Looking to boost the value of your home? Kitchen remodels can offer the greatest return on investment.
But a kitchen remodel doesn’t need to mean the renovating the entire kitchen.
Updating the cabinets and countertops can be a quick way to refresh the look of the room.
With so many types of kitchen countertops available, you’re spoiled for choice.
Wondering what kind of kitchen countertops you need? Read on to learn more.
Plastic laminate countertops are a great option if budget is an issue. They’re cheap and easy to clean.
Manufacturers bond a plastic coating to a plywood base to create them. You might know it better by the name Formica.
These countertops also come in a wide range of colors. They often mimic the patterns of natural stone like marble.
Matching them to your kitchen aesthetic is easy.
However, they’re susceptible to scratches and chips. They also don’t withstand heat.
If the durability is an issue, try high-resolution laminate. This mimics stone or marble, giving a more professional finish.
This high-resolution laminate still isn’t as durable as stone countertops. But it’s better than the cheaper plastic.
Solid wood is a great option because you can sand away any scratches. Get them installed by a professional to get a seamless finish.
Solid wood offers a range of colors so the countertops will match the rest of the kitchen.
Butcher-block countertops double as cutting boards.
Wooden countertops offer a warmer feel to your kitchen. Get the wood from a sustainable source for an ethical approach to remodeling.
Just be aware these wooden tops aren’t good with heat or harsh chemicals. Because they’re a porous material, you need to seal them every six months.
That helps keep down mold or bacteria that can breed in the wood.
Why not use ceramic tiles to create your countertops? They’re cheaper than using stone. You can also install them yourself.
Check out ceramic tiles for the most durable choice. They withstand heat and you get a huge range of choice for colors and designs.
While they’re easy to clean, you will need to do a deeper clean on the grout. Bacteria can build up here, which can cause problems later.
Looking for a cheap, safe material for your kitchen countertops? Try acrylic, which is non-porous. That makes it easy to clean and it doesn’t harbor bacteria.
It’s also a durable material and you can sand out scratches. You get a huge range of patterns and finishes to suit your tastes.
The only real downside to acrylic is it doesn’t withstand heat. If you put a hot pan on an acrylic countertop, you risk having it warp.
Marble is an ideal solid surface countertop that offers lots of choice for patterns and colors.
It’s chip and dent resistant, and it also withstands heat. You won’t scorch your marble if you set down a hot pan on it.
That said, you need to seal it regularly. Otherwise, spills can soak into it. You’ll need to clean up spills quickly.
Acid can damage or stain marble countertops. Its other downside is its cost.
If you can afford marble but you want something more durable? Try quartz.
Quartz countertops are becoming more popular, thanks to the huge range of pattern and color options. They’re actually engineered, rather than mined.
This makes quartz an environmentally friendly option. Manufacturers use waste stone so there’s no mining required.
It offers a solid surface but it’s non-porous so you don’t need to seal it. That makes it safe for food prep as it doesn’t harbor bacteria.
Quartz is one of the lowest maintenance countertop types.
The only downside to quartz is its price. But its durability can make it an excellent investment in your kitchen.
You might think concrete is not an ideal material for a kitchen work surface.
But concrete is incredibly durable and handles any heat with ease.
A specialist can add color or texture to suit the look of your kitchen. If budget is no problem, you can get customized tops to suit the shape of your counters.
The material is porous, so you do need to seal and wax concrete countertops on a regular basis.
They’re also not something you can install yourself.
Granite countertops offer the beauty of natural stone with a variety of colors to choose from.
The stone is a composite of mica, quartz, and feldspar. Because of this, each slab is completely unique.
It’s a low maintenance countertop option. Seal granite countertops regularly to enjoy their stain, scratch, heat and water resistance.
Granite is more durable than marble. Once it’s sealed, it’s also great for keeping bacteria at bay.
It also comes in many colors and degrees of each color. You have many choices of paint colors to pair with your granite that you’ll have your dream kitchen in no time.
Make sure it’s installed properly so it doesn’t crack. Don’t use it as a cutting board or it’ll dull your knives.
Soapstone is softer than marble or granite. Because of this, it can chip or scratch.
On the plus side, it’s heat resistant and non-porous. It won’t stain and acids (e.g. vinegar, wine, etc.) don’t affect it.
Soapstone offers a warmer, more welcoming feel for your kitchen than other stones.
Stainless Steel Countertops
These stainless steel tops are resistant to heat and easy to clean. Simply wipe away spills.
They’re non-porous, making them safer to use. Because they’re reflective, they bring light into the kitchen and help make it look bigger.
The downside to stainless steel is its industrial look. If you want a homey, welcoming kitchen, steel can look cold instead.
They also show up scratches and dents. If you don’t want to constantly wipe away fingerprints and marks, don’t choose stainless steel.
Which Kitchen Countertops Will You Choose?
Now you know what kitchen countertops are available. Choosing one depends on your budget and the amount of maintenance you’re happy with.
Pick a countertop that suits your kitchen decor. Remember you can always mimic a more expensive material with something like acrylic or laminate.
Updating your kitchen on a shoestring? Check out our DIY articles for more ideas.