Kitchen renovations and remodeling projects usually come right at the top of peoples’ list of things that they would like to do around the house. After all, these days the kitchen is the place that many of us spend most of our time, in a busy world the kitchen tends to become the center of the home, not just for cooking but for eating and “hanging out” as well.
Granite countertops (also known as granite kitchen worktops ) are very popular among homeowners due to the striking beauty and high durability they offer. Once they are polished during the manufacturing stage, the high gloss will last a lifetime. Hot cookware can be place directly on granite counter tops without harming the surface.
Granite Countertops Facts
By far the superior material to use for countertops is granite. Granite countertops are known for their longevity and can be found in thousands of colors and patterns. This type of material is nearly as strong as diamonds, and has been known to last a lifetime.
The History of Granite Countertops
Granite has been used for thousands of years by different cultures in the construction of monuments and buildings. Over one hundred fifty years ago the first piece of granite was polished and utilized as a countertop. Since then granite countertops have exploded into the housing market. Traditionally in the past only very wealthy upper class homes had these types of countertops. Today granite has become somewhat more affordable, although still remains a luxury item.
The material itself is really not where the steep price comes into play. The cutting and installation of granite countertops requires very specialized and precise techniques. Improperly installed granite – especially when not level – has the tendency to become quite fragile and will break. Considering the level of skill required cutting and installing granite countertops it is wise to seek out a professional installer.
Benefits of having granite countertops installed in your kitchen
Besides the durability of granite, having granite countertops also serves as smooth surface to work on. The highly polished surface is perfect for preparing food items, and is easily cleaned. The aesthetics of granite countertops cannot be surpassed.
Regardless of what material it is compared too, hands down granite offers the most beautiful finish of any countertop material available today. Granite also complements wood cabinetry, brining out the grain in the wood, working as an accent. Finding the best color and pattern to match any cabinetry can be easily done.
Pros and Cons of Granite Countertops
The Pros: Comes in an amazing array of colors ( The granite fabricators are very creative people ). Very durable, resists staining and heat very well. Is considered to be the hardest counter top material available. Will increase the value of your home.
The Cons: The granite installation must be done well. Prone to cracking if not properly installed. Expensive.
Based on reviews, we recommend:
Butcher Block Countertops
Besides being very pretty to look at, butcher block countertops are extremely durable. They are available in a wide range of natural grains and colors which means that this type of counter top would look nice in any type of kitchen – be it modern or traditional.
Quartz countertops are man-made surfaces which people choose due to the naturally beautiful luster they provide. These counters achieve a deep, three dimensional appearance. They are are very hard and durable, making them ideal working surfaces.
Our Suggestion Is:
A wood countertop offers a warm alternative to stone and quartz and a richer look than laminate. They come in a wide variety of colors, grains and textures so regardless if your kitchen is brand new or 100 years old, it would look nice with a counter top made of wood.
Wood countertops are a great choice from a design point of view for those who are going for a rustic look in their homes. They may not be a very eco friendly choice though unless you opt for recycled wood.
The Pros: Smooth and beautiful, scratches and nicks are easy to sand away. Natural antibacterial properties can make fro a healthier kitchen. Often a more durable choice than laminate or tile.
The Cons: Have to be oiled and varnished properly to maintain their looks. Can be quite easily damaged by excess moisture and stained by brightly colored liquids/foods.
Our Suggestions Are:
Stainless Steel Countertops
The perennial choice for restaurant and commercial kitchens for those who like a modern look for their home stainless steel countertops can be an excellent choice.
The Pros: Resists heat and staining, easy to care for, can be a very bold design statement.
The Cons: Very noisy. tend to dent easily and scratches can become a problem. Custom fabrication is expensive. may rust over time.
Our Suggestion Is:
Recycled Glass Countertops
Recycled glass countertops are considered to be one of the most eco friendly choices available at the moment as well as one of the most beautiful.
