Balancing looks with durability, these five countertop materials live up to their enduring popularity and timelessness. Don’t remodel your kitchen until you’ve considered these classics!
Arguably the hardiest countertop you’re apt to find. Granite is a classic owing to its high density, virtual imperviousness to heat, and extreme scratch and stain resistance. In addition to its functional properties, granite comes in an assortment of attractive mottled colors with a rich natural grain and gentle quartz sparkle. Furthermore, granite never loses its polished sheen, even if treated with a custom finish. Because of its high density and low porosity, granite is easily cleaned and therefore presents a hygienic surface for the preparation of food. All in all, granite is simple, sturdy and versatile – a great choice for your kitchen countertops. Related: Tips for a Successful Kitchen Remodel.
Another classic, this time because of its elegance and timeless style. Marble is always in vogue, particularly if you love the clean, white look for your new kitchen. From Ancient Egypt to the Greek Empire, from Renaissance-era Florence to modern contemporary homes around the world, the natural beauty of marble has appealed to masons and decorators since the dawn of civilization. The downside to marble is that it is a relatively soft stone in comparison to granite and so can chip, stain and scratch easily. For homeowners who are gentle on their surfaces, however, marble countertops can be worth it for their aesthetic appeal.
Another hardy and hygienic option. Stainless steel is ideal for quick and thorough cleaning, making them popular in the kitchens of most restaurants, caterers, and commercial food preparation. The look of stainless steel isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re going for simple and modern, stainless steel has some incredible plus-sides. On the downside, while virtually indestructible, stainless steel can scratch lightly and occasionally become dented. As the name suggests, stainless steel will never stain, but will show up other marks such as fingerprints and smudges. Stainless steel can also be quite noisy for the expressive chef. A good choice for those who love it and those who like the benefits, but for those who don’t, you’re unlikely to warm to stainless steel over time. A good welcoming compromise to stainless steel countertops? Mix it in with just a portion of all of your countertops being stainless steel.
Recycled Glass and Cement
A recent addition to countertop catalogues, recycled glass and cement countertops are eco-friendly and as hardy as they are attractive. Rather than disposing of glass in a landfill, it can be ground into a fine powder and integrated into cement as a more effective sand replacement or left as large chunks to create a stunning, characterful surface. The introduction of glass into cement not only reduces the amount of non-recycled glass, but also reduces the polluting effects of cement production. The process also means that your countertops are fully customizable with a huge variety of combinations available. For the green-warriors and homeowners looking for something a little different, recycled glass and cement countertops are an alluring option.
A truly stunning choice, soapstone is characterized by its deep greens, blues and grey, and rich natural grains. While soapstone can be quite soft depending on the variation you use, it is highly stain resistant and impervious to bacteria. It is vulnerable, however, to scratches and chipping. Another draw feature of soapstone is its smooth, almost lifelike texture because of its softness, making soapstone the ultimate luxury countertop.