuPont, for example) is even incorporating recycled glass making it an even greener choice.
Solid Surface: Colors of solid surfaces are expanding to bright (red, yellow, blue, green) and translucent looks as well as looks that have a more visual texture. Corian® (also made by DuPont) is even Kosher certified.
Color: Neutral colors are expanding beyond the basics and some bold colors are emerging. Hot colors include reds, yellows, greens and blues. When it comes to color selection, it is all about individual preference.
Green: If you are environmentally conscious, then you want to look to glass, bamboo, and low emission engineered stone for your countertop options.
Functional: Separate work areas for baking (marble), large islands for entertaining and/or everyday use need to be considered when you are selecting the kind of countertop(s) you want to install in your kitchen.
Surface Variety: Some homeowners are even using multiple surface materials for better functionality or a more dramatic look. The type and kind of countertop material that you select depends in part on what you are using the countertop for (e.g., food preparation, crafting, playing board games, etc.).
In the end, the type of countertop(s) that you select for your home needs to work into your everyday living. While daily food preparation demands one type of countertop material, working on do-it-yourself projects, or having the space primarily for entertaining may direct you to another product. It is ok to mix-and-match countertop materials. As long as you know how to maintain each surface properly, countertops will typically last for a very long time.