It is difficult to imagine a comfortable kitchen without a countertop. Modern manufacturers offer the most interesting, unexpected and stylish types of countertops for the kitchen. This provides an opportunity to stop the choice on the best option for the hostess, taking into account the appearance, durability and cost.
To date, the market offers a variety of options: from simple and inexpensive – to elite and extraordinary, which in addition to functionality can become a real decoration of the kitchen space. When choosing, as a rule, the following basic criteria are taken into account:
- Appearance and aesthetics.
- Moisture resistance and water resistance.
- Resistance to external factors and mechanical effects.
- The extent to which the surface meets hygiene requirements.
- The resistance of the paint and its color to the influence of external factors.
In this article, we’ll calk you through the main types of countertops materials that you can find in the market, and we’ll reveal the pros and cons for each countertop material.
Plastic – a budget version of the kitchen countertop. Manufacturers offer a variety of design solutions, so that plastic surfaces can successfully imitate natural materials (wood, granite, marble).
Many people mistakenly think that plastic and acrylic kitchen countertops are identical, but they are not. The sedge is confused in appearance, although its qualitative characteristics have fundamental differences. In order to get a complete picture, you should consider the pros and cons of plastic roofs.
Pros of Plastic Countertops
- low cost.
- Heat resistance and color fastness to UV rays.
- Relative ease of care (plastic is resistant to cleaning chemicals and scrubbers).
- Easy to install and disassemble.
- Large selection of different colors and textures.
Cons of Plastic Countertops
- Visual cheapness of the material, which is difficult to hide.
- With mechanical damage and moisture, they swell and get deformed.
- Toxicity of cheap materials.
For those who love nature in everything, there are wooden types of kitchen countertops that are produced using different grades and types of wood. Such countertops are often considered short-lived and hard to maintain, but this is misleading.
Some woody European breeds (oak, walnut, cherry, cherry) are an excellent combination of hardness and durability. The question of which countertops are best for the kitchen, wood or other materials, it is worth considering the pros and cons of wooden surfaces.
Pros of Wood Countertops
- Beautiful texture and aesthetic appearance.
- Environmentally friendly.
- The ability to perform any, even the most unusual form of a countertop.
- Wood materials can easily be updated if necessary.
Cons of Wood Countertops
- High price.
- It requires careful handling and careful care.
- Periodic necessity of restoration.
Ceramic tile has long been used as a material for countertops, but it has become popular in this direction recently. Huge selection of tiles on the market has opened up new opportunities for designing extraordinary countertops.
A kitchen countertop made of tiles can be an excellent alternative to the materials used to decorate such surfaces. Tiles are competitive not only in price, but also in design solutions, thanks to the variety of colors, textures and artistic options.
Pros of Tile Countertops
- Accessibility to the price (there are many budget options).
- Beauty (an opportunity to make the countertop a real work of art).
- Durability and temperature resistance.
- Easy to clean (acid and alkali resistant).
- Environmentally friendly.
Cons of Tile Countertops
- Complexity of grouting (joints should be as tight as possible).
- Care must be taken when handling heavy objects to avoid breaking the tile surface.
No material will surpass kitchen countertops made of stone, according to its performance characteristics. When it comes to quartz, it is one of the best natural stone that you can consider to use for your kitchen countertop. This material has the following properties:
- Such surfaces are quite hard, they are easy to care for (they are not susceptible to various acids) and durable.
- Another undeniable advantage of these types of countertops for the kitchen is resistance to temperature changes. For example, unlike acrylic and stone, quartz surface can withstand temperatures up to 280 ° C.
- The surfaces of this material are environmentally friendly and hygienic (due to the absence of pores, nothing is absorbed into the material).
- To maintain the purity of the quartz surface, you can do with detergents without abrasive particles and warm water.
- For the design of the kitchen this material is a real find. With skillful use and a creative approach to interior design, you can create a real masterpiece.
The main drawback of quartz countertops is the price that can be sometimes exaggerated, especially if you’re looking for rare quartz colors.
