The countertops in your kitchen can make a big difference in how your kitchen looks overall. Updating your countertops is a great way to give your kitchen a fresh, new look. There are a number of materials used in modern countertops that will help your kitchen stand out. Here are just a few options to consider if you really want to give your kitchen countertops a boost.
Stone surfaces have long been a favorite material for kitchen countertops, but soapstone has come into its own in recent years. You may recall soapstone from your science classes and bunsen burner days. Soapstone is heat and stain-resistant like granite, non-porous (and thus liquid resistant), and has a softer texture than you’ll find with many stone surfaces. Because it is soft it can be scratched and chipped but it is repairable. Just be sure you love the look before making this investment.
Granite has been popular as a counter surface for years but has always had the drawback of being a porous material, meaning you have to be careful with spills. Leathered granite solves this problem while giving the classic stone a modern update as well. The surface of the granite is slightly roughed by diamond-tipped brushes, enhancing the stone’s natural color while cutting back on some of the shine and closing those infamous pores. The end result is a durable stone countertop with a unique look and a wonderful texture that really does feel similar to leather.
Like granite, natural quartzite has been used as a countertop material for years. So what’s the deal with engineered quartz? Unlike traditional quartzite which is a metamorphic stone and is quite porous if not sealed, quartz is made with quartz minerals, pigments, and polymer resins to create a very hard and natural-looking surface. Engineered quartz resists staining, corrosion, and damage from most cleaners. Just keep in mind that, like natural quartz, these countertops can still be damaged by heat and should not be used in outdoor kitchens.
There are a few different brands of solid-surface acrylic countertops available, notably including Corian and Swanstone. These countertops mix acrylics with resin to create a stain-resistant surface that’s available in a wide range of colors, and that can be sanded to repair scratches or other small bits of damage. Perhaps more importantly, the man-made nature of these countertops means that they can be easily customized to meet the specific needs of your home. Their main drawback is that they tend to be vulnerable to heat damage, given that they are still made of plastic.
Concrete countertops have become quite popular in modern kitchens. Concrete can be crafted on-site to ensure the install matches your unique kitchen perfectly. The dense nature of concrete means your countertops can take a beating without suffering much damage. Textures, acid-stained colors, and more can be added to the countertops during the creation process, and additives or sealants can significantly reduce the porosity of the concrete itself. These countertops do occasionally have issues with cracking. Even when they do crack, however, most concrete countertops can be repaired on-site.
Like most things, you get what you pay for. Do your homework and ask the right questions to make sure you invest in a countertop material and installation that will bring you enjoyment for years to come.
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