Advantages and Disadvantages of 5 Popular Kitchen Countertop Materials

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Countertops play a crucial role in setting the mood in a kitchen. They also have a functional role to play, serving as a suitable countertop for cooking, baking, prep, and other necessities. Such work surfaces in the kitchen can be made from many materials. Each of them works for different interior environments and has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a look at 5 popular picks for kitchen countertops.

• Granite

Granite is possibly the most used material for kitchen countertops. This speckled granite look displays a beautiful variety of colors and patterns that works great with traditional and transitional themes. Each piece of granite is unique, which is why you also bring this exclusivity to your kitchen when you opt for this material. Also, spatters, nicks, cuts, heat marks, etc. they do not appear on such surfaces and therefore wear is less visible on granite countertops. On the downside, granite needs to be sealed well to prevent staining. The material is also extremely heavy, so it can only be placed on top of strong, sturdy cabinets.

• Marble

Marble is a material that looks and feels rich in any interior setting. Its luminescent surface and unique grain make it an unrivaled choice for traditional homes. The elegance that a marble countertop exudes is unmatched by any other stone. It tolerates heat well and is therefore a suitable choice for pastry and baking needs. However, marble stains easily, even when sealed. It also forms cracks and chips easily. As a result, it becomes less sensible to use marble throughout the kitchen countertop; most homeowners restrict the use of marble to a limited space.

• Zinc

This metal seen in the commercial kitchen is now a favorite in residences as well. This old-fashioned material is a good choice for lovers of metal countertops. Zinc has a smooth, matte appearance and develops a rich patina with age and excessive use. The material is also malleable, making it a great choice for details. The antimicrobial properties of zinc also add to the metal’s appeal on kitchen work surfaces. Zinc can also be easily cleaned by simply swiping a cleaning cloth and a mild liquid. However, metal is expensive. It develops scratches and heat marks easily, which can mar the appearance of the countertop. Acids and liquids can also react with the surface and leave undesirable marks on the countertop.

• Laminates

Laminate countertops are made from a mixture of paper, resins, and particleboard fused together. It has been a popular choice for decades, also due to its considerably lower cost. Today’s laminate countertops are just as stylish as worktops made from any other material. Many upgraded designs mimic real stone, wood, and other expensive materials, but can be installed at a fraction of the cost of the original. Laminate is also easy to clean and maintain, and can also be placed over lightweight cabinets. On the other hand, this material is prone to scratches, burns and some kind of stain. Also, the layer that forms the laminate can peel off with time and use. Laminates also don’t work with the undermount sink and can be difficult to repair or replace if damaged.

• Wood/butcher block

Wood countertops are a classic addition to kitchen spaces. They always retain their freshness and are ideal for country, rustic and country-style kitchens. The warm, natural feel of wood tones invites kitchen spaces. Even if scratches develop, you can buff them or leave them as is to achieve that worn look. On the downside, wood expands and contracts with exposure to moisture and heat. It can also warp or crack if not treated properly. The block should also be oiled to fill in scratches and keep the counter well protected.

In addition to the above, you can use soapstone, engineered stone, recycled glass, pewter, and many other materials in your kitchen countertops.

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