If the main criteria for choosing among the different types of kitchen countertops are beauty and cleanliness, then in this case there is no better option than granite. This material is another natural stone that is known for it’s beauty and durability, but it can be expensive sometimes.
Pros of Granite Countertops
- In addition to beauty and strength, granite does not have a porous structure, which makes it possible to keep your countertop surfaces in perfect cleanliness without much effort.
- Resistance to high temperatures.
- Due to the hardness of the material, the countertop will not be particularly susceptible to mechanical stress.
Cons of Granite Countertops
- This natural substance is able to absorb moisture, so it requires the use of a sealant.
- Granite is very heavy, which causes difficulties in transportation and installation.
- Natural granite is worth a lot, although in this case the high price is justified.
Marble will effectively fit into any kitchen, giving it an elegant and aesthetic character. Besides beauty, there is an opinion that this stone is favorable thanks to the energy that it radiates. According to psychologists, marble gives a feeling of calm, warmth and comfort. To understand how useful a marble countertop is for the kitchen, you need to know the advantages and disadvantages of the material.
Pros of Marble Countertops
- Uniqueness – The stone’s pattern is unique (no one board is like the other).
- Hypoallergenic – Marble does not carry any health hazard.
- High durability.
Cons of Marble Countertops
- Instability to temperature changes (stains from hot dishes may remain).
- Marble is able to absorb a variety of liquids, so dripping tea or coffee will leave stains on it.
- The material is not acid resistant.
If you have wondered how to choose a kitchen countertop, then pay attention to an interesting option – glass. Thanks to modern technology, this one has gained strength, and the uniqueness of the countertop made of glass is undoubtedly.
Recently, designers paid attention to this material, but today there are interesting interior solutions that many simply do not want to hear about other types of kitchen surfaces. Particularly interesting are the creative approaches to the game of glass and light.
Pros of Glass Countertops
- The material is resistant to temperature changes and various pollutants.
- Does not require special care, hygiene.
- Provides different shades and textures.
Cons of Glass Countertops
- The material is expensive and requires careful handling.
Many people do not realize that concrete is a strong, durable and unusual material of which countertops are made. A kitchen set with a countertop made of this material can have a variety of modifications and color solutions, and this is an opportunity to make the kitchen interior unique and stylish.
However, as for the colors applied to the material, it is impossible to predict the result and make any guarantees. However, this point can be omitted, because it is very easy to restore the concrete surface without much effort and expense.
A variant of a countertop made of MDF is budget and this is not the last advantage of the material. The colors of kitchen surfaces from MDF can be very different, since the surfaces are made using lamination – this means that the pattern and shades can be very different. This is used by designers, creating exclusive kitchen sets.
If we talk about the disadvantages of this material, it is worth noting the instability to high temperatures and mechanical influences. Another unpleasant moment – with prolonged exposure to moisture, laminate can be blown at the joints.
This option is the cheapest and most interesting, because even with the many disadvantages of this type of countertops, 2/3 of our market is occupied by kitchen countertops from chipboard.
These products are coated with plastic, which is relatively resistant to sunlight, chemicals and mechanical damage. Hygiene adds to this material a laminate material that does not absorb moisture and is easy to clean.
The main drawbacks of chipboard countertops are : the ease of getting damaged by moisture especially in the joints, and the unsafe formaldehyde that is a major component of chipboard countertops.
Stainless Steel Countertops
No wonder the majority of professional kitchens in the world have stainless steel countertops. This material is very durable, easily repaired and hygienic. In addition, the best moisture-resistant countertop for the kitchen is stainless steel. If you operate such a surface correctly, then it will last for a long time, and it will not cause any special problems for its care.
The main pros of stainless steel countertops are:
- Great for modern styles (for example, high-tech).
- The surface can be matte or glossy, and it can also be applied with an advantage in the design of the kitchen space.
- You can have a textured décor that will suit lovers of something exciting and exclusive.
- Stainless steel is non-corrosive and resistant to bacteria.