Kitchen Worktops to Complement your Space

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Kitchen Worktops to Complement your Space

A rewarding kitchen life requires three basic components — a durable sink, an efficient cooktop, and of course, a reliable worktop. A kitchen worktop is an essential kitchen component that requires careful selection as it may influence your kitchen design in general.

 

Considerations for selecting a kitchen worktop

The market now offers a broad range of different materials which you can use for covering your kitchen counters. Selections can be overwhelming, so it's always suggested to conduct prior research before choosing the final countertop material. Consider asking yourself with these simple questions first, so you won't end up wasting time and money.

 

What's your specific budget for a kitchen worktop?

The criteria for selection are always associated with the budget, which may help you create a shortlist of materials. Remember to consider other cost factors, including installation cost, wastage, and delivery charges when you make an estimate.

 

What is your preferred kitchen style?

The kitchen style is always included among the list of factors when searching for a stylish countertop, so you need to identify the specific look which you are aiming for. Consider the polished surface and monochromatic scheme if your kitchen interiors lean towards a minimalist approach. But if your kitchen styles are directed towards Mediterranean taste with traditional accents, having a natural stone countertop like marble or granite would look great.

 

What will be the usage frequency or an average number of users for your kitchen countertop?

If you are the type of person who regularly hosts social gatherings or family events, then you should consider the material that can resist heavy usages like natural stone or engineered quartz. Countertop materials with moderate sensitivity to usage may seem practical for individuals who prefer take-outs meals rather than preparing their own meals at home.

 

The kitchen countertop materials

A kitchen worktop can help accentuate any dull space, so it's important to find the appropriate color scheme, surface finish, and material hardness that suit your kitchen lifestyle. Here are some interesting worktop materials which are commercially available to enhance the overall look of your kitchen counters:

 

1. Limestone

Limestone is another exciting countertop material which has been used for many decades. This natural stone features unique fossil patterns, which makes limestone a preferred material for residential projects with traditional and contemporary themes. Its primary color is white, but some impurities may provide additional colors like beige, red, brown, and ivory.

 

Pros:

Neutral color in nature, which makes it ideal for different kitchen themes

Cheaper alternative to marble, granite, and travertine

Resistant to heat and minor scratches

 

Cons:

Susceptible to staining and etching

High maintenance since the material is porous in nature

High-quality stone sealing is necessary

Less resistant to acidic contents, chemical solutions and even cooking ingredients

 

2. Travertine

Travertine is a beautiful natural stone that reflects timeless beauty through its natural, earthy colors. This natural stone is porous in nature, which may require grouting and re-sealing for longer protection. Cross cut, and vein cut is two distinctive types of travertine patterns, which are available in honed, chiseled edges and polished finishes.

 

Pros:

Available in different colors and sizes

Resistant to heat and minor scratches

Basic cleaning or maintenance is required

 

Cons:

Regular cleaning and re-sealing is needed

Less resistant to acidic contents including coffee, cooking oil, and cleaning solutions

High porosity level (not recommended for wet and winter locations)

 

3. Granite

Granite is a popular choice of material for different surfaces, including floors, walls, and counters due to its uniqueness in style and pattern. This natural stone has a low-porosity level, which makes it highly resistant to heat, moist, and hard stain. Though the natural stone is available in over 2,500 different colors, granite manufacturers are not able to reproduce this in massive numbers as every slab or tile format is made unique.

 

Pros:

Low maintenance, but regular sealing is still recommended

Highly resistant to heat, stain, and water regardless if you choose polished, tumbled, or honed finish.

Suitable to all locations, both winter and tropical locations

 

Cons:

Limited patterns despite having over 2,500 different colors) appearance won't be consistent)

Prone to get chipped or cracked if mishandled

Relatively more expensive than ceramic, travertine, solid surface and laminate

Professional installation is required

 

4. Stainless steel

Stainless steel may seem like a viable option for individuals who prefer contemporary and modern styles in their kitchen. These metallic sheets are made durable and highly resistant to heat and staining. Countertop surface may appear seamless as the joints can be welded.

 

Pros:

Easy to fabricate both on-site and factory-made

Easy to clean, which makes stainless steel suitable for commercial kitchen setup

Highly resistant to heat including hot pans and kettles

 

Cons:

Fabrication quality will depend on the skills and experience of manufacturers

Susceptible to scratch and fingerprints

Tends to bend during heavy use

More expensive than natural stone, ceramic and wood options

 

5. Ceramic

Ceramic continues to exist as one of the most ideal options for a kitchen countertop. This material comes in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and style, providing you endless options to decorate your current kitchen style. These tiles can relieve you from heavy maintenance, unlike natural stones and composite materials.

 

Pros:

Economical, durable and easy maintenance

Easy to create your own patterns

Easy installation (suitable for DIY projects)

Broken tiles are easy to replace

 

Cons:

Grout lines are susceptible to stain and dirt

Prone to cracks during installation or when in use

 

6. Marble

Having a marble countertop will provide elegance and exquisiteness to any kitchen style. With distinctive vein patterns, this natural stone is capable of transforming your dull space into something unique and vibrant.

 

Pros:

Cool to touch despite the presence of hot pans

Resistant to water and moist

 

Cons:

Most expensive among natural stone options

Susceptible to staining and etching

Requires extensive cleaning and regular re-sealing

Not suitable for abrasive cleaning materials

 

7. Concrete

Concrete seems to be the best option if you prefer an exotic look for your kitchen. This porous material is highly adaptable to any existing condition, and you can incorporate different finishes for better appearance.

 

Pros:

Custom-built and resistant to heat and scratch

 

Cons:

Highly susceptible to stain and water seepage due to its porous characteristic

High maintenance (frequent sealing and scrubbing are needed)

 

8. Engineered stone

Quartz is a man-made stone material which mimics the appearance of natural stones. This engineered stone possesses similar characteristics with different natural stone, but they are easy to maintain.

 

Pros:

Available in different colors, patterns, and sizes

Resistant to stain, water, and heat

 

Cons:

Relatively expensive

Professional installation is required

 

Aside from the materials mentioned above, you can also select among hardwood, recycled glass, laminate, soapstone, solid surface, and timber as your main countertop. But always consider the selection process as discussed earlier to help you determine the most suitable countertop for your daily kitchen needs.

 

The internet will never run out of ideas to help you decide which countertop material will exactly suit your cooking needs. Going for the material that will give you the best benefits should be your foremost consideration whether you want to incorporate rustic, countryside, or contemporary theme in your dream kitchen.

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  • Dale Basilla
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