If you're looking at building a new home but don't know what kitchen countertop options are available, you're not alone. There are many types of kitchen countertops to choose from, and at first you might be overwhelmed by the choices. This blog post will help! First we'll talk about which surface may be the best for you. Then, we'll present the many different types of kitchen countertops - granite, quartz, wood, concrete, and more. Finally, we'll discuss the cost so that you're equipped to build your budget!
What Are The Best Kitchen Countertops?
The best kitchen countertops will depend on your personal taste and the space you have to work with. Obviously, the color and overall style of your home play a big role in which kitchen countertop option you end up choosing. It's worth thinking about what type of cooking or prep you'll be doing, as well as how much time it takes for a surface to get clean!
In any kitchen, the counters are both an aesthetic and functional focal point. There are a lot of factors to consider.
- How much surface area do you need?
- How durable do you need it to be?
- What color and style best suit the home?
- Does it need to match the kitchen island or any other part of the home?
- What option can you afford?
These are questions that you can answer on your own, or with your custom home builder. They can help answer specific questions about each of the kitchen countertops options.
Let's outline some of the most common types of kitchen countertop surfaces.
Types Of Kitchen Countertops
For durability as well as aesthetics, there are a myriad of options for materials available to work with. These include solid composite slabs, or finely crafted tiles which you can purchase based on style preference.
Granite Kitchen Countertops
Granite kitchen countertops are a hugely popular and durable option. They come in many colors but the most common is black and white, as well as shades of gray. This type of stone comes from natural granite quarries and can be found all around the world - although it's not native to any one country or region!
Granite is a classic choice for kitchen countertops because of its durability and beautiful colors - but it does require more care than quartz. It needs sealing every year or two. Sometimes homeowners don't want this type of maintenance issue, and opt for a different surface.
Quartz Kitchen Countertops
Quartz kitchen countertops are a newer option, and have many pros that granite doesn't. Quartz is typically made of silicon dioxide - it's an artificial type of stone! It has no color or patterns in its surface like natural stones do. Quartz can be manufactured to match any other type of stone so you get the look without all the maintenance.
Quartz is great because it has an almost limitless lifetime - no need to seal or polish. It's also stain-resistant, so you don't have to worry about spills. In addition, the quartz countertops edge can be finished with just about any shape to meet the customer’s preference.
Wood Kitchen Countertops
Wood is another popular countertop choice - and for good reason! They're beautiful, durable, and easy enough to clean with a damp cloth or rough sponge. Wood countertops also have the added benefit of being fire-resistant as compared to other materials like concrete which are more prone to cracking at high temperature.
Wood is a great choice for those that want a natural look and feel. You can stain it any color, or leave the wood unfinished - either way will create a unique kitchen countertop. But with this type of material you're going to have to seal and care for the wood every year or two!
Concrete Kitchen Countertops
Concrete countertops have made a splash lately. They're durable, easy to clean, and inexpensive - but they can be prone to cracking if a hot pan is left on top of it.
Generally, concrete countertops are a durable kitchen countertop option and will provide high-contrast design to the space. You'll have to seal it every few years, but with concrete you don't have to worry about staining or cleaning - just make sure there's no water sitting on the countertops for too long! They may sound like more work than granite or quartz- and they are, but the price point makes concrete countertops an attractive option for many.
Epoxy Kitchen Countertops
Epoxy kitchen countertops are a more contemporary option. They're durable and easy to clean, but the cost of epoxy kitchen countertops can vary depending on where you live - for example, in California they're considerably higher than in Montana!
If your budget is tight or if you want counters that don't need to be sealed every couple of years, then epoxy countertops may be an option you want to look at.
Stainless Steel Kitchen Countertops
Stainless steel kitchen countertops are a great option for those who want to create an industrial-chic look. They're durable, easy to clean and maintain, but they can be too cold or slick under your hands when you're cooking. Stainless steel also has a tendency to scratch, which deters many people from choosing it for a countertop surface.