The Pros: Very beautiful, every countertop is different. Uses recycled materials so is a very green choice. Durable and heat resistant.
The Cons: Expensive, only a little cheaper than granite.
Our Suggestion Is
Engineered Stone Countertops
Engineered stone countertops are made from a natural quartz and mixed with a resin to bind it all together.
The Pros: Available in a great many colors. Resists stains very well and is quite easy to take care of on a daily basis.
The Cons: Rather expensive, especially if you choose custom fabrication.
Ceramic Tile Countertop
Ceramic tile is often a very popular choice with homeowners who are looking for something different to laminates but still looking to save money.
Colors of Tile Countertops
The possibilities are endless when it comes to colors of tile countertops. You can truly express your own personality through your tile countertops. After you choose the type of tile you would like you can then take a look at the colors available in that material. While most colors are available in all of them, if you go with a stone then your choices may be a bit more limited. You have the choice between solids or speckled, textured or not.
The most commonly chosen colors are those that incorporate several hues to go with a number of different decors. If you have an eclectic style that incorporates a lot of different colors in your decor, this is something that can be mirrored in your tile countertops as well.
With the ceramic tiles, in particular, they come in such small pieces that you can create a mosaic pattern in your countertop. Another fun option with the ceramic tiles would be to make patterns or pictures within the counter. This might be a particularly fun thing to do if you are looking to remodel your art studio.
Why choose Tile Countertops?
There is no dispute that stone or ceramic countertops are a preferred choice for kitchens and bathrooms, they are beautiful and create a lasting finish. If it is not an option to do a slab countertop, then you may consider doing tile countertops.
Why choose tile countertops? Well, you get the same pristine beauty as choosing a slab at a fraction of the cost. If it should happen that one of the tiles breaks it is possible to have a trained professional come in and replace just the single tile rather than having to replace the whole countertop.
For this reason you may want to purchase more than you need when redoing your countertops, that way when a replacement is needed you already have the exact color tile to match.
The Pros: Can be created in any color or pattern the homeowner desires. Very durable and can withstand heat very well, easy to install and can even be considered a DIY project. Another relatively inexpensive choice.
The Cons: Grout lines can become very dirty and hard to get clean. Prone to cracking and chipping.
Our Suggestions Are:
One of the most attractive features of concrete countertops is the fact that they are not mass produced in factories. Rather they are crafted by experienced contractors. Concrete counter tops are very earth-friendly and they are available in a great many colors and with many finishes, making them a top choice for any kitchen.
The Pros: Have an unusual look and can be tinted to any color a homeowner chooses as well as crafted into any shape. Heat and stain resistant and very durable.
The Cons: have to be sealed to make them non porous, can be rather expensive.
Corian countertops are made from plastic resins which can be pigmented in practically any color. They are quite affordable and are ideal to use in kitchens which make use of unusual color schemes. This type of countertop is very easy to keep clean and there are many textures to choose from.
The Colors of Corian
When you are looking to redo an area with corian countertops you know it will be a special order. While there are a variety of colors already mixed to choose from, you may ask whoever is doing your construction if it would be possible to do custom colors. With over 130 colors to choose from, I’m sure you will find something to your liking. You will find that most of the colors of corian countertops to choose from have speckles of other colors as well. This is done for several reasons. If your countertop was just one solid color it would show up dirt and small stains much more easily. Also, repairs are made easier if isn’t one solid color all the way across the countertop.
There are several lines of colors of corian for you to choose from. There is the “Extra lights” that encompasses the whites, beiges and tans. These are seen most often in either small kitchens or sometimes in coastal areas; it can create a “Beach” feel with a tan countertop speckled with a faux seashell finish. Then you have several other groups to choose from depending on your style: greens, blues, grays, yellow-greens, darks and extra darks. Be careful not to put an “Extra dark” color is a small kitchen without much natural light.
