Kitchen CounterTops – Selecting the Right One

 

Have you ever been envious when you watch one of the cooking shows? Do you think of getting a new and shiny countertop that will make your workspace look larger? Do you ever daydream about having this gorgeous marble countertop that would look good in a palace?

Do you ever wonder what are countertops made for? What material is a countertop made from?

The definition of a countertop is any horizontal surface that is part of or surrounds the top of the counters in the kitchen area. This can be simply storage areas or can also be an area that is used to prepare food. This counter area is primarily used as a work surface and is on top of the kitchen cabinets.

The countertop is covered with a variety of different hard surfaces normally made from some type of decorative stone. The selection of the counter material depends on its strength and durability, ease of installation and maintenance, but mainly on its appearance and good looks.

The more common materials that are used in making countertops are:

Polished or laminated granite – Or some other natural stones that have been polished to improve its appearance. Natural stone material is normally cheaper than other material except tile. They are available and not difficult to work with. The main disadvantage of this material is that it is hard to repair if the counter is chipped or becomes damaged.

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Marble – This stone countertop is expensive, however, if the marble is formed and installed with someone who has skill working with marble, they can last a long time and are quite durable. Depending on their veining patterns and color, marble countertops will tend to give any room a stylish and expensive look and feel.

Wood – Wood has not been a popular choice for the material used in countertops. This has changed with the used of a wood product commonly known as “Butcher Block”. Countertops made with Butcher Block tend to make the kitchen homier or have a country style kitchen feel. The problem with wood is that special attention must be taken in order to prevent bacteria from becoming trapped in the scratches and cracks of a wood countertop.

Stainless Steel – This countertop will give any kitchen a modern and up to date appearance. It also appears to be extremely sanitary when used. Stainless steel is usable and strong enough to actually withstand its own weight, therefore it can be used almost anywhere. Stainless steel also handles heat very well so hot plates and food can be placed on it. Because of this, it does require the good practice of watching children around the counter. The main problem with stainless is that gives the appearance and feel of a cold and hospital-like environment.

Plastic – This is an inexpensive alternative or option to expensive steel and stone. The problem with a plastic countertop is it does not withstand cutting or preparing food directly on the surface. You will also need to take care and not place high heat plates or pots directly on the surface.

Formica – This is a man-made mica-derived material, and it is probably the most common material found in home kitchen counterstops. It is extremely durable, withstands scratches, and is relatively inexpensive.

Synthetic Stone – This material is made of resin and stone mixture. One popular variety of this stone consists of a plastic substrate enclosing quartz crystals.

Laminates – This is another inexpensive type of countertop. This material is made from some durable product such as wood, concrete, or fiberboard that is covered with a plastic laminate.

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Tile – This is another of the inexpensive version of countertops. This countertop is put together by taking small square tiles and gluing to the surface and placing grout between tiles. The problem with this method is that the tiles do require a significant amount of maintenance to maintain looks and prevent staining and food contamination.

All countertops are designed and constructed according to their use. In the kitchen, there is the possibility that water is present so most countertops are designed with a backsplash. This is to prevent the moisture from going up the wall.

It makes no difference what the style, feel or the appearance that you think is right for your home, be sure to design your kitchen countertops as a working area. You are going to be spending a significant time in the kitchen so it is important to get something that makes your work easier.

The looks are really secondary!

Originally posted 2018-05-07 17:48:08.