You’ve thought about it for years. Debated it. Decided against it. Reconsidered it. Postponed it. Modified it. And at long last you’re going to do it – remodel the kitchen. It’s time to get moving before you change your mind.
Almost all major kitchen remodeling projects include replacing the countertop. It’s often first on the to-do list. A new countertop can do wonders for your kitchen and give you that warm, comfy feeling of finally having something you can be proud of, plus it adds to your home’s resale value.
The realm of kitchen countertops is almost like fashion trends. What was “in” a few years ago – like that lime green laminate top (now adorned with a permanent wine stain at the edge) – is tacky today.
So what’s in vogue currently? Quartz and marble, for starters, but they’re not the end-all and be-all in the realm of kitchen countertops. Granite has long been a contender, even in years past, as well as good ole’ wood. Perhaps supplanting all of those is solid surface materials, which mimics the real McCoy so closely you’d scarcely be able to tell the difference.
So let’s take a look at our options:
Quartz is practically indestructible, resistant to impacts, cuts, scratches, heat and even acid. It is simply gorgeous, with the darker grays, onyxes and blacks being the most popular colors. Paired with light-colored cabinets, it creates an eye-pleasing contrast that will maintain its appeal for years. You can even install it as your laundry room countertop for a luxurious touch.
It’s about $40 to $100 per square foot installed, and it is well worth it.
Let’s call it the Cadillac of the countertops. It’s high-end in all ways, from its timeless beauty to its steadfast durability. The cost – roughly $50 to $150 per square foot installed – is also high end, but again, you’re embarking on an investment in your home, and you shouldn’t let a reasonable price get in your way.
Marble does chip, however, and depending on how you look at it, a little divot can be a nuisance or a memory. Imperfections can often be buffed out, and the marble pattern blends all things into the same swirl, so it’s all beautiful.
Granite is a naturally-occurring mineral that exhibits a randomly-scattered abundance of multicolored flecks, spots, splotches and streaks against a lighter base color. Some granite slabs are works of art, and some look like drunken paint splatters. When choosing a granite countertop, look it over carefully throughout its entire length, and make sure the top you inspect at the store is the same one they bring out to the house.
Granite is super-hard and normal wear and tear just doesn’t make an impact on it at all. It’s an extremely popular choice among homeowners at $40 to $100 per square foot installed.
Most wood countertops are butcher block style, with individual slats offering slight changes in color and grain patterns. Wood kitchen countertops are best employed in country kitchen motifs, where their rustic look blends well with jars of homemade strawberry jam and apple pies cooling on a red-and-white checkered cloth.
Speaking of that, properly sealed wood countertops are resistant to heat, so pans of biscuits right out of the over won’t bother them.
The price for a wood countertop is $40-$100 per square foot installed.
The solid surface countertop mimics all of the above, and does so quite well. It looks so natural, you can take it for granite (groan). But it’s true. It’s probably the most versatile surface available today. You can even use a solid surface for your kitchen.
Resistant to scuffs, cuts, heat and all kinds of abuse, it might just be the choice for you. The cost is $50 to $100 per square foot installed.
Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Construction and Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.