An Introduction to Countertop Materials
Decades ago, stone and wood were the primary materials used to make countertops. Then laminate became the material of choice for many homeowners. Today, countertops can be constructed with a wide array of materials, some of which may surprise you. Concrete, metal, tile, quartz and acrylic are just some of the things that can be used to make countertops.
Choosing the kind of material you want your countertops to be made with depends on a variety of factors. Where your countertops will be located is one of the things you need to consider. If your countertops are going to be in your kitchen, you’ll probably use them differently than the countertops in your bathroom, for example. For this reason, you may want your kitchen countertops to be made with different materials than what’s used to make the counters in your restroom.
There are a few other things you need to think about as well. Here are some of them:
- Your budget
- The maintenance a given kind of countertop requires
- How durable the material is
- The material’s appeal and versatility
Many people will find that their final choice will be between wood, granite and marble. Wood is widely viewed as the original solid surface countertop material. Wood is immensely popular for several reasons, not the least of which is that dings can easily be repaired by sanding and recoating the countertop.
Most wood countertops are made with 1 ½-inch strips of maple that are glued together. End-grain maple countertops, which are often referred to as “butcher block” tops, are at least four times as thick as standard maple countertops, and they cost more as a result.
If you’re going to have wood countertops in your kitchen, it’s typically wise to treat them with a penetrating oil finish. Homeowners who’ll use their wood countertops predominantly for eating can order them with a varnish finish instead.
It wasn’t too long ago that using granite for countertops was considered pretty extravagant. Today, the use of granite countertops is more mainstream because the material is more affordable and readily accessible than it used to be.
Granite is a natural material, which means every granite countertop is truly one-of-a-kind. Granite is available in a seemingly never-ending variety of colors and depths. You can also find granite with many different, breathtaking patterns.
Granite naturally resists stains, and its stain resistance can be further enhanced when the material is sealed. Granite is incredibly versatile and you can rest hot pots, pans and baking racks right on its surface without damaging the material.
Like granite, marble is a natural material that can be used to make countertops. Marble is a rock that’s formed from recrystallized carbon over many years. Also similar to granite, marble is porous so it will need to be sealed when used as a countertop in areas where water is present, such as a kitchen or bathroom.
If you don’t seal your marble countertops every one or two years, they will be susceptible to stains by liquids like cooking oils or juice. Marble is particularly vulnerable to stains from foods and liquids that have a high acid content, so cleaning up spills immediately is necessary to maintain marble countertops in good condition.
Countertops by Craig Allen Designs
No matter what kind of vision you have for your countertops, Craig Allen Designs will make your dreams a reality. As you look through our portfolio, you’ll see we’ve used countertops made with a wide variety of materials in many kitchen and bathroom remodels.
If you’re unsure about what material is best for your countertops, we’ll help you figure it out. We’ll talk to you about your lifestyle, the things you use your countertops for most often and your future plans for your home. Based on your input and our expertise, we’ll identify the countertops that will be the best for your space.
Contact Craig Allen Designs to schedule a consultation today.