The kitchen countertop has to be able to take a lot of abuse including the heat of pots, cutting and knives and abrasive cleansers. The ideal countertop should be able to stand up to heat and the sharp edge of a knife.
Let us take a look at 6 of the most popular kitchen countertop materials being used today:
Granite – A natural stone, granite is a popular choice for it’s classic beauty and durability. Granite is the hardest and densest of the natural stones. It can create a kitchen countertop that is extremely scratch resistant and can keep its luster longer than most materials. granite slabs are the most expensive of all kitchen countertop surfaces, and it is very heavy, although it is still considered a very practical material in that it is virtually indestructible.
Marble – Another natural stone, marble is considered to be the height of elegance and will last longer than most kitchens. It is however, is very expensive, and requires some care: acidic foods such as orange juice will etch the finished surface of a marble kitchen countertop. It is also very heavy.
Slate – Because of it richness and beauty, slate is usually used in interior applications such as kitchen countertops, bathroom sinks or fireplace surrounds. It can be used in either modern or traditional kitchens as well as in combination with marble. Slate is durable, strong, and can withstand hard use. It is less expensive than marble, but once again, it is heavy.
Corian – A solid surface material that first became popular in the 1990’s. It is highly recommended by kitchen countertop experts. It is a totally manmade product, and is not porous. As a solid surface it can easily be repaired if scratched or burned.
Stainless Steel – Advantages include very hygienic, easy to clean, has ability to stand up to exteme wear and heat. Stainless steel can provide a great look for an ultra modern kitchen. Some disadvantages with stainless is that it can be noisy and that scratches can develop.
Tile – Tile surfaces can be tough, hard-wearing, takes hot pans, heat and stain resistant as well as beautiful. There are many types of tiles including ceramic, porcelain, quarry, glass, natural stone and mosaic. Available in many colors, sizes and textures. It has good design flexibility. Tile can often be used for trim or backsplashes. The downside of tile is that the grouts can be easily stained. Also the tiles can become chipped or cracked, and some tiles can be heavy.