Choosing the right countertop for your kitchen
When designers set out to design the perfect kitchen for their clients, choosing the right countertop is vital. It is a very important decision during the planning stages of design. The countertop is ultimately needs to suit the needs of the client, as the work surface will depend on the type of user. We need to identify key factors which affect our decisions when providing the solutions for our clients. Would your client require an easy to maintain work surface? Or is a stain resistant work surface a worry? Or is the style of kitchen design a determining factor? Ultimately the choice lies with the client's needs and we can also mix and match different materials to suit the style requirements and add a feature to the space.
The two factors most likely to influence your choice are that of durability and appearance. As the worktops is of frequent use and needs to look great as well. There is an immense variety of materials to choose from. Certain materials call for extra care, a few are almost maintenance-free, and others develop a patina effect which makes the work surface even more stunning as it ages. So what are the options available?
Marble countertops create an elegant and sophisticated look, whether it has a polished or honed finish. The stone is resistant to heat, cracks, and breakage. But it is porous, can permanently stain and requires a lot of care in use. This is not ideal or an advisable option.
Wooden countertops can be fairly economical and it adds a sense of warmth to your kitchen. It is multipurpose surface and works perfectly in a contemporary or rustic kitchen. Scratches will occur but those can be sanded away. A wood surface will need regular oiling and it is not heat resistant so one should be wary of protecting it from extra-hot cookware.
Granite countertops offer flexibility and sturdiness. It highlights the beauty of natural stone as each slab varies in appearance; it is also stain-resistant and requires minimal maintenance but can be porous. Granite worktops are normally sealed by the granite installation crew and might require further sealing a some years down the line.
Stainless Steel Countertops
Stainless steel countertops is basically impervious to heat and bacteria, making it the go to choice in professional kitchens. Besides cleaning up fingerprints regularly, it is a smart choice for a kitchen fitted with commercial-style appliances and is an ideal choice for those who are germ conscious. However, stainless steel worktops show surface scratches soon after use.
Solid Surfacing Countertops
Solid surfacing countertops like Corian offer great solutions for colour choice, build ups and a modern aesthetics. Innovative designs can be created using this product. It can be pricey but require minimal maintenance. Solid surface countertops can be thermo formed, shaped and styled in ways not possible with any of the other countertop materials. An alternate solid surface would be Formica which comes in a wide selection of colours, is fairly cost effective but comes in a standard thickness.
Engineered Stone Countertops
Engineered stone is currently one of the most popular solutions. It is composed of natural quartz mixed with resin. It is very durable, nonporous, and heat-scratch-resistant and maintenance free. Aesthetically there are always new colours coming on the market for every desired look from a marble effect to a concrete look. It is a bit most costly but well worth it.
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