If you have just finished building the grey structure of your house, now is the right time to set up a functional kitchen, which includes: Choosing appropriate tiles for the kitchen floor, making kitchen cabinets and above all, selecting the best kitchen countertop material. There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing the right countertop surface material for your kitchen. Homeowners are often left frazzled while checking out numerous options available in the market. Without knowing the pros and cons of different kitchen countertop materials you can’t decide which would be the best fit for your kitchen.
To help you make the right choice, we have compiled the best kitchen countertop materials. We will also be discussing their good and bad points so that you can make an informed decision in the end.
Pros and Cons of Different Kitchen Countertop Materials
To decide which type of countertop will be best for your kitchen depends upon how you plan to use them. The kind of look you want, the amount of money you are willing to spend and the time and effort you can give to repair and maintenance are important factors in deciding the right countertop for your kitchen. Let us take a look at the different types of kitchen countertops and the various advantages and disadvantages of installing each one of them to help you pick and choose the one that will best suit your functional kitchen.
- Stainless steel
Let us discuss these in more detail.
This classic countertop is affordable and provides a rustic and luxurious finish to your kitchen. If you are short on money, then go for reclaimed wood, which is also an eco-friendly kitchen countertop material. Wood never goes out of style and is always in vogue. That is why it is hard to beat the natural feel of wood, but there are downsides too, especially when used in the unforgiving setting of a kitchen. Let us take a look at the pros and cons of wood kitchen countertops.
Pros of Using Wood Countertop
- Wood is attractive and that is one of the main reasons why people buy wood countertop
- Fragile items are quite safely handled by the soft wood countertop. If a glass falls on the wooden surface, it won’t break
- Although a tree was cut during the make of a wood countertop, it is still more eco-friendly than its other counterpart. Quartz, laminate and other countertops have larger carbon footprints
- They are easy to maintain and require low upkeep. You can enjoy dual functionality with wood countertops as they can serve both as a tabletop and a cutting board for food prep. Other countertops usually have a lacquer finish which isn’t food-grade, However, you need to oil your wood countertop monthly to maintain them
Cons of Using Wood Countertop
- The maintenance of wood depends upon how you use or abuse the wood countertop in the kitchen. If it is neglected for a long period of time, wood can split, crack and look weathered. Wood needs to be maintained off an on, but it is worth the time and effort.
- Perhaps one of the biggest drawbacks of installing wood countertops is that they can’t handle moisture. It is important to use a water-resistant finish to wood to protect it from getting damaged
- With wood countertops, it is advised not to install a sink with it as the wood, owing to the moisture seeping in from using the sink could cause damage to the beautiful and elegant countertop. Instead of giving a timeless appeal, the wood could blacken out due to prolonged exposure to moisture
- They can stain easily and need to be sanded out. This can remove the wood finish and would require you to re-oil the wood countertop
The Final Word
Wood countertops are best for homeowners who are looking for timeless appeal and can spend both time and money on its maintenance.
Natural stone is perhaps the best choice for kitchen countertop material. It is naturally resistant to heat, stains and scratches. If properly sealed, it also doesn’t allow bacteria to thrive, making it an ideal surface for the kitchen countertop. They come in various colours – dark and light. Choose the one that goes well with your kitchen décor. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using granite slabs as kitchen countertops.
Pros of Using Granite as Kitchen Countertop
- They are durable and sturdy and are not damaged easily
- Not every piece of granite is the same, making the countertop made from granite slabs entirely unique
- They also improve the real estate value of your house
- Even if you place hot items straight out of the oven on a granite countertop the surface will not get damaged
- The various minerals present in the granite countertop add character and give depth to the countertop
- Heat, stain and scratch resistant surface makes it one of the best kitchen countertop materials
Cons of Using Granite as Kitchen Countertop
- Granite surface requires to be sealed every year
- If broken or damaged, it is quite difficult to repair
- It is not a DIY material and you need to hire a professional who can install it properly
- A bit expensive than the other countertop materials
The Final Word
Granite countertops are often the first choice for kitchen countertops, especially if you are looking for natural stone options. They are durable, sturdy and come in a variety of colours and increase the overall resale and rental value of your property.
It is created by a thin layer of plastic material bonded with a medium-density fiberboard. Quite affordable, stain resistant and available in a variety of colours, laminate countertops are by far the easiest to clean. There are many other advantages of using laminate as a kitchen countertop. Let’s check them out.
Pros of Using Laminate Kitchen Countertop
- The low cost of laminate countertop makes them an ideal kitchen countertop choice, especially if you are on a budget
- Cleaning laminate countertops is a breeze. All you need is a mild detergent and some water to get the job done
- Laminate countertop material is waterproof because of the plastic inclusion in its make. It does not permeate water and it therefore doesn’t stain easily
- When choosing laminate countertops, you will be spoilt for choice. There are endless patterns, textures and colours to choose from. They also come in gloss and matte variety.
- Apart from having a wallet-friendly price, the impermeable nature of laminate countertop and their ability to resist stain makes them an ideal choice for kitchen countertops as these are the two most common problems that are dealt in the kitchen on a daily basis
Cons of Using Laminate Kitchen Countertop
- One of the biggest disadvantages of having a laminate countertop is that it is not heat resistant. If you accidentally leave a hot pan on the surface, the plastic element in the laminate material will melt and give an ugly look
- It is recommended not to use a laminate countertop as your cutting board or for any food prep. Use cutting boards instead. Why? Because although laminate countertop resists stains, it can easily get scratched. (A friendly advice: Don’t cut vegetables on the surface or you will see an ugly scratched surface)
- Even if all scratches don’t look ugly, it can cause the water to seep through it, which in turn can cause the material to swell up. And the biggest disadvantage of laminates are that they can’t be repaired. So, you need to replace the entire slab if you are clumsy about using laminate surfaces.
