So you're renovation is going well. You've picked out your new floors, you've chosen the perfect cabinetry, and the first coat of paint is looking great. Now comes the next challenge: picking your countertops! There are many options for counters, and pros & cons for all different types of surfaces.
1. Solid Surface: Quartz, Granite, Marble & Concrete
A solid surface counter top will be the most durable option for most residential projects. Quartz & Granite are the go-to selection for many. The main difference between granite and quartz is that granite is a natural stone (quarried from the earth), where quartz is made up of crushed quartz (usually between 93-97%) and resin. Personally, I prefer quartz over granite. I'm pretty clumsy & therefore I constantly spill and drop things. Granite tends to chip easier than quartz. Quartz is fantastic because it does not need any resealing, while granite requires resealing treatment on a yearly basis. Without being resealed, the red wine I just knocked over would be soaked into a granite counter top and leave an unsightly stain! Both Granite & Quartz preform very well in a home, though, and come in a variety of styles & price points.
Marble is still popular in some crowds for counters, but not used as much as in the past. Marble is quite delicate when compared to granite and quartz and extremely porous, making it a poor choice for spots like a kitchen. A bit of acidic fruit juice left from slicing lemons or green apples can leave a stain on marble in no time at all. Marble also scratches easily. If you're dying for Carrara Marble counters the best spot would be in a bathroom, away from scary lemons and plates.
For those looking for a more industrial feel, concrete countertops have been rising in popularity. While concrete is very porous and shows scratches, the rugged style of these countertops is embraced. Concrete is another solid surface that requires annual resealing, but has so many design options. Custom patterns, designs, and edge profiles can be created with concrete, which makes it an extremely appealing for the homeowner looking to stand out!
Laminate has come a long way. Developments in the product have led to more durable materials being used. Laminate is a great options for families looking for an economical alternative to a solid-surface counter top.
Laminate also opens up a whole new world for design choices. Almost any pattern or colour you can dream up exists. Want a wild swirled green & red counter for your kids playroom? You got it! Looking for a faux wood to add some style to your storage cabinets? Sure thing! Love marble but need something more cost effective? No problem! Laminates biggest downfalls include scratching and edge wear-and-tear. However, fixing these issues is much less expensive than a repair on a solid surface countertop, so it is a great choice for the economical homeowner. Since it is cheaper, homeowners who change their style often may also be interested in laminate counters as replacing it every few years won't break the bank. Laminate is easily cleaned and does not require any resealing.
3. Butcher Block/Wood
Be still, my heart...Butcher Block counters are my favourite. However, if you're looking for a low-maintenance countertop, move along before I smash all your hopes & dreams.
Wood countertops are delicate (meaning you can scratch them just by putting a plate down), stain easily (wood is SUPER porous), and require waterlock sealing in wet areas as well as general sealing on a regular basis. The plus side is that doing all the maintenance isn't really that difficult! A quick sand to remove imperfections, staining (if required), and a re-seal will keep your counters looking great. Wood counters are also an inexpensive option for the savvy-spender, and there are tons of choices for wood type and colour. Homeowners can stain butcher block countertops or let a natural wood shine through a clear sealant.
Last (and definitely not least) on our list is Glass Countertops. Glass is a material for the brave & the bold. If you're looking to create a totally unique, one-of-a-kind counter, consider glass. Totally custom counters can be created in almost any colour, pattern, edge profile, and shape!! But be warned, glass is GLASS. Breakable! Butterfingers may want to avoid this material entirely. Glass also comes with a fairly high price tag, especially if you're using it in an area with a sink cutout. Creating the opening for a sink in glass is extremely delicate work. But the results? Amazing.
Dying to replace all your countertops now? Give us a call! We'd be happy to help you choose the perfect material for your next renovation!