The kitchen is the heart of any home, and it’s one area where you don’t want to cut corners when remodeling.
Choosing the best materials for a kitchen remodeling project will be essential, but sometimes it can be difficult to determine the best solution for your needs and your budget. The kitchen countertop is one example where you will be met with a number of choices, which can feel overwhelming when you’re in the early planning stages. A countertop needs to be durable, easy to maintain, and it should also be attractive so that it can bring out the best in one of the most important spaces of your home.
Along with your choice of cabinets and flooring material, your countertops will define the look of your kitchen, and this guide will help you to weigh up the benefits and any disadvantages of the most popular materials available today.
Laminate Countertops – High Affordability with Countless Design Options
Countertops, flooring, and cupboards made of laminate are often unfairly judged by professionals and DIY remodelers. Laminate countertops are highly affordable, which is where much of the appeal comes from, but this affordability comes with a stigma of being low quality.
The reality is that modern laminate countertops are of much higher quality than those of the past, and, because they’re manufactured, they allow for a countless number of color and design options. Laminates are hard wearing and can provide decades of service in your home, but they do require some extra care and aren’t as resistant to scratching when compared to other materials.
If you’re on a limited budget, then laminate countertops will be an attractive option. The design choices mean that you can find the perfect match for any design concept.
Manufactured Quartz Kitchen Countertops – A Modern and Highly Durable Choice
If you love the look of stone materials like marble and granite, but want a more contemporary look to your kitchen countertops, then quartz could be the ideal material for your new build or remodeling project. Quartz is made from around 90% quartz crystal, with the remaining composition being colorant and a binding compound. Because quartz countertops are engineered, you can have a comparable look and feel to solid stone, but with far more variations in color and pattern.
The look of quartz is often described as being like granite, but with more uniform patterns. If you are aiming for an aesthetic that is clean and modern, then quartz is worth consideration. Even if you want the more traditional look of cut and polished stone, quartz can be engineered to imitate materials like marble and granite, and some people appreciate the manufactured look more than the real thing.
Stainless Steel Countertops – Utilitarian with a Sleek Post-Modern Aesthetic
Stainless steel countertops in the home fell out of favor throughout the second half of last century, but there’s currently a resurgence in demand for this unique and highly versatile countertop material.
Step into any commercial kitchen, and you’ll find stainless steel countertops being used. The durability, cost, and low maintenance properties of stainless steel makes it ideal for demanding environments. When used in your home, where the wear and tear on the countertop would be much less than a commercial kitchen, you could enjoy the high sheen and impactful aesthetic of stainless steel for the lifetime of your home.
Stainless steel is not for everyone; countertops will require regular cleaning and care will need to be taken with acidic spills that could discolor the material. For those who seek a look that goes beyond the most popular modern trends, stainless steel can represent a great choice and a solid investment. Stainless steel can be used for both traditional and contemporary kitchens, but can also be made to work with transitional design, providing you have the right concept and professional advice when performing kitchen remodeling in Austin TX.
Granite Countertops – The Premium Choice, But Is It Still the Best?
Granite (along with marble) is typically seen as the premium option for kitchen countertops. The natural variation in lines and coloration gives granite a unique aesthetic that is preferred by many homeowners. Knowing that your countertop has been cut from just a few slabs of natural rock can give you a unique appreciation for your kitchen. Of course, granite is also one of the most expensive materials to use in your kitchen, and for larger kitchens it can be difficult to find the perfect match of slabs to be used on all of your bench and island countertops.
Choosing a material like granite or marble provides elegance and a true sense of pride and your kitchen. Granite is one of the most beautiful countertop materials and it can bring out the look of your cabinets and high quality kitchen appliances. The material is highly resistant to heat, scratches, and staining, and it’s also more ecofriendly to produce when compared to quartz and other manufactured materials.
You’ll pay a premium to install granite countertops in your home, but the longevity can help to offset the initial investment by providing trouble free usage and low maintenance for many years to come.
Your Vision Will Guide Your Final Decision
The choice of countertop material for a new home or kitchen remodel, will ultimately come down to your vision and the budget that you have available. How do you want your kitchen to look? Do you appreciate being able to use color and pattern combinations that aren’t available with natural stone? Do you want a traditional kitchen where only a premium material like marble or granite will fit the aesthetic?
Like any room in your home, the kitchen should meet your needs but also reflect your personality and sense of style.
Kitchen Central can help you to develop a style and aesthetic that is all your own. Guidance and project management expertise ensures you get the best kitchen remodel in Austin TX; from planning and design, right through to the final sign-off of your new kitchen.