If you are in the process of building a new home or remodeling, you’ve been faced with the decision on what to do with your countertops. Just yesterday I was at a slab yard with a client, and she was faced with the hard decision of choosing a material that worked for her and her busy lifestyle, rather than a look she loves. What makes that difficult? Well she’s been all over pinterest, where the photos are filled of white cabinets and marble counters. Unfortunately marble is not ideal for her kitchen. She needs to place items straight out of the oven on the counters, something stone experts don’t highly recommend. And while she was disappointed to sacrifice the look, ultimately she fell in love with a granite that was ideal for her space.

choosing kitchen countertops

Choosing kitchen counters can seem difficult, but don’t feel like you’re limited on the beauty your tops can create, just because they aren’t the material you thought they should be. There are many awesome options available, and like my client, you’ll certainly be able to find something that meets both the beauty and functionality you need. Here’s how to choose the right kitchen countertops for the life you lead.

  • What type of cooking do you do?
  • Do you bake a lot?
  • Do you deep clean your kitchen often?
  • How much maintenance are you willing to care for?
  • Do you want to think about your counters every time you cook?
  • Are you OK with imperfections?
  • Do you appreciate a patina, or prefer perfection?

Before a decision can be made on the surface you choose, first determine what your needs are. Figure out how you use your space and the rest will be easy to decide. It will also keep you focused so you aren’t tempted to look at materials that don’t fit the bill. Another word of advise, always go to the slab yard and hand pick your tops. Man made materials are uniform, but natural stone will have details that cannot be seen in a small sample.

 

 

kitchen counters

How to choose kitchen countertop materials – the top 6 options available and what you need to know.

Wood is an excellent choice for counter tops, especially black walnut. It is heat and stain resistant and adds warmth to a kitchen that’s hard to attain with stone. Wood tops can be pricey but well worth the investment because they will last forever.
Limestone can come thicker than other stones. It comes in many ranges of neutral colors. It will develop stains and patina over time, which is part of its alluring memory in a home. If you are working with a neutral interior, this stone compliments it well and adds great texture. If cared for and sealed yearly, this stone will hold up well, but it is not recommended to place high heat directly on it.
Who doesn’t love the beauty of soapstone? Although considered soft, soapstone is very durable. It won’t burn or stain and requires little maintenance. Unlike other stones, soapstone ages into a darker color and does require oil for its care. All in all if you are looking for a stone with unique character and are looking to break from the norm, soapstone is an excellent choice.
The holy grail for counters. Marble is one of the oldest materials seen in homes. Recently it’s had a huge resurgence as homeowners tire of every day granite options. A wonderful option for kitchens is honed marble. Marble does stain, and it is not heat resistant, but if cared for will last forever. Common complaints are stains and etching, two concerns that are results from lack of care.
Like marble, a honed granite gives an updated look to a popular surface that many have gotten tired of. Extremely durable and easy to care for. Heat resistant, stain resistant, and easy to care for. A bit over used so opt for different finishes or an exotic that isn’t as common.
A terrific option for those looking for a marble look without the maintenance. As many say, the look of marble with the durability of granite. Considered a hard material that won’t scratch or etch if cared for properly. Can withstand heat if the material is a true natural quartzite. Be sure to ask questions as many tops are a marble, quartzite mix. Tons of neutral options to choose from and a unique look and style unsurpassed by any of the other options.

how to choose kitchen counters

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