Are your kitchen counter tops looking sadly out of date, are they stained, warped and dented? If so then it is probably time to replace them and give your kitchen a face lift!
Here are a few options for countertops with pros and cons to help you decide which will best suit your requirements.
1- Ceramic tile
From mosaic to custom made with a wide variety of finishes, colours and textures. Tile countertops are a popular choice for country, cottage, and mediterranean style kitchens.
Pros: Fitted correctly, it is heatproof, scratch resistant, water resistant, and long-lasting.
Cons: Some finishes mark with or household chemicals. Grout can stain easily and will need regular cleaning or even replacing. Ceramics have a hard surface that can chip glassware. In some cases, grout will need to be cleaned regularly, or even replaced.
2- Plastic Laminate (Formica)
A resin-impregnated paper bonded to a particleboard core. Plastic laminate is relatively inexpensive. Available in a variety of colours and textures. Ready made sections called ‘post formed’ make it easy for DIYers
Pros: It is durable, easy to clean, stain resistant, moisture resistant and inexpensive.
Cons: Can be scratched easily, not very heat or chip resistant. Will swell where water has penetrated the laminate so you need to seal off exposed edges very well.
3- Stainless steel
For a more durable countertop choose 18 gauge or thicker and contains at least 8% nickel. Bear in mind that matt finish is easier to keep clean.
Pros: It is waterproof, heat resistant, easy to clean and durable.
Cons: Easily scratched and dented. It should not be used to cut on as it scratches easily. It is expensive if you want a countertop with holes and cut outs.
Butcher block countertops are made from strips of hardwood that are glued together to make a solid surface.
Pros: It is beautiful, natural, easy to customise, gentle on glassware and china, reasonably priced and ideal as a cutting surface. Scratches can be removed from by sanding.
Cons: Not very heat, scratch or dent resistant. Extended exposure to water will cause it to warp so not suitable for sink cabinet tops. Use an oil finish for cutting surfaces as this surface tends to harbour bacteria.
5- Natural Stone
Looks very expensive and it is!
Pros: Beautiful, strong, durable, heatproof, water resistant, and easy to clean.
Cons: It is very heavy so you must have a strong base. It must be custom installed by a professional (and strong) installer. Oil, alcohol, and acid (lemons or wine) will stain marble or damage its finish.
6- Polished Concrete
For a stone like warmth. Aged, natural and suitable for use on a wide range of kitchen styles.
Pros: Competes well with stone (granite, marble, and limestone) with regards to price and performance. Not limited on colour, thickness or pattern. Stains can be removed by sanding and reapplying sealer and wax.
Cons: Hairline cracks can occur although they do not affect the structural integrity and they can be patched easily.
7- Granite - Our Choice
The timeless classic. This is an excellent choice for countertops and is available in polished and matt finish. More expensive than most other materials but its longevity adds immeasurable value.
Pros: Scratch, heat and stain resistant. Granite is durable! It is available in a wide range of colours. Granite worktops will outlast the rest of the kitchen!
Cons: Needs a strong base. Ensure the granite does not need to be sealed.
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