Top Kitchen Countertop Styles To Consider When Remodeling

Kitchen Countertop Styles When Remodeling

When it comes time to remodel your kitchen, one of the most important decisions you'll make is choosing the right countertop. Your kitchen countertops should not only look beautiful and reflect your style, but they also must meet all of your meal preparation needs. After all, your countertops take up a lot of real estate in your kitchen and are a central focal point in your overall kitchen design.

Today, you have more choices than ever before in terms of materials and countertop styles. How do you choose between granite and marble, or manmade versus natural materials? What about your cooking needs? Do you love to bake? Marble may be a perfect choice. Do you have small children who are prone to spilling their juice? Maybe a manmade material will offer the stain prevention and durability you're looking for.

Let's take a look at the pros and cons of some of the most popular kitchen countertop materials available to help you make a perfect choice.

Natural or Manmade?

You have a wealth of choices when it comes to natural material or a manmade surface. From granite or soapstone to quartz, there are several durable, beautiful materials available that can take your kitchen design from drab to fab.

Manufacturing technology has advanced to the point where it's possible to get an engineered quartz countertop that rivals the look of natural Carrara Marble, or high-end granite. If you're seeking to live more sustainably, choose eco-friendly composite countertops that are made from materials like fly ash or recycled paper.

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These composite countertops not only look great, but they also inhibit the growth of bacteria, resist stains and scratches, and are heat resistant as well. Most are free of VOCs, emit no radon, and are completely food safe. Composite countertops can sometimes require periodic sealing or special maintenance.

Nothing can beat the natural beauty of natural stone. Whether it's marble, granite, soapstone, quartzite, or slate, natural stone is durable, beautiful, and can create a stunning look. Natural materials are available in several finishes, from high-gloss to matte, and each stone, because it's naturally created over time and comes from the earth, is unique.

Natural stone is porous and will require periodic sealing and maintenance. Some, like marble, are prone to staining or etching when exposed to acidic materials like wine or lemon juice. However, with minimal care and periodic maintenance, a stone countertop can literally last a lifetime.

Countertop Styles: Natural Materials

Natural stone countertops are gorgeous, durable, and will add value to your home. There are many different species and finishes available. Here are some of the most popular choices of homeowners today.

Natural Granite

Granite countertops are elegant, rich, luxurious, and can be expensive. They're the most popular choice for homeowners thanks to their beauty, durability, and timelessness. Granite is a durable heat-resistant surface that will stand up to meal prep and daily use. In terms of maintenance, annually sealing your countertops will help prevent stains and bacterial growth.

Marble

From the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans, marble has been held in the highest esteem. It's a luxurious and elegant addition to any kitchen. While marble is more prone to staining, etching, and scratching than granite, if you love to bake, there's no better surface for rolling out dough. There are both native and imported marble options, each having unique characteristics depending on where it was mined. Marble is one of the most expensive materials, but it is also one of the most stunning!

Soapstone

Soapstone is fabulous and classic. Like engineered materials, soapstone will not absorb stains and discolorations and never needs sealing. One of the advantages is that soapstone countertops become even more beautiful as they age. They darken and develop a natural patina over time that makes then a dramatic focal point in any kitchen. Surface stains can be cleaned with a gentle sanding, and scratches can be removed with mineral oil.

Lava Countertops

If you're looking for a unique material that will become the ultimate focal point (and the source of a thousand questions from friends!), consider lava countertops. They are made from lava stone quarried from the sites of ancient volcanic eruptions. Most lava countertops are being produced are mined from craters in Auvergne, France, but other places are coming online as demand increases. Once the stone is mined, it is custom cut, glazed with enamel and heated to 1300-degrees to create a smooth, porous surface that is completely water-resistant. As the countertop cools, small cracks appear in the glazing – called “crazing” they give every lava countertop a unique look.

Butcher Block/ Reclaimed Wood

Butcher block and other wood, such as reclaimed wood, remain popular choices for kitchen countertops. Wood is an inviting and warm surface in the kitchen. Butcher block countertops are created from various colors and species of wood, glued together, sanded and sealed to form a smooth, unified countertop. Because of the wide variety of wood species used, butcher block counters can vary widely in price.

For the eco-conscious, reclaimed wood countertops not only are great for the environment, but they also provide a rich, stunning, unique beauty to any home. It's a great way to add a warm organic element to your kitchen. The marks of history tell a story, and the patina and natural imperfections combine to give them an unmatched character.

Countertops Styles: Manmade Materials

Today, manufacturers are creating new materials that are beautiful, affordable, durable, and many are incredibly eco-friendly. Here are some of the top choices of today's homeowners.

Quartz

Also known as engineered stone, quartz countertops are durable and newer products rival natural stone in their beauty. They're the number two choice behind granite for many homeowners. Most are made from a high concentration (93%) of quartz crystals and resin. Along with lustrously polished finishes quartz is also available with the matte finish of limestone, the textured finish of granite or the gloss of highly polished stone.

Recycled Glass

Recycled glass countertops are environmentally friendly. Made from many different types of glass, they offer a unique, beautiful appearance that works in many different design styles. Depending on the way it is manufactured, recycled glass can look very modern or contemporary, or they can be made to look antique, almost traditional.

Solid Surfaces/ Resin Countertops

Solid surface and resin countertops are a relatively new product. Solid surfaces are made from acrylic and have become a popular choice for homeowners on a budget. They are very hard, durable countertops available in a wide range of colors and patterns. Brands like Corian and Swanstone offer excellent products that when custom made, can be seamlessly making them easy to clean and maintain.

Tile

Whether produced using ceramic, porcelain, or glass, tile countertops can be a stunning visual focus in your kitchen. Tile is one of the most versatile materials because it comes in an almost endless variety of styles, sizes, shapes, and colors. Porcelain and glass tiles are easy to clean and resistant to moisture. You can create stunning visual effects by using glass tile installed over LED lighting for a modern look.

Porcelain

While porcelain tile has been used as a countertop material for a long time, solid porcelain countertops are a relatively new material. Currently, the majority are imported from Spain and other EU countries, but US manufacturers are right behind them. Porcelain offers many benefits, like easy cleaning and durability. They come in a wide range of colors that can range from designs mimicking marble, granite, or slate. The newest slabs are lightweight and versatile. You can even use the same slab for both countertops and backsplash giving a bold, contemporary look that's low-maintenance and aesthetically beautiful.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel combines elegant beauty with practical benefits. With stainless steel finishes on your major appliances, you can choose countertops that blend seamlessly. Stainless steel has been trending with designers and homeowners for a few years, and it's expected to continue being in high demand. If your style is contemporary, industrial or modern, stainless steel countertops are an excellent choice.

Your kitchen countertop is a major decision in your kitchen remodel. These countertop styles can take your kitchen design to the next level!

If you're planning a kitchen remodeling project in the greater Tuscaloosa, Alabama area, give the experts at Toulmin Cabinetry & Design a call at (205) 366-0807. Let us help you choose the perfect kitchen countertop style to meet your aesthetic and functional needs.