Countertops may seem like a solid, near-permanent part of your house that will be a huge pain to replace. However, if your countertops are old, scratched, a pain to clean, or you just plain don’t like the way they look in your kitchen, you absolutely can replace them with something better.
You may already have a few ideas about what your ideal countertop is made of, but it wouldn’t hurt to learn a bit more about which materials make great countertops. Each material has its own pros and cons, so make sure to weigh each option before making a final choice.
In the past, granite countertops were a status symbol. Only people with a lot of money to spare could afford granite countertops. However, granite became more and more popular over the years and more and more people were able to splurge on them.
Granite comes in a lot of different colors, making it easy for you stick to your established color scheme. Granite countertops can also come in single, seamless slabs with lengths reaching up to 10 feet. In the last stage of installation, the countertop will then be treated with a sealer to make it resistant to stains.
More commonly known as Formica, which is a brand name, plastic laminate is made of kraft paper and resins. Before you turn your nose up on craft laminate’s seemingly mundane origins, however, keep in mind that plastic laminate is surprisingly sturdy and durable. It is also cheap considering how long-lasting it is, coming at a small fraction of the price of granite.
Bear in mind that only matte or fine matte general purpose plastic laminate are suitable as countertops. Other kinds of plastic laminate are more suitable as backsplashes. Plastic laminate can also come in a huge range of colors and patterns.
As granite countertops grew in popularity, wood countertops diminished. This is mostly attributed to the mistaken belief that bacteria thrive more in wood countertops. Of course, this isn’t the case. A scientific study has found that bacteria die within a couple of minutes of coming into contact with wood. This means that wood is generally safer from bacteria than plastic.
The drawback in having wood countertops, however, is maintenance. Maintaining the surface of the wood may require treatment nearly every month, which may be a hassle for some homeowners. However, wood countertops can do well as a chopping or baking areas.
If your counters typically have to endure heavy use, or if you just don’t want to be bothered with having to go out of your way to keep your counters in top shape, solid-surfacing materials are a good choice. Solid-surfacing materials are 100% acrylic, 100% polyester, or a combination of both. Some people might dismiss solid-surface counters as an “imitation” of natural rock, but that’s an unfair criticism. Solid-surface counters are durable, stain- and scratch-resistant, and easily repairable. You can have your pick among hundreds of colors, patterns, and designs to really tie the look of your kitchen together.
Here is another material that’s becoming more and more popular as time goes by. Concrete counters can resemble natural stone, and they are completely smooth, flat, and even. If you choose this material, however, make sure that you order pre-cast concrete. Don’t agree to have the concrete poured right in your kitchen, because it can take months to dry and your counters might come out uneven.
You can also order the counters in any color you want, and they can also come in single slabs that can be up to 10 feet in length.