Upon determining it is time to renovate the kitchen, homeowners must decide just what countertop material to use. With the right surface, the countertops can act as the focal point of this space and perfectly tie everything together. The surface also matters when it comes to utility, as it acts as the work surface for all the kitchen activities. For that reason, finding the perfect countertop material is well worth the time and effort it takes—and this guide aims to help.
Since its development in the 1940s, laminate countertops have been a staple in kitchens all across Canada and beyond. Although they were once made of cheap plastic, advancements have resulted in the creation of high-pressure laminates that are both robust and attractive.
Laminate comes in a wide range of colors and patterns, including ones that mimic the look of stone or wood. They are quite easy to wipe clean and resist stains on their surfaces. Since they have seams that can wick up water, they should always be wiped dry after using.
Out of all the countertop options, laminate is the most affordable, though it does have some drawbacks. Exposure to hot pans or sharp knives can damage the surface, for example, resulting in an unsightly work surface. Fixing the damage can prove difficult as well, often requiring full replacement of the surface.
Over 50 years ago, solid surface countertops came on the scene, and they were intent on stealing the show from laminates. And, for the most part, they succeeded, though they cannot beat laminate in price. Solid surface materials are easily resurfaced using an orbital sander, however, delaying their replacement and potentially saving money over time.
Like laminate, this material is available in a variety of attractive patterns and colors. Popular finishes copy the look of natural materials, such as:
There are even finishes designed to look like a clear night's sky, featuring black, blue, and white colors in rich tones.
Across all finishes, solid surface countertop materials are relatively nonporous, which allows West Hillhurst homeowners to work right on the surface without worry about germs. They are prone to scratches, so it is still best to use a cutting board when slicing and dicing. Damage from hot pans can also occur, though trivets easily prevent that problem.
Quartz has recently been recognized as a truly beautiful, durable countertop material that suits most homes. These countertops are man made using heat and pressure to combine ground quartz and resin. The manufacturers may also mix in glass and metallic flakes to add a bit of flash to the final product. The result is a truly magnificent finish in a phenomenal array of colors and textures.
Quartz countertops are not just beautiful to look at either. They have a robust, nonporous finish that resists scratches. Heat is still a risk, however, so trivets will need to remain a mainstay in the kitchen when these countertops are installed. Cost wise, they are on the same level as natural stone, but they do not need regular sealing or other maintenance to stay in good shape.
Granite countertops are a fan favorite due to their exceptional finish, nonporous surface, and immense value. These countertops come from natural stone blocks that are mined from quarries and shaped into slabs using heavy-duty equipment. The stone often features vivid hues ranging from light rose to deep blues in a variety of patterns.
Since they are formed by heat and pressure in the earth, each countertop is completely unique and not fully uniform. This makes the countertops completely heat-resistant, keeping pans from causing damage. They can still be scratched, however, so homeowners should keep their cutting boards on hand. Cracks are possible as well since the stone contains other rocks that can create weak areas.
As West Hillhurst homeowners weigh these options, they can find the perfect countertop material for their kitchens. And if they like their selected material, they can even use it when it comes time to renovate the bathrooms as well.