The Importance of Countertops

When a family is prioritizing a kitchen remodel, it might be easy to postpone one important decision: what countertop to install. Changing the counter in a style that complements your newly refinished kitchen cabinets is a great way to round out the look. And countertops are constantly in your line of vision, whether you think about them or not. They’re present when you cut vegetables, set out plates for dinner, wash dishes, or pile the mail up on a corner. The right countertop can make the kitchen shine.

Seven Popular Choices

  1. Granite. This elegant option is not susceptible to the wear of hot pans or knives, and comes in almost 3000 colors. Its hardness is rated second only to diamonds. The potential drawbacks are the higher cost, the need for maintenance, and the possibility of cracking if improperly installed. Since refinishing kitchen cabinets is much cheaper than replacing them, the money you save can often be applied to granite or other quality countertops.
  2. Solid surface. These surfaces are seamless and stain resistant, and any scratches can be sanded out. However, these can be stained by food or marred by hot pans.
  3. Ceramic tile. As a durable, inexpensive, and easy to clean countertop, this is an excellent option for many homeowners. Its care is very important because the tiles can easily chip or crack, and the grout becomes stained over time.
  4. Concrete. This exotic choice is good for unusually-shaped kitchens, since most countertops are poured right there. Though concrete holds up well to heat and scratches, cracking is possible.
  5. Wood or butcher block. This offers a warm touch to the refinished kitchen and is available in a range of finishes and colors. It can be damaged by water and stains, but those can be sanded out and the countertop resealed as needed.
  6. Laminates. A popular choice, laminates are inexpensive and easy to maintain. Scratches are nearly impossible to repair, and seams show.
  7. Stainless steel. An industrial and contemporary look, these counters are heat-resistant and durable. They are noisy, however, and since they can dent, cutting on them is not recommended.

How to Decide for Your Kitchen

The choice of countertop rests primarily on the cabinets (pun intended). Dark cabinets should be offset by a light countertop, while blonde wood or white cabinets show up best with dark counters. Budget is an important factor, along with the ways you use your kitchen. Do you cook often and need a durable countertop? Or do you cook less and want something beautiful to complement the space? Take time to explore the options to find the perfect countertop to match your cabinets refacing.