If you’re planning a kitchen renovation project for your home, one of the crucial decisions you’ll need to make is picking out the right countertop surface for your space. There are plenty of building materials to choose from, with differences in everything from the durability of the surface to its appearance, not to mention its cost. If you’re interested in building a custom kitchen around these countertops, you’ll need to contact a luxury kitchen design firm to get started. These design companies can assist you with everything from selecting building materials and colors to installing your countertops, cabinets, and appliances.
If you’ve already researched materials for your countertops, you’ve likely come across granite, marble, and laminate surfaces. In addition to these surfaces, you’ll also want to consider building with engineered stone, which is otherwise referred to as quartz, and solid surface, which is a heavy polymer component. Each of these materials offers its own benefits and drawbacks, in addition to high variability in cost, particularly for natural options like granite and marble. The durability, feel, and installation costs also shift depending on the materials you’re planning to work with for your renovation project.
The right countertops for your kitchen will complement the appearance of the entire space and set the tone in terms of the room’s modernity, colors, and overall design. Your kitchen counter always occupies a considerable portion of the room’s visual space, so you shouldn’t have to settle for anything you think is less than perfect. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each countertop surface so that you can find the right option for your space.
If you’re planning a kitchen renovation project on a budget, laminate countertops might be the best option for you. Compared to the other building materials in this article, it’s almost always the least expensive choice. Laminate countertops are technically a combination of plastic and paper, layered in with particleboard. It’s available in a variety of solid colors and textures. In addition, its flexibility makes it a good choice for both kitchens and bathrooms. In most cases, it’s the most accessible material in terms of installation. The cost usually runs somewhere around 35$ per square foot.
Unfortunately, there are several drawbacks to selecting a laminate countertop. Of the five countertop materials listed in this article, it’s the least scratch-resistant, making it difficult to maintain and significantly less likely to last more than a few years. The laminate material also has limited to no heat resistance, which can warp its appearance depending on how you use it. Depending on how it’s installed, it can look and feel cheap. Considering that kitchen renovation projects are an investment in the quality of your home, it’s usually best to avoid this option.
If you’re looking for a smooth, durable, solid color countertop, you might want to consider solid surface countertops, like Corian or Avonite. The countertop’s matte finish and soft feel make it a popular choice for the modern home. The surface requires very little maintenance, though it can sometimes be scratched or burnt. Prices are usually slightly higher than laminate materials but are still on the affordable side for the majority of homeowners. Many companies offer this countertop material, so if you think it’s the best option for you, you’ll need to spend some time shopping around for the best deal.
Quartz and Engineered Stone
Though quartz countertops might sound like they’re made from natural materials, they are actually engineered stone. Though these two building options are sometimes listed apart, they are essentially the same. Quartz countertops’ visual appearance and feel mimic materials like granite and quartz with customized veining and a sanded finish. The collective effect makes them look and feel like stunning natural stone.
Quartz countertops offer significantly more variation and versatility in terms of color options and are often cheaper than granite and marble. From a purely visual standpoint, they are a fantastic choice for new custom kitchens and remodeling projects and are sure to impress your friends, family, and house guests. These countertops are usually priced starting at $50 per square foot, though they can run significantly higher depending on their build quality. As modern kitchen design continues to evolve, the quartz countertop has quickly become the most popular building material on the market.
Granite countertops are constructed with natural, quarried stone, with minimal to no alternation, unlike laminate, solid surface, and quartz surfaces. No two granite countertops are alike, with unique veining and pattern variations, colors, and surface minerality. Granite countertops have a slick, glossy finish and always require high-quality, professional installation due to the visibility of the stone’s seams.
Prices for granite counters are commensurate with the appearance of the stone and the size of the slab that’s required to fit the kitchen. Most of the time, you won’t find granite countertops below $60 per square foot unless there is some sort of visual defect or scratched area on the surface. Relative to the other countertop materials listed in this article, granite is the toughest to maintain. To maintain granite’s scratch and heat resistance, you’ll need to seal the countertop at least once a year.
Marble countertops offer elegant, luxurious designs for the homeowner seeking to create a beautiful, timeless kitchen for their home. There are plenty of mineral colors and veining styles for this all natural material, which means it’s one of the most flexible options in terms of interior design. However, like granite, marble requires regular sealing to maintain its durability and heat resistance. It’s the most expensive building material on this list, starting at $100 per installed square foot.
Choosing the Right Building Option for Your New Kitchen
The right countertops for your kitchen will ensure that your renovated space is elegant, functional, and timeless. To get started with designing a luxury kitchen for your home, reach out to your local kitchen design firm to discuss pricing and project timelines.