Serving as both kitchen workhorse and showpiece, today’s countertops play a demanding role. Site of all food preparation, they are expected to be durable (stain-proof, scratchproof, and heatproof), beautiful, and (best-case scenario) economical. No wonder choosing a countertop material is such a daunting decision.
However, it need not be so tricky. Instead of getting seduced or intimidated by the endless options in the marketplace, begin by asking yourself the right questions and setting your priorities straight. As an architect who has survived and supervised several kitchen remodels, here is a list of crucial questions you should ask yourself before you commit.
1. How Will You Use Your Countertops?
The most basic part of your countertop selection should come from an evaluation of how you and your family utilize your kitchen. It is very important to consider the special needs of the family including the aging factor. Make sufficient space that works better for your household. Increase the functionality and reduce inconvenience by updating the layout and enhancing the storage and preparation space. Another important factor that counts in family needs is to facilitate the disable family members. Remodeling done in a way to make the kitchen accessible for everyone in the household.
2. How Much Maintenance Can You Handle?
Many materials come with a long list of upkeep demands, while others are extremely resilient. Be realistic about how much effort you are willing to put into the care of your countertops. For example, porous materials like marble, limestone, and granite need sealing at least once a year. Most important, before falling in love with a material, fully assess the demands of living with it.
3. What Are Your Kitchen Requirements?
It is extremely helpful to have an idea of how many linear feet of countertop you will need, as well as any required dimensions for your space that are not standard. This way, as you gather information, you can create your own estimated figures for each material and make comparisons. For design and budgetary reasons, you might decide to use two different materials: For instance, if you have an island, it might be where you use an affordable wood top while the adjacent counters are in budget-devouring marble or granite.
4. What’s Your Budget?
Ranging from a basic plastic laminate to top-grade marble or granite, the price of a kitchen countertop varies extensively. Prices depend upon the local suppliers and builders. For example, a good quality butcher’s block can cost considerably more than low quality granite. If maintained properly ,it is a smarter approach to target your ideal material first and then try to find the version of that material that fits in your budget.
5. What Materials Speak To You?
For the design-obsessed, aesthetics cannot be ignored. It would, however, be a shame to select a countertop based on beauty alone, only to realize after it is installed that it’s not the right match for you. Working out why you are drawn to certain materials over others will help you make your final choice with confidence. For instance, you might be attracted to white Carrara marble countertops but do not want the hassles of worrying about red wine stains. An alternative white stone material such as Quartzite, durable, low-maintenance, and lower in cost, might be exactly the right choice. On the other hand, if you decide it is the warmth and personality of marble that you want, you’ll be prepared to put up with its shortcomings.
Deal with your countertop like a big investment. Take time to look around, shortlist your choices, estimate your budget, and afterward jump into the renovation project.