Most kitchen makeovers involve the replacement of the countertop, whether to get rid of the old and, often, damaged slab or just upgrade. And while this seems to be the least of your worries – among all things you need to think, do, and decide before the kitchen renovation, it is quite a task.
Kitchen countertops must be durable, safe, convenient, aesthetically pleasing, long-lasting – the list goes on. No wonder everyone focuses on the kitchen countertop material. The qualities of materials make all the difference. Then again, you need to consider the thickness and the thicker we go, the heavier the counter gets – not a good thing for the cabinets underneath. See? One thing leads to another, making the decision difficult.
So, we have prepared a few questions, which you could answer to make your decision much easier because when it comes to the kitchen countertops, aesthetics matter but strength and resistance matter even more.
What do you expect from your kitchen countertop?
As you should do for any aspect of the kitchen remodeling, focus on your probable expectations from the counter. To do that, consider your habits. Is this a really busy kitchen? Or, hardly ever used? In the case of the latter, for example, you should feel free to choose any material you like. But in the case of the former, you should pay attention to the resistance and durability of the material. Granite and engineered quartz take lead when it comes to such qualities. If you are in a habit of chopping right on the counter, you may consider getting a butcher’s block – at least, in one section of the counter or on the kitchen island.
How much are you willing to spend on the kitchen countertop?
In regard to the kitchen countertop materials, the prices vary a lot, with marble and quartz found on the top of the list with the most expensive products. Now, with some materials – like marble and granite, the species, the availability, the location, and even the finish will also influence the price.
You need to remember that the price is not subject only to the material but also the counter’s thickness and features, like the edges. The cost may be higher if you need to add extra support to the cabinets under a heavy cabinet. And then, the cost depends on the countertop’s size.
Now, what you need to consider is not just your overall budget but also things, like: how much of your kitchen remodel budget are you willing to spend on the countertop? Is this your home? And are you planning to stay here for a long time? Is your intention to keep it for as long as possible – hence, spend more today to save in the long run? As a rule of thumb, it’s wise to spend no more than 20-25% of your overall kitchen reno budget for the counter, but then again it depends on your needs.
Are you prepared for some maintenance? Or not?
Nobody likes maintenance. But some are willing to go through it to enjoy the marvel of a porous material, like granite, quartzite and marble. If you want to avoid maintenance altogether, opt for engineered quartz. Overall, to avoid maintenance – at least, often, choose the least porous material possible.
Also, prefer seamless slabs. Seams are often not avoidable, especially if the countertop is rather large or U/L-shaped. While seams are usually concealed with epoxy, maintenance becomes easier with solid materials, like Corian and concrete.
What’s your taste, in terms of kitchen countertop materials & colors?
Consider this: while you can choose dark or light colors – at least, in most cases, the appearance of some materials cannot change completely. Take marble, quartzite, and granite, for example. On one hand, each slab is unique since these are natural stones. On the other hand, veining is marble’s distinguished trademark. Granite is known for its flecks. If you don’t like such looks, consider solid colors and thus, concrete, or go for wood.