- If you are a homeowner who doesn’t intend to sell the house and are looking for affordable countertop options for your kitchen, then laminate is ideal for you. But if you plan to sell the house later on and want a better ROI from the property, then don’t install laminate countertops in the kitchen. It has no resale value
The Final Word
Affordable laminate countertops come in a variety of colours and textures. They are easy to clean and maintain and make ideal choices for homeowners cutting down costs. However, they are not showy and can lower your property’s value if you want to resell it.
Quartz countertops or engineered stone worktops have recently joined the league and have gained immense popularity right away. It is a manufactured product and is considered a lot more attractive than other countertops. Not only durable they come in a variety of colours – more than you can find in natural stone options such as marble and granite. But good aesthetics and a diverse range of colours are not the only pros of installing quartz worktops. Let us take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of using quartz countertops.
Pros of Using Quartz Countertop
- Gives a luxurious finish to the kitchen
- Durable, sturdy and not easily damaged
- Available in a variety of colours
- It doesn’t chip or crack easily as compared to granite or marble
- They have a non-porous surface so it doesn’t stain easily
- Bacteria and viruses can’t thrive on quartz worktops as they are easily cleaned
- Almost maintenance free, they do not require any annual sealing
Cons of Using Quartz Countertop
- There are not much cons of using engineered stone in the kitchen
- Doesn’t resist heat as effectively as its natural counterpart like marble and granite
- Costly and expensive
- They can discolour over time when exposed to direct sunlight for a long period
The Final Word
Best suited for high-end, luxurious houses. Homeowners who plan to sell their house later on can get a lucrative deal because of installing quartz countertops in the kitchen
An exquisite material being used since time immemorial by the greatest sculptors, marble has a grand image of itself. If used in the kitchen, it instantly adds grandeur and exudes an unwavering charm. Purchasing marble could be a bit heavy on your pocket. However, it provides value for your money. Check out whether marble is best-suited for your kitchen countertop or not.
Pros of Using Marble Countertop
- Exhibits grandeur and luxury
- Widely available in many colours and varieties
- It can increase the property’s worth
- Entirely unique as it is a natural stone
Cons of Using Marble Countertop
- Being luxurious, marble tend to be slightly expensive
- Quite heavy, especially when you are installing it
- Marble is a non-porous material and any spill can seep down the surface causing a bad stain on the marble countertop. You would need to remove stains and polish more frequently
- They are delicate and if you drop something heavy on your countertop, it can cause an irreversible damage
The Final Word
Marble gives a luxurious finish to your kitchen and is best for high-end houses.
Steel is a durable and sturdy material and therefore they are ideal choices for kitchen countertops. Mostly used in commercial kitchens, stainless steel reflects the various surfaces in the kitchen, creating the illusion of more space. Let’s check out other advantages of using stainless steel countertops.
Pros of Using Stainless Steel Countertop
- Because of its reflective surface, the room appears brighter and welcoming
- Perfect for modern and contemporary kitchens
- Gives a tailored look to the kitchen
- Resistant to water, mold, bacteria heat and stains
- The surface can be easily wiped down
Cons of Using Stainless Steel Countertop
- Be prepared for some nasty scratches as there is no way you can escape from it. The wear and tear and the many scratches become unnoticeable over time and you won’t bother about them much
- A word of caution: You can easily dent the surface if you are not careful with it
- They need to be cleaned more often than other countertops because almost every spill is noticeable
- They generate a lot of noise when you are working
The Final Word
Ideal for commercial kitchens but if you want to install it at home, then read the cons section again!
This modern age, there are many new countertop materials that look classy and elegant when installed. Glass is one of them. Extremely good in handling hot pans, glass is not only heat-resistant but they exhibit style as well. You can play around with glass by using it in an interesting shape and design. Appropriate lighting can make it even more attractive. Check out the pros and cons of using glass for your kitchen countertop.
Pros of Using Glass Countertop
- Available in a variety of colours and textures
- Timeless appeal, they don’t age over time
- Heat resistant and impervious to water
- Maintaining and cleaning a glass top is a breeze
- Crushed glass set in acrylic or concrete gives a stunning look
- Textured glass countertops look beautiful and can be used as a dining table as well
Cons of Using Glass Countertop
- One of the biggest drawbacks of having a glass countertop is that you can’t repair it
- Once damaged, you will have to replace it. Even if you plan on repairing it, it would be very costly
The Final Word
If you use LED lights at the back of the glass countertop it looks beautiful and elegant. It definitely adds value to your property and is best for homeowners who want style and functionality. Though, it’s pertinent to mention here that it’s not suitable for homes with kids as the glass top can break and can cause accidents.
So, these were some of the best kitchen countertop materials you can choose from. You should also take a look at the best kitchen countertop decor ideas and how to make extra space on your worktop. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Zameen Newsletter appearing on the right hand side of the page. Stay tuned to the Zameen Blog for regular updates related to construction in Pakistan. If you have any queries, then do write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will surely get back to you.