There are more options than you think when it comes to kitchen counter materials. While most people are aware of granite and marble, there are a host of other materials available too that make for a fabulous luxe kitchen space.
Take a look at the following advantages and disadvantages of each.
With the rise of retro-styled kitchens, ceramic tiles are becoming increasingly popular.
Tiles are considerably less expensive than stone, quartz, or marble, and they provide two significant benefits. First, they’re incredibly durable and hard. And, second, they’re ideal for DIYers who’d prefer to install their own kitchen countertops than have a contractor do it for them.
There are some downsides, though. The grout lines need regular cleaning, or you run the risk of mold buildup. And tiles may crack under impact, whereas granite, quartz, and marble won’t (unless you hit them really, really hard).
Solid Surface Materials
Soliday surface materials are a modern synthetic material that goes under a variety of brand names, like Swanstone and Avonite. Manufacturers make it by blending acrylic plastic with resins to create a hard, stone-like surface.
Let’s start with some of the positives of this material. The first is that you can easily sand out damage if you happen to drop something on it, and then reapply a top coat if necessary. The second is that you can integrate it with your sinks and appliances, making washer repair much easier than with some natural countertop varieties.
There are, however, downsides. The main problem is the expense. For a synthetic material, it is arguably too costly, especially when you compare the overall price, including installation, with granite and marble.
You also cannot install it yourself. Manufacturers need to make it to your kitchen’s specifications, or it won’t fit.
You’ll often see countertops marketed as “quartz.” Quartz countertops aren’t just slabs of stone, like their marble and granite counterparts. Instead, they’re usually quartz particles that have been compressed and shaped into slabs using a resin.
The original idea was to make an elegant countertop with didn’t come with any of the downsides of either of the two premium types of stone. Quartz countertops, therefore, are a predominantly synthetic product, but they come with the advantage of being fully resistant to water. Yes, they’re heavy and expensive, but they’re arguably more practical than any other premium countertop.
Marble is perhaps the most famous of all kitchen countertop material owing to its beautiful grain and unique appearance. The material, however, comes with an eye wateringly high price tag, meaning that it is something that you usually only find in the most luxurious of homes.
Marble might be highly prized, but it probably isn’t the best choice for kitchens. Marble, as we discussed earlier, has a habit of scratching, staining, and letting in water. You can seal marble with special sealing fluids, but you need to apply them regularly, making it a high-maintenance countertop.
Finally, marble DIY installation is not possible. You’ll need to hire a professional to do it correctly.