The ultimate kitchen countertop buying guide
Considering new countertops? Here is an overview of the various options
1. Solid surface (Corian, Wilsonart)
Pros: No sealing required. Uniform colour. Seamless installation.
Cons: Can be damaged by heat.
Pros: Budget friendly. Doesn’t require sealing.
Cons: Will show burn marks and scratches. Visible seams.
Pros: Stain, heat and water-resistant when sealed. Requires minimal maintenance.
Cons: Very heavy and must be supported by strong, sturdy cabinets. Can chip or crack.
4. Engineered stone (Quartz, Quartzite, Caesarstone, Silestone)
Pros: Low maintenance. Doesn’t need to be sealed. Stain, heat and scratch-proof.
Cons: May have visible seams where the pieces meet. Can chip.
5 questions to ask yourself:
1. What’s my budget?
Decide how much you’d like to spend. After your cabinetry, your countertops (if you choose a pricier option like quartz) can be the second-biggest investment you make.
2. How much will I need?
Start by measuring the length of countertop you need. Depending on your budget, you may want to consider using two different types of materials to mix and match.
3. How will I use these counters?
If you bake a lot, consider marble, a perfect surface for rolling out dough. If you’re constantly chopping, cooking, boiling and grating, think hard-wearing stainless steel or granite.
4. How much maintenance can I commit to?
Some materials require a distinct upkeep ritual. If you know you’re not one to regularly change the oil in your car, it might be unreasonable to assume you will oil your soapstone or butcher block countertops. Quartzite or granite may appeal more to those looking for a low-maintenance option.
5. What is my design esthetic?
Is it utilitarian? Modern? Traditional? Choose a material that will complement the style of your home and the other elements you already have in place.