Corian has the option of choosing one of their premium lines of colors. The “Illumination series” includes such colors as blueberry ice and arctic mint. The “Terra” collection has 35 different colors that are made of recycled materials. Some of the colors from this line include white jasmine and serene sage. The Private collection is one that is held to the highest standard for aesthetics and fine design and was inspired by nature.
Our Suggestion Is:
Soapstone is a natural stone and has been used in homes as a counter top material for centuries.
The Pros: Beautiful deep colors. Somewhat stain resistant. Very long lasting and durable.
The Cons: May darken over time. Needs to be treated with mineral oil on a regular basis to prevent cracking.
Our Suggestion Is:
Laminate countertops come in a seemingly endless variety of colors and patterns at low, affordable prices. It can be formed into a seamless back-splash to keep spills from seeping behind cabinets. A laminate counter is strong but it can be damaged with scorching or by knives so care must be used with this type of working surface
The Pros: Come in lots of colors, fairly easy to clean, inexpensive and easy to find.
The Cons: Very visible seams, chips and cracks are almost impossible to repair.
Our Suggestion Is:
What are Marble Countertops?
Marble countertops are among the most highly prized working surfaces for kitchens . In addition to being very beautiful to look at, marble counter tops are very long lasting as they can stand up to regular use. It can be expected to endure for hundreds of years if cared for properly.
Although very beautiful marble is also very expensive so it is rare to see more than an accent counter top (such as a kitchen island) in marble in a residential kitchen
Marble is a naturally occurring stone in nature that is harvested for several purposes. One of these purposes is, of course, for countertops in our homes. There are only a few quarries where marble is harvested and only a limited amount of it available. This is why the price is so high.
Harvesting marble has several steps involved to get from the quarry to our homes. Once it is taken from the quarry it must be manufactured with precision and skill so to make sure that the natural beauty isn’t lost. Also, there much be special care given to the construction of the shape. Many of these marble countertops are special order and it is a costly mistake if the measurements aren’t exactly precise.
Types of Marble Countertops
There are two types of marble countertops. There is the more economical way, which is to use square pieces of marble that have been harvested and place them on top of a counter surface. This way will definitely give you a nice look, but because the pieces are smaller and usually thinner the strength is not that great. Granted, if you do the smaller pieces and one breaks then it could be replaced without having to redo your whole countertop.
The other option and the more expensive one would be to use a slab piece of marble stone. The slab countertop has immense strength and is nearly unbreakable. They are also scratch and flame resistant, which is another great benefit. This gives a beautiful addition to your home and if cared for properly it should be the last countertop you will have to purchase.
Marble Countertops: Pros and Cons
The Pros: Its beauty and durability. Completely waterproof and heat resistant.
The Cons: Very expensive. may need resealing to prevent water damage.
When choosing the right countertop for your kitchen it is important to keep function as well as form in mind. Budget should be a consideration as well but you do have to look at the “big picture”. Granite for instance, will initially be a more expensive choice than laminate but it will probably outlast you, where the useful lifetime of a laminate countertop is far shorter.
Our Suggestion Is:
Kitchen Countertops Trends 2019 – Trends in Kitchen Counters
The advancement in graphics has breathed fresh life into plastic laminates. Some of these kinds of countertops look identical to real stone (but don’t put a hot kettle above it!) at a far lower price. Together with Paperstone, an additional eco-friendly choice is reclaimed wood, although it’s harder to find; you will need find a professional installer.
Metals are a freshly fashionable countertops trend, with stainless steel offering a sleek-looking, durable work surface, and more unique choices like zinc and copper for lightining visuals.
Another countertops trend to consider mixing materials and patterns. That might be making use of a dark granite tile on the principal counters and an in-contrast lighter one for a kitchen island. Or it could include mixing styles of countertops: a butcherblock work surface set next to a assortment, with stacked stone tile.
River White Granite Countertops
The River White Granite is one of the most popular white granites from the market. The beauty of this kind of granite consists in its color: A very light grey, almost white. It is recommended for both interior and exterior decor and a big plus for the River White is the durability of it.