When planning a new kitchen, you face many different choices, one of the biggest being the countertop. In some countries, kitchen worktops are called worktops for a reason – they are probably the hardest work surface in a kitchen, so choose carefully! Remember that you will prepare it, chop it, slice it, mix it, pour it, clean it, and maybe even eat it multiple times a day. Appearance alone may not be the best way to make a decision.
Fortunately, countertops are now available in many different materials to suit your cooking and cleaning style. And the range of finishes is huge, so you’re sure to find the right mix of style and function.
To help you make up your mind, we have listed the main materials available and factors to consider. And if you need professional advice on the right choice, our kitchen design experts at Houseaka can help.
What to consider when choosing a kitchen countertop
The main factors to consider are function, appearance, maintenance, and cost. The feature is at the top of the list as all the work is done on the kitchen counter. If you have a large family or you play regularly, your tabletop will need to be sturdy. Some countertops also function as a dining surface, especially if you have a kitchen with a dining area, so you need an easy-care surface.
Appearance is equally important. The color and finish of the worktop must be in harmony with all other elements of the kitchen – walls, cabinets, appliances, and the floor. And it needs to be sturdy to keep it looking good. Due to wear, scratches, and stains, the appearance of your living room may fade soon.
In the kitchen, health and hygiene are important, so the surface must be easy to clean and maintain. Some materials may react badly to common kitchen cleaners. Surfaces that are easily scratched can collect dirt and be difficult to clean.
Kitchen worktops vary greatly in price, from basic laminates to top-class stone materials. Installation costs will also vary, especially if you need complex island shapes or special cuts for sink inserts or awkward corners.
Kitchen countertop materials
Laminates are a practical and inexpensive choice. They come in many different styles and colors and are easy to clean. But be careful, laminate kitchen countertops can be damaged by heat or scratches. The cost is on average $ 50 / $ 100 per square meter.
Acrylics are becoming more and more popular and Corian is one of the most famous brands. Like laminates, they are practical and very easy to maintain but are also easily damaged by heat or scratching. Corian kitchen countertops are easy to install without seams and are repairable. Typical cost is around $ 1,000 / $ 1,300 per square meter.
Engineered Stone takes you to the kingdom of stone countertops at an affordable price. They are very durable, resistant to heat damage or scratching, and easy to clean. But avoid excessive heat and remove stains quickly. Designed stone kitchen countertops cost anywhere from $ 300 to $ 800 per square meter.
Granite is a very attractive surface and not very expensive. It is durable, easy to clean, and will not be damaged by heat or scratched. However, granite kitchen countertops need to be sealed regularly and require specialized installation. Typical costs range from $ 700 to $ 2,000 per square meter.
Marble is considered a luxurious surface, although it is in a similar price range to granite. It is easy to clean but needs to be sealed and is easily damaged by stains, chipping, or cracks. Marble kitchen countertops need to be installed by experts, which can add to their cost, which ranges from $ 800 to $ 2,200 per square meter.
Stainless steel is an inexpensive surface material that is widely used in commercial kitchens but is popular with homeowners who want a modern look. Stainless steel worktops are extremely durable, easy to clean, and will not be damaged by heat, stains, or chemicals. However, they are easily scratched and require specialized cleaning agents. It costs an average of $ 900 – $ 1100 per square meter.
Wood is a popular choice for people who want a natural look in their kitchen. While they are easy to maintain, wooden worktops must be sealed to avoid heat damage, stains, and scratches. Costs vary depending on the type of wood but expect to pay $ 500- $ 1500 per square meter.
Concrete is a choice for anyone who wants an industrial look in their kitchen. It is a hard, durable surface material, but it is prone to dents and chips. Must be sealed to prevent damage from heat and fire