As stressful and frustrating as home renovations can be, designing your kitchen can be a fun part amidst all the chaos. Whether you’re picking out colors, making decisions on hardware, or choosing kitchen countertop material, there are a lot of exciting options to consider.
At Red Rose Cabinetry, we firmly believe that the kitchen is the heart of the home, which is why we love to help homeowners with every aspect of your kitchen design. When it comes to choosing kitchen countertop material, we’ve seen it all. So today, we want to focus on how you can methodically go about selecting a countertop and deciding what works best for you.
What is Your Budget?
Before you even start looking at colors or materials, you must have a realistic budget in mind. If you’re doing a complete kitchen remodel, you already probably know how you’re spending it. But if you’re only updating your countertops, you should expect to spend between $2,000 and $5,000.
This price range is based on a lot of factors—material, finishes, cuts, sizes, etc. According to Home Advisor, each type of countertop material can range between $20—and as high as $120—per square foot. If you’re replacing a smaller counter, you may be able to afford a higher-end material like quartz or marble. But if your wallet is a little tight and you’re looking to save some money, we suggest you go with a popular granite option.
What Are Some of the Most Popular Materials for Kitchen Countertops?
When you’re still stuck on choosing kitchen countertop materials, the best thing to do is figure out what you need out of a countertop. Do you do a lot of cooking in the kitchen that you need something sturdy and heat-resistant? Or maybe your kitchen is mostly used for entertaining guests instead of food prepping?
Regardless of its function, here are some of the most popular types of kitchen countertops.
This family of solid surface countertops uses natural stone materials. Each type of natural stone countertop has its pros and cons, but all are quite durable and popular in many homes. These are some of the common natural stone options:
- Granite: Most people know that granite countertops are some of the most popular in use today. Granite countertops are durable, heat-resistant, and come in a wide variety of unique colors. Plus, granite has come down a lot in price due to its popularity, even though it should be resealed every few years to prolong its life.
- Soapstone: Soapstone has become more prevalent in recent years due to the aesthetic it offers. The stone is durable and darkens in color over time, but also can crack if not taken care of properly. It also has a roughness to it that you may or may not like, but can easily scratch plates or china.
- Marble: Marble has quite the luxurious look to it, and it shows in the price tag. Despite its high-end look, it may not be the best if you plan on doing a lot of cutting on your countertop. It’s durable to high heat, but it will need resealing to keep up the quality.
- Slate: Similar to soapstone, slate is another non-porous material that won’t need resealing. It has fewer color options but can add a rustic feel to any home. Just be careful with it since it can sometimes be brittle and break easily in certain areas.
Engineered stone has become a trendy countertop material over the last few years. Like granite, it’s incredibly durable, heat-resistant, and has a lot of different color and pattern options available. If you’re not a fan of the natural look of granite patterns, an engineered stone may be the way to go. It’s also extremely low maintenance, but you’ll be paying for that convenience with a higher initial cost.
Another low-maintenance option for your kitchen is solid surface countertops. They look like granite or marble, but they cost less, show virtually no seam, and are non-porous. These are typically made with materials like acrylic, epoxy, or other manmade materials. Most people know the popular brand name, “Corian.”
Wood or Butcher Block
Nothing beats the warm, classic feel of wood or butcher block counters. The natural colors and grains look beautiful in any home and can be quite durable when adequately maintained. Knife cuts will appear, but you can either keep them there for the character or buff them out with sandpaper. You’ll have to oil the countertops and also make sure moisture doesn’t cause them to expand.
As long as you have a strong foundation of cabinets, concrete counters are a great option when you need a more custom shape. They add a bit of a modern twist to homes, but you can have them finished in almost any color and poured in any configuration. When you’re having trouble choosing a countertop material, concrete is an excellent option due to how durable it is.
When you need an affordable option, laminate is king. Popular in older homes, most people tend to stay away from laminate countertops now, but they’ve come a long way from the Formica countertops of old. There are plenty of color and style options that can even mimic your desired countertop material. Just know that laminate is not heat resistant and can easily scratch.
What is the Style of Your Kitchen Going to Be?
Now that you know a little bit more about countertop materials, it’s time to think about the other aspects of your kitchen. Do you plan on making it completely modern with stainless steel appliances? Maybe you’re into a more rustic look and plan to go for earthier tones. Either way, the material you choose for your countertop will play a part in these decisions!
What Other Materials Are You Using?
If you’ve already purchased appliances or hardware for cabinetry, you may already know what kind of feel you want your kitchen to have. Everyone’s style is different, but choosing the right countertop can really tie everything together. For example, wood countertops are beautiful but maybe won’t go well with the modern vibe you’re aiming for.
What Is the Color Scheme You’re Using?
Color is another aspect of your kitchen remodel to consider. Say you want a bright, warm kitchen without being too bold. Take a photo or sample of your floor, cabinet, and paint colors with you when you’re choosing a countertop. That way you can tell if the color is going to clash with anything else in your