When remodeling a kitchen, one of the most important decisions to make is what type of material to use for the countertop. Different types of materials have their advantages, and some even have great disadvantages. Because countertops can be expensive and difficult to install, it is very important to understand which type would suit your kitchen or lifestyle the best.
Stainless steel countertops are a popular design that looks sleek and modern. Not only are they very durable, they are probably the easiest type of countertop to clean. Their reflective surface adds light to your kitchen and they go with about any color scheme you could possibly pick for your kitchen. The main drawback to stainless steel countertops are their price. Check out this price estimator for an idea of the cost. Some people also say they are noisy, but as long as you are using a cutting board while prepping food, that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
Marble is a very fancy-looking material that will give your kitchen an elegant touch. It is very difficult (nearly impossible) to chip a marble countertop given its durability and ruggedness. Marble comes in many different color schemes, so you should be able to find it in a color that suits your tastes. Despite its resistance to chips and dents, it is possible to corrode with acidic substances such as coffee, citrus, and alcohol and needs to be treated with a finish to prevent damage. Another drawback to marble is its price- it is probably the most expensive option when choosing a new countertop.
Granite is similar to marble in that it is very rugged (actually it is even more durable) and comes in a wide variety of colors. It is known for having a great resale value, and is a huge plus if you are planning to sell your house. It is also similar to marble in that it needs to be sealed on a regular basis and can be very pricey.
Glass is an interesting choice for a countertop, although it is not one I would recommend. While it does come in a wide variety of colors and is somewhat inexpensive, it is easy to crack, chip, or even shatter if you’re not careful. It is also not a countertop that can be repaired, so be prepared to have to replace it if something bad happens.
Given their low price, laminates have become a popular option for countertops. You can find almost a limitless amount of color options for laminates, and they are somewhat durable. Over time, however, they might start to crack. They are also vulnerable to heat, so make sure you are very careful with your pots and pans while cooking up a huge meal.
Concrete is not a very popular type of countertop, but it does have its advantages. As you can imagine, it is a very strong material and can handle a lot of abuse. Given that it is concrete, you might have to pay a lot of money for the countertop to get cast, and of course it can chip as concrete can do as it gets older.
This is just a sampling of the many types of countertops available. Typically most people go with a laminate, but if you have a higher budget, you might want to consider marble or granite given their higher durability. Given the abuse countertops endure during their lifetime, durability tends to be the most important feature of a material.