It seems like no matter what you do, the party always ends up in the kitchen.People gravitate towards the enticing smells and refreshing tipples most easily accessed from there, so you know you have to make sure this room is as gorgeous as the rest of your home.But at the same time, durability and functionality are a huge part of kitchen design…. especially those constantly used surfaces: your countertops.
There are a lot of options in this category, and just as many opinions as to which is best.To choose the best countertops for you, first determine your priorities and usage.Along with aesthetics, these are the most important factors to determine which materials will provide you lasting utility and beauty in your new home.If you are a regular home cook and entertainer, your focus needs to be on surfaces that can withstand knife blades, dropped pots and thumps of a meat tenderizer. Probably the toughest material you could use is stainless steel…. Which is why it is implemented in most professional kitchens.It does not, however, leave you with a lot of design options or color ways (although ostensibly it goes with pretty much everything), ebbing more modern-industrial than cozy.But if durability and function are you priorities, and cost is not an issue, steel is a winner.
In terms of elite finishings, marble and granite are the two most popular natural stones. Their unique veining and mottled appearance are prized for their beauty, and they come in a spectrum of colors ranging from warm, rosy pinks to neutral grey and beige, to bold black and white.Both are nearly maintenance-free when properly sealed.But sealing natural stone is necessary, and comes at a cost. That said, they will add inherent value, both for the beauty displayed, as well as eventual resale value of your home.
Another natural option is soapstone, which is experiencing a recent resurgence in popularity.It is a deep rich grey hue, versatile to many design schemes, but over time achieves an antique-like patina, which may be highly desirable… or not.It can also scratch fairly easily, although these are equally easy to buff out.
Quartz is another stone option, although it is a composite made of quartz particles and other minerals, creating a sort of best-of-both worlds combining marble and granite.It also has a more uniform appearance than the variegation of these two, and is easier to maintain, with no sealing required. Concrete, too, is great for custom shapes, as it is usually cast right on site.It is a highly polished surface… not like the rough generic grey of a sidewalk.It can, in fact, be tinted to a variety of colors, but does also require sealants, and sometimes treatments to prevent cracking.
Laminates and ceramic tile are much less expensive options, and offer a huge variety of design options.They might not carry the prestige of the aforementioned materials, but if adding your own personal flair is important to you, these are a great way to showcase your style.Neither are as durable and wear-resistant as more expensive materials, and repair can be difficult if not impossible.But ease of cleaning, versatility and their reasonable price are definitely intriguing.
Lastly, do not forget the butcher block.A mainstay of historic, professional, and coverable kitchen throughout the world, these wooden charmers can be conversation pieces in a beautifully crafter countertop.Their charm is not without trial, though, as they need proper care and maintenance: oiling and sealing frequently is a necessity, as bacteria can permeate their porous surface, and heavy equipment and sharp knives can ding the elegant grain.But wood can be easily sanded, so do not rule it out as contender when deciding which of the myriad surface you choose for your brand new kitchen.