Choosing Your New Kitchen Countertops

Thinking about new countertops in the kitchen?  There may appear to be an endless number of choices but don’t feel overwhelmed!  Your first step is to choose the type of countertop you want to have installed.  Some of the more popular choices today include natural stone, engineered stone, and solid surface.  Each type comes in a variety of colors and patterns and has its own pros and cons.  Before choosing a type of surface, consider your typical needs in the kitchen along with the final design and style you are envisioning then compare to the characteristics of each surface type.

Natural Stone 

Natural stone choices include granite, marble, and slate.  Granite is one of the most popular surface types used today and is readily available through specialty stores as well as home improvement stores such as Lowes and Home Depot.  Granite is priced in levels which are based upon the colors, patterns, movement and sparkle contained in each piece.  Granite is a durable material and heat resistant, thought it must be sealed to avoid stains.  Marble is typically more expensive than granite.  While there are fewer colors, the patterns of marble can be very striking and accent your cabinets beautifully in an upscale kitchen design.  Marble is also softer than granite which means it may show scratches and it must be sealed regularly to avoid staining.  Slate is a non-porous material which means you don’t have to worry about sealing it.  But slate can be brittle and pieces can break off, making it a less popular choice for an active kitchen.

Engineered Stone

Engineered stone is made up of Quartz crystals bound together with resin.  These countertops are very durable, resist staining and scratching, and are easy to clean because they are not porous like their natural stone counterparts.  Engineered stone comes in a wide variety of colors.  The pattern of this material is more consistent than that of natural stone.  This may be a pro or con depending on your style.  Some prefer the exact match they get throughout the kitchen with engineered stone while others prefer the unique personality of natural stone.  While engineered stone has become more popular for its durability and low maintenance, it does remain one of the more expensive options.

Solid Surface

Solid surface countertops are a non-porous, low maintenance material made from a blend of acrylics and polyesters.  The material can be molded into different shapes which includes solid surface sinks.  This allows for a completely seamless flow from countertop right into the sink.  It is also great for large kitchen areas as the seam between two pieces are fused together making joints invisible.  Solid surface countertops come in a variety of colors and patterns and while some seek to replicate natural stone, solid surface tops will not fool anyone upon closer inspection!  Solid surface countertops are not heat resistant and can scratch but they are also repairable.  Marks and burns can be buffed out by a certified installer since the material you see on top is the same material all the way through.   Solid surface countertops are available through a number of brands, with Corian being the most recognizable.

Now that you understand a few of the pros and cons of some of the countertop types, you can begin to assess which one will be right for your new kitchen.  Remember to consider things like the type of cabinets you will choose, if undercount sinks are a must, your overall style and of course, your budget.  Regardless of the material you choose, you will have lots of color and pattern options.  Contact Custom Closets and Cabinets in Tampa, FL to help you navigate your custom kitchen remodeling plans.