In this article, we’ll explore the different materials used for kitchen countertops, presenting the pros and cons of each type. You’ll see the various purposes for each of them, along with details on durability, affordability, and maintenance. We’ll even touch on some eco-friendly options if you’re into the sustainability of the environment.
Best Kitchen Countertop materials
We’ll begin this journey into kitchen countertops by assessing some of the more popular and durable options. Others are more affordable than others, but that’s due to the nature of the material.
One of the top benefits of granite kitchen countertops is that this material has high resistance to most elements, which is what makes it so durable. As some examples, it’s resistant to heat, scratches, chemicals, and stains.
That also means that you don’t need to repair or maintain it as much as other types of countertops in the kitchen. As an added advantage, you can also find some exotic ranges, depending on where the granite was mined. Thankfully, there’s enough granite in the quarries that we won’t run out anytime soon.
Of course, the cost of granite countertops in Ireland will depend on the appearance and strength. In general, granite is more affordable than quartz.
There are two small downsides to granite countertops. If you drop your dishes on the surface, there’s a good chance it will break. That just means you need to be more careful. Also, granite isn’t readily available in different colours or textures.
If you’re wanting a more traditional or rustic look in your kitchen, you should opt for a wooden countertop. There are more variations with colour and grain, plus you can play around with edges and designs. Since most of the wood is reclaimed, it’s also a cheaper option.
Wood also has a warmer feeling to it than granite, but there are a few disadvantages. You can more easily damage wood, especially if you’re cutting directly onto the kitchen countertop. It also needs more maintenance with proper sealing to protect against pests. In the end, the long-term cost of maintaining wood will be higher.
Nothing beats the elegance and beauty of marble countertops. Just the name alone is enough to get anyone excited about refurbishing their kitchens. There’s also a gorgeous sheen on the service that makes the room shine, making any guest gape in wonder.
There are a few downsides to this beauty, though. Marble is more porous than granite. What that means is that it’s more likely to stain or chip, so you’ll need to be more careful. You won’t want to put any hot objects on it, as it may cause long-term damage. Also, it’s slightly more expensive than granite.
Quartz is the powerhouse of kitchen countertops. Unlike the above options, it can withstand heat, stains, and almost anything you can throw at it. It’s also a stunning material that’s available in various colours and textures.
Its advantage of being resistant to damage also has a downside. If you’re not too careful, you can chip the edges or corners, making the countertop look ugly once you notice it. The only way to repair it is with the help of a professional.
When you’re looking for a more versatile option with a range of colours and designs, laminate is the material you’ll want. It’s more affordable than most of the other options and easy to apply. You can even install it in really tricky spaces.
The one significant issue with a laminate surface is that you can’t repair it. Once a portion of it receives damage, there isn’t much you can do to fix it. Thankfully, the affordability of the material makes it easy to replace.
Other Kitchen Countertop Options
We’ve only touched upon some of the kitchen countertops used in Irish residential homes. While these are the most common, there are other options available with different appearances, textures, and colours. These include:
- Solid surface
- Butcher Block
Eco-Friendly Options for Environmentally Conscious HomeownersWhile stone materials like granite and marble are in abundance in some countries, mining them in a quarry still depletes natural resources. There are more eco-friendly options from recycled or reclaimed materials if you’re conscious of the impact on the environment.
Here are some eco-friendly options for kitchen countertops:
- Glass slab (recycled): You can use this alternative to natural stone. Glass slab countertops are crafted from fly ash, sunflower seeds, and other materials that are easily recycled.
- Paper composite: This is a more sustainable option than laminate countertops. The latter usually has resin with formaldehyde in it, which may affect the air quality in your home. Paper composite doesn’t have this issue.
- Certified reclaimed wood: This material can easily be reclaimed and reused in many forms. Also, bamboo is one of the top renewable resources and looks stunning in most homes.
- Glass tiles (recycled): While some residents love ceramic tiles in kitchens, using recycled glass tiles is more eco-friendly. The process of recycling glass is more effective and efficient than ceramic, too.
- Aluminium (recycled): The main downside of mining metals is that the process causes pollution. Fortunately, aluminium can be recycled, presenting a more environmentally friendly option.
It’s Time to Upgrade Your Kitchen!Renovating a kitchen is an exciting project, but choosing the right countertop for your cooking and baking can be challenging. We hope this guide has given you some idea of the best approach to selecting the one that suits you.
If you still aren’t sure, you can consult with one of the house renovation experts on the YourPro platform. Simply send us an idea of your requirements, and we’ll hook you up with one of the professionals on our system.