Corian Kitchen Countertops
Corian is a solid surface countertop that gives a more modern and sleek style. Corian was introduced in 1971 by DuPont. The composition is 33% binding resins and 66% minerals. Due to its abundance of minerals, it is stain-resistant and also heat resistant up to around 212 degrees F. Yet, the manufacturer does recommend a heat pad under hot pans to prevent warping.
Corian is available in a variety of colors with pigments added in for some flair! These kitchen countertop surfaces are durable, easy to clean, and they look very nice with stainless steel appliances.
Formica Kitchen Countertops
Formica kitchen countertop surfaces are very similar to Corian, but they're made of only resins and plastics. Formica is much thinner than Corian, which makes it more prone to scratches or dents from pots and pans with sharp corners. It's also not as heat resistant.
Formica tends to be lower cost than real stone or mineral countertops. Yet, granite-printed laminate countertops now imitate the real thing. Manufacturers essentially have taken high resolution pictures of granite, and print them into the formica resin. With improved design and manufacturing techniques and better finishes, granite laminates feel more like a good quality stone.
Tile Kitchen Countertops
Tile used to be a popular choice, but has fallen out of favor with most people. The grout discoloration or crumbs getting caught in the grooves, has turned many away in recent years. Tile counters can add texture and pattern to a room, but they require more upkeep than other surfaces. Tile is porous, meaning it's tougher to keep clean in many cases. Though there is an epoxy grout specifically designed for countertop use, it doesn't solve all the problems. Especially when tiles commonly chip.
Glass Kitchen Countertops
Glass kitchen countertops are one of the most versatile and unique materials available. Glass is becoming more popular in the kitchen as designers and homeowners embrace fanciful designs. If you're looking for a new look with an imaginative design, a glass countertop may just fit the bill!
Glass kitchen countertops are trendy right now, but they come at a significant cost. They're one of the most expensive options and require professional installation. Glass is also slippery to work on so it's not recommended for households with small children or those who have mobility issues in their hands and feet.
Porcelain Kitchen Countertops
Porcelain countertops have been popular in Europe for quite some time now, but it's just starting to catch on in the United States. The trend will likely continue as there are numerous benefits to this countertop material but a few drawbacks to consider.
Porcelain is essentially made of a certain type of clay, along with some other materials, and fired at extremely high temperatures. The result is a polished and super dense material that is nearly completely impervious to stains, heat, UV rays, and scratches. Porcelain countertops are 100% natural with raw clay-based materials. Therefore, it's a great choice for the sustainability minded person.
Cost Of Kitchen Countertops
One of the biggest factors in kitchen countertops is cost. This varies a lot depending on what type you choose and where you purchase it from. For example, tiles are typically less expensive than quartz or granite. But if price isn't your top concern, then there's no need to worry since the cost of kitchen counters can be reduced by shopping around.
One note is that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused all sorts of supply shortages, so don't be surprised if some of these options aren't readily available, or costs have risen significantly.
Kitchens, in particular, will have a more drastic range of prices. Homeowners often pay $40 to $200 per square foot for the material and $20 to $70 per square foot for labor, or even up to $400 for exotic types of materials, according to homeadvisor.com.
Large luxury custom built homes often have 75-100+ square feet of countertop surface. What this means is that if you're putting in granite countertops, it can cost you anywhere from $3000 - $20,000! Take the amount of countertop space into account when you're creating your home design and budget. Plan accordingly.
Granite and quartz are a favorite for kitchen countertops, but you'll want to take the cost into consideration. A good balance of price and quality is wood countertops if you're going with laminate or veneer-wood. Concrete is another option that's environmentally friendly as it uses no water in production.
Which is best? It really depends on what style, durability, maintenance requirements, and cost fit within your preferences and needs. There's a lot of options out there for kitchen countertops, but one thing is for certain, your new kitchen has all the makings of one spectacular room!
Contact Bianchi-Tillett Developers to create your dream kitchen and the custom built home you deserve.