Countertop MaterialsOne of the most important kitchen-design decisions you will make is choosing the right countertop for your lifestyle. A wealth of options are available, and factors like durability and appearance will most likely influence your choice. Some materials require extra care; a few are close to maintenance-free, and others become even more beautiful as they age. When making your choice, keep in mind that many kitchens use more than one countertop material. So, if it suits your design scheme, don't hesitate to mix and match.

 

Granite

Granite comes in a wide array of colors, ranging from vibrant blues and browns, to midnight black, deep red, and mottled white.  The widespread popularity and availability of granite has stabilized prices somewhat, but it is not exactly cheap

Pros: More durable than marble, won't scratch, resistant to stains, heat and water if sealed, low-maintenance, high resale value, lots of color options.

Cons: Like most stone, granite must be sealed every so often to avoid stains. And its heaviness means you'll need very sturdy cabinet boxes to support the weight.

Stainless Steel

Once found mostly in restaurant kitchens, stainless steel has become popular within the past two decades. These countertops are custom made to fit your kitchen, so you're guaranteed a tailored look.

Pros: Durable, stainproof, spillproof, temperature-proof, easy to clean and maintain, help reflect light.

Cons: Fingerprints show and must be wiped off frequently, and stainless steel can also dent. It can be loud as pots, pans and dishware clang against the surface. Chemicals can affect its color and cause unwanted etching. Stainless steel is extremely expensive due to the custom fabrication

Ceramic Tile

The trend in kitchen design over the last decade or so has shifted toward low-maintenance, seamless counters. As a result, there are fewer countertops covered with ceramic tile. Tile is an excellent choice for backlashes or for secondary cooking surfaces, such as islands or eat-at counters.

Pros: Durable, easy to install and clean, heat and moisture-resistant.

Cons: Uneven surface, tiles can get scratched, cracked or chipped, grout can stain. $2-150/foot.

Laminates

Plastic laminate is a durable, hard-wearing material that can survive many years in the toughest kitchen. Plastic laminate is available in hundreds of colors and dozens of patterns, and in various textures.

Pros: Stain-resistant, waterproof, lots of color options, low-maintenance, inexpensive.. Its light weight doesn't require the support of a thick cabinet base.  

Cons: Laminate is prone to scratching, burns and, in some cases, staining. With wear and moisture exposure, the layers can peel. Because of the raw particle board core, you can't use laminate with under mount sinks, and it's also difficult to repair if it gets damaged.

Recycled Glass

recycled glass counterRecycled glass countertops have a unique appearance that goes very well in homes with a variety of designs. Depending on how the glass is used, glass and recycled glass countertops can look very modern or they can be made to look antique. Recycled glass countertops are popular with eco-friendly homeowners.

Pros:  Recycled glass countertops are very durable: the binder is very hard and they are not prone to chipping or cracking. The countertops are non-porous and therefore are relatively easy to clean and maintain. These products are heat-resistant, stain resistant, and are good for the environment because they keep waste glass out of landfills.

Cons: While recycled glass countertops are relatively strong, they can crack if installation creates stress points. Therefore, recycled glass is probably not the best choice for a DIY home project.

One of the simplest tips when remodeling a kitchen is to work with what you have! As always, a contractor can help you plan how to reuse your old materials in your new kitchen so they don't end up in landfills. Fiderio & Sons would be happy to help you with your green remodel! Visit our showroom in Meriden and don't forget to download our FREE Home Remodeling & Addition Checklist!