Picking the right countertop for your kitchen can certainly feel like a behemoth task, but it certainly doesn’t have to be daunting. The options between colors and aesthetics in itself can be overwhelming, but at the very beginning there is a considerably simpler choice to be made, the choice of the material itself. Our consultants at Metrika have narrowed it down to the most popular choices available today to help you select the countertop that can blend in perfectly with your lifestyle.
Of all the natural stones used in countertops, granite and marble remain the most beloved for very separate reasons. Granite is a solid, tried and tested option that has been around since generations. It withstands heat, regular wear and tear and is easy to maintain. Marbles or limestone are softer than granite, but have a higher aesthetic value. Nothing compares to the luminescent elegance of a marble countertop, though it does call for higher maintenance and is far more expensive than granite. Marble is also very susceptible to stains, scratches and chips.
Available in the same price range as granite, engineered stone is an increasingly popular choice for counter top material. With flexible color options in comparison to their natural stone peers, easy maintenance and high durability, engineered stone makes for a solid option that is here to stay.
These are built from a dense acrylic, polyester, or a blend of the two materials, to create a large solid surface with no detectable grouts or joints. Solid surfaces offer a vast array of vibrant hues to pick and chose from, making them a very popular option for countertops. The nature of this material also makes for a non-porous and easy to maintain surface, as there is no risk of bacteria and dirt getting trapped in grouts. However, these countertops aren’t heat resistant and they will scratch easily.
Widely loved for its pocket friendly cost and variety in aesthetics, laminates are a traditionally popular choice for countertops despite it’s many shortcomings. Laminates are susceptible to burns, scratches and peeling as a result of moisture or wear and tear. Regardless, they continue to dominate the market in kitchen countertops, with newer designs and textures that can mimic natural materials like wood and stone, all on a tight budget.
A common traditional countertop, tiles offer an almost limitless choice in color and design. It is a pocket friendly option, but despite being non-porous, tiles are hard to maintain because of the grout, which require regular cleaning and resealing. However, tiles can hold up well to heat, stains and knife damage, though one should never use wall tiles on kitchen counters, as they will crack easily.
Materials like wood, steel and concrete countertops are popping up over edgier markets in recent times. More popular in the west, wood counters or ‘butcher block’ are a beautiful but delicate countertop option. Wood can instantly warm up a kitchen, but are harder on maintenance by being susceptible to moisture, bacteria, cracking and warping. Stainless steel is slowly becoming popular as a sleek looking and durable countertop option in modern homes and kitchens right alongside concrete countertops. Though the latter is significantly harder to maintain, it makes for a durable surface and can be customized in a range of pigments.