If it’s true that kitchens and bathrooms sell a house, then it follows that countertops are instrumental in selling kitchens and bathrooms. Prospective buyers need to know that if the kids plop their backpacks on the kitchen counter, the countertop won’t crack under the weight. Cooks need to know that if they prep food directly on the counter instead of on a cutting board, then the countertop won’t show a scratch.
The color and style of the countertop material matter as well. Darker colors are trending now. Countertop materials with deep veining are also trending now. Choosing beveled edges and rounded corners enhance the choice of countertop material. Rounded corners, for example, don’t wear like square corners. This article will focus on some of the many types of countertops from which you have a choice.
1 - Granite
Granite is formed deep in the earth from numerous minerals that give it color and veining. It’s a porous material, so it needs periodic sealing to fight off bacteria. The visible fissures don't weaken the granite slab, but they do make the markings interesting looking. It’s cut and polished in great slabs, so you can see its patterns and colors. It resists heat, stains, and abrasions. Granite countertops are durable. With proper maintenance, they can last for many years.
2 - Marble
Classic and elegant, this natural stone sparkles. The second most popular countertop material, marble comes in a huge variety of colors with unique patterns and veining. That's how you can tell marble from granite. It’s a metamorphic stone with high amounts of dolomite and calcite. Over time, marble gains a patina that gives it that elegant, classic gleam. Marble comes from a wide variety of places like Georgia, Vermont, and India. Each slab of marble is unique. It, too, resists heat and scratching. Marble, too, must be sealed periodically to avoid bacteria.
3 - Quartz
Also known as engineered stone, quartz countertops are approximately 93 percent natural stone and around seven percent binder and coloring. The quartz is ground down and added to the binder to keep it together. The coloring is added to produce a look much like marble. Quartz isn’t porous, so bacteria can’t take hold, nor does it require sealing. It’s durable, strong, resistant to heat and scratches, and won’t chip as easily as other natural stone countertops.
4 - Soapstone And Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock, found largely in stalactites and stalagmites and comes in the earth tones of nature. Soapstone is metamorphic, which means it changes into something deep in the earth. It begins as gray, soapy-feeling stone, and ends in a wider color spectrum such as pink, green, yellow, and white. Both are natural stones and resemble more popular countertop materials. Both are durable and stain-resistant, but limestone is porous. It needs to be sealed periodically.
5 - Butcher Block
Warm, beautiful natural wood blends with the cabinetry and flooring to form a stunning look. Hardwoods are used in butcher block countertops, such as oak, maple, walnut, and bamboo. Food can be prepped on butcher block, it resists stains and heat, as well as dings and scratches. After a few years, the counters can be sanded down and resealed for a totally new look. Butcher block complements the flooring and cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms in addition to ease of cleaning and durability.
6 - Reclaimed Wood
Today’s wood countertops are often made of reclaimed wood. Everything from bowling alley floors to barn wood to wood from antebellum houses is used to make countertops and island tops. Much of the reclaimed wood comes from old-growth wood from original forests. You’re not just getting stunning countertops. You’re giving the wood new life, instead of tossing it on the waste heap. Beautiful and durable, your reclaimed wood countertops offer ease of maintenance as well as being a green material.
7 - Laminate
Cheaper, easier to install, and with numerous looks and styles from which to choose, laminate doesn’t stain or suffer from heat. However, it doesn’t hold up well to scratches, so a cutting board will be necessary. Technology has improved to the point that laminate countertops are more durable, of better quality, as well as being available in dozens of colors, styles, patterns, and textures. A happy bonus of laminate is that it doesn't support bacteria or mold.