Everyone thinks that remodelling their kitchen is an exciting adventure, and it is, but knowing what colours and styles to choose, knowing that you will be stuck with those choices for some time, is quite daunting.
Now, I am a solid wood counter top fan, where my husband favours granite. Our budget however is leading us in a different direction. It is difficult to make a decision based on a small palm-sized sample, and even more difficult to visualise how the end product will look. Hopefully, these tips will help you with your big decisions.
You have a few options, each with their pros and cons – I will cover a few of the most popular options.
Laminate (FORMICA Worktops)
Laminate worktops are great because they are so budget friendly, and low maintenance. This is perfect for a home that you are planning to rent out as owners often do not want to spend too much on something that they will not be using themselves (such as marble tops). Also, one never knows whether the renter will take proper care of more sensitive materials, such as a butcher’s block countertop.
- Stain resistant
- Easy to clean
- Available in a variety of styles and colours including stone, marble, and wood look a-likes.
- Can be damaged by heat, and scratched with sharp knives.
- It is not as durable as marble, granite or other stone surfaces.
Solid wood/butchers block
Solid wood surfaces have a classic look, while fitting in with the modern rustic trends. This homey look is the definition of beautiful kitchens it is not always practical.
- Natural feel
- Can match any other countertop material or cupboard materials
- Low maintenance – wood should simply be oiled regularly or sealed properly
- Wooden surfaces hold bacteria and are not the most hygienic option
- Can easily be scratched and dented or damaged by heat
- Wood swells and contracts with moisture and can warp if not treated properly
Perhaps this style isn’t popular enough – but it certainly seems to be catching more people’s attention lately.
- Trendy industrial look
- Durable in comparison to other products
- May look wet
- Small cracks may appear
- Strong support will be needed due to the weight of the material
- Can stain easily without frequent sealing
A marble kitchen countertop is every kitchen-loving, stylish lady’s dream, but often remains just a dream, as it can easily cost double that of a laminate or wooden top.
- It will never go out of style
- Elegant – with a royal feel
- Heat resistant
- This material can chip and scratch extremely easily
- Stains easily
Granite is a natural looking counter top option that comes in a range of colours, textures, and finishes. However, due to the fact that stone colours change what you get may not always match the sample or a different slab in your kitchen.
- Stylish and durable
- Not easily damaged by knives, scratches, heat, stains etc.
- Resistant to cracks and chips
- Medium maintenance – requires resealing every 6-12 months
Now that you know your material options and their pros and cons you can make a decision on what material to use based on the amount you are prepared to spend, how much maintenance you are prepared to put in, and how “gentle” you, or renters, will have to be with a certain counter top.
The next decision it to choose your colours. Here are a few tips for this.
- There is nothing wrong with mixing and matching, in fact it is in fashion.
- Make sure the countertop matches the other materials ion your kitchen, including tiles, flooring, and cupboard door fronts. To do this place samples against paint, doors, etc. to see how it matches underyour kitchen’s lighting.
- Dark coloured countertops show dust, streaks, crumbs, fingerprints etc. more easily.