When the time comes to renovate the kitchen, there are many things to consider: cabinets, hardware, appliances, light fixtures, backsplash, floor, countertop, in short, the list could go on for a long time. Among all the elements to be changed, one of them may seem more complex since several choices have to be made. The famous countertop! In granite, porcelain, wood, melamine, bamboo, there is a panoply of possibilities, but which one would suit you better? In order to guide you in your choices, we have decided to enlighten you on the different types of countertops available and their specific characteristics.
Natural stone countertop -granite, marble, quartz
Natural stone is a choice that is impervious to fashions, durable and, above all, will stand the test of time. The most popular natural stones for countertops are granite, marble and quartz. Their popularity is due in part to their prestigious, high-end appearance and the uniqueness of their pieces. They are stain and scratch resistant and can withstand fairly high temperatures (ideal for oven-fresh dishes!). On the other hand, their colours and patterns can be irregular within the same piece and for some this can be a disadvantage. In addition, being a natural material, some natural stones require a sealer to prevent them from being damaged by products that are too acidic. The use of abrasive soaps is also not recommended since they will also damage natural stone. Also remember that everything that is synonymous with luxury comes at a higher price. One thing is certain, if you opt for a natural stone countertop, you will have an exceptional and elegant result.
Porcelain countertops are not yet very popular, but they are worth getting to know because they have many advantages. Available ina wide range of sizes (up to 63.7'' x 127.5'') and especially thicknesses.Their choice of colors and patterns is also breathtaking! Some models imitate wood, while others are identical to natural stone countertops. Porcelain countertops are resistant to chemicals and cleaning products, stains, wear and tear, thermal shock, frost (ideal for outdoor kitchens), scratches and abrasion. Another positive aspect of porcelain countertops is that they are environmentally friendly and recyclable, especially since they are easy to maintain. Suitable for a food surface, they do not allow the formation of mould, fungus or bacteria. They are ideal for kitchens and will meet your highest standards! Their only drawback could be their price, but quality always has a price to pay!
Ceramic countertops are less popular, but they are also worth considering. First of all, they are more economical to make. It will cost on average 30% less than a natural stone countertop. You can even combine it with your backsplash for a uniform look! Also, since ceramic is available in a wide range of colors, patterns and finishes, you have a vast choice among which you are sure to find what you are looking for. And since ceramic is a material that is resistant to heat and humidity, it is an ideal choice for a place that is likely to be faced with this type of condition. However, there are always two sides to the coin...Having a ceramic countertop can promote the accumulation of dirt due to the presence of joints. In addition, depending on the type of ceramic you choose, your work surface may be uneven, which can be an inconvenience for some people.On the other hand, ceramic countertops do not require any particular maintenance except cleaning with a mild soap.
Laminate countertops are very popular and have been for a long time, and are much loved for their value for money. Available in countless textures and finishes, this type of countertop is resistant and requires little maintenance. Its smooth surface is easy to clean and therefore more resistant to stains. People appreciate it for its versatility, low cost (compared to other types of countertops), durability, impact resistance (imagine dropping a cauldron!),reliability and wide choice of colours and patterns. However, like all good things, laminate countertops have their drawbacks; laminate is sensitive to heat and is also difficult to repair.
Wood is undoubtedly the noblest and warmest material. In spite of its reactivity to humidity (to be avoided close to a water source although there are ideal options to counter this problem - teak). It can be combined with another typeof countertop. It can be used on an island for example and combined with a quartz countertop. What you should have in mind if you want a wooden countertop is that it is better to opt for hardwood. No one can contradict the fact that a wooden countertop will bring an authentic look to your kitchen or bathroom because of its natural character and depending on the type of wood chosen. Its versatility in terms of colours and finishes also makes it an asset of choice. It is versatile and adapts to all types of decor.It is therefore a classic and timeless choice. On the other hand, the downside of a wooden countertop is that it requires a lot of maintenance, i.e. you have to apply natural oil several times a year to prevent it from drying out. Any damage must be wiped off quickly to prevent marks and if you want to restore its original shine after a while, you must sand it down completely. Furthermore, it is important to seal it before its very first use to prevent microbes and other germs from penetrating the wood and poisoning you afterwards. Also note that they are sensitive to heat (wood burns!!!), shock sand scratches. And as you can imagine, as wood is not an affordable material, its cost is also high.
In the same family but just as different, bamboo counters are quite popular. They will bring a rustic side different from other types of wooden countertops. Being an ecological material (renewable resource), durable, resistant (stains and shocks) and hydrophobic, bamboo countertops are definitely an ally. Moreover, they are easily cleaned with a non-abrasive soap and a damp cloth. Their quality/price ratio is also another positive point to give them. On the other hand, just like wooden countertops, bamboo countertops need to be oiled to protect them.
With the industrial style taking up space in our decors, concrete countertops have begun to become increasingly popular. One of the advantages of concrete countertops is without a doubt their malleable aspect, allowing you to give them the shape and size you want, in the comfort of your home! However, it is important to know how to do it. They also offer a huge choice of colors and finishes. They are just as resistant to heat, scratches and stains. On the other hand, since concrete is a heavy material, it is important to reinforce the countertop with steel to avoid cracking. In addition, it is a porous material, so it is necessary to apply a sealer that will avoid absorbing liquids and thus staining. That said, the solidity and rough appearance of the concrete countertop will bring personality to your decor. As you can see, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to countertops. If you are interested in natural stone, porcelain or ceramic countertops, don't hesitate to ask our in-store advisors, they will give you the right information and meet your needs.