Kitchen countertops are the pride and joy of any great kitchen, which means picking the right countertop material, is an important task. Asking yourself (or the cook of the family) some important questions will help in the search for the perfect countertop. What is the priority in the kitchen; style, durability, usability, green factor or maintenance. All of these items should go into choosing the correct countertop for your new kitchen.
Let’s start with the “green” options for kitchen countertops. While no material is completely green due to the energy factor, there are better choices when it comes to countertops. Recycled paper countertops are one of the cheaper options for green countertops. Starting at around $30/sq. ft. and a savings of close to 80% on install, the paper and resin countertops are not only stylish but help to reduce the use of non-renewable sources such as granite or marble. The resin mixed with the paper makes the countertop extremely strong with very little maintenance for the future.
Reclaimed wood is another option for a green choice. Everyone loves the butcher block look, so why not achieve that look with reclaimed wood? The cost starts at $40/sq. ft. and does require upkeep. The wood must be sealed periodically to ensure that it maintains it durability. These countertops will last a life time meaning money is well spent, however, wood should not be close to the sink or dishwasher meaning that you will have to have multiple countertop types within your kitchen. Recycled glass is a stylish way to add color and depth to your kitchen but comes at a steep cost of $50/sq. ft. Recycled glass runs relative to granite countertops in price, but because of the recycled glass makes this a better option than granite when searching for green products.
Not interested in going green?? There are many options to meet your needs and desires. Granite is a durable surface that is heat and scratch resistant making it a great option for a family who uses and loves their kitchen. With relatively low maintenance (sealing once a year) granite is a great option starting at $50/sq. ft. Marble is another stone material that can be used in the kitchen. While marble is a bakers dream due to the kneading of dough, it can be a nightmare in the kitchen. Marble stains and chips easily and needs to be sealed more often than granite. One option for someone who is desperate for marble is to simply have only one area that has marble while the rest of the kitchen is a different material, such as butcher block.
Concrete countertops are both stylish and eco-friendly; being poured on location makes this source of material a low impact on the environment. Concrete can also be dyed any color which allows for a unique and custom kitchen. Concrete is a porous material and does require more maintenance than other countertops, it needs to be sealed periodically and waxed every 2-3 months. Quartz is another material that is stylish but durable as well as more consistent compared to granite and marble because it is an engineered material. The color options are wider than a natural stone as well as being more resistant to stains and needing to be sealed only once year.
Kitchen countertops define the style and feel that you wish to portray not only in your kitchen but your home. With the kitchen being the heart of your home, choice of countertop is vastly important. Remember to decide what the priorities for your kitchen are and then get to work choosing your countertop! Enjoy!!