Kitchen Countertop Options If You're Thinking of Remodeling
Consider your purpose!
It’s almost the end of 2020 and while you may have cleaned, refurbished, spruced up, and replaced the stuff in different areas of the house (starting with your work at home area, most probably), the kitchen may need a bit of attention. Aside from having new appliances to help make meals more efficient, it may be time to get to fixing the actual surfaces where you do the prep and cooking.
It’s understandable that the kitchen is the last to receive a makeover since disrupting the place where you cook and eat isn’t the best way to cope with a pandemic, but getting it done and over with will be more beneficial in the long run. Not only will you be able to update a lot of the old (and possibly cracking) area, you might also be able to increase storage space so your newly-bought appliances don’t look cluttered.
However, not all materials used for kitchen countertops are the same. Depending on your needs and situation, picking the best material will be very important in how the final look will mesh with the rest of the house as well as the upkeep. Here are a few of the more popular kinds of materials you can use for your countertops.
While ceramic tiles were very popular back in the ’70s and ’80s as countertop material, chances are these are now cracked and chipped from decades of wear and tear. However, tiles are making a comeback thanks to their low price, ease of installation (they can be a DIY project worth several weekends), and updates shapes and designs. Depending on what you need, tiles can be used as a splash board for your cooking area, because they are easy to clean and won’t absorb stains.
The big issue though, is the grout that you will be using. White grout (paired with lighter-colored tiles) will need upkeep, not to mention constant cleaning to maintain their look. Again, tiles won’t last a lifetime, but thankfully, replacement tiles can be bought for cheap.
Perhaps the cheapest option in this list, laminate has a lot of added benefits. Aside from being able to mimic the look of any kind of material you wish, laminate is non-porous, so it won’t absorb stains or bacteria that can cross contaminate your food. It cleans well with just soap and water, and can be easily dried with a quick wipe.
Do remember that laminate warps with heat, so accidentally putting a hot pot on the bare surface will cause it to lose its finished look. If you use induction stoves and oven toasters (especially turbo broilers), then your laminate won’t last due to the intense heat these appliances give off. Pairing this with the other materials on this list is actually a great way to save on money while still updating your kitchen!
Marble is clean, cool to the touch, and gives a very sophisticated vibe that can definitely elevate your whole kitchen’s look. While marble is a porous material, there have been developments in terms of sealing the surface to make it more resistant to stains. If you like baking and rolling out dough, then marble’s permanently lower surface temperature is the best working surface for you.
Just be careful of putting non-rubberized appliances on it. Marble can easily scratch, so kitchen towels may be needed as an additional investment, so you have a buffer to layer in between your chopping board and the countertop.
There’s a growing design aesthetic called brutalism, and it primarily uses unadorned concrete for most of its surfaces, including countertops. In the Philippines, concrete is usually used in the washing area, or the dirty kitchen, but finished concrete in a solid color can create a focal point in your kitchen, as well as add a sense of weight to the space.
Concrete is hardy, resistant to high temperatures, and can handle anything you put on it; that’s why it’s used in building structures and roads. However, it may eventually crack due to houses settling - the small cracks along the wall we notice over the years may also happen to your concrete countertop. Fortunately, fixing this if it does happen is relatively easy!
There is a reason why restaurant kitchens use stainless steel as the material of choice for all their kitchen surface needs. It’s non-porous, it won’t warp at sudden temperature changes (well, not the temperature shifts a home kitchen will produce, at least), and it is easily cleaned with soap and water. For a deeper clean, there are products specifically made to sterilize stainless steel surfaces that are cheap and can go a long way.
While stainless steel can give a home kitchen a clean, industrial look, it’s also prone to dents and scratches. These may be buffed out in time due to cleaning, but for bigger and deeper damages, a professional will be needed. This type of surface is also prone to fingerprints and water marks, so be sure to properly wipe and dry before calling it a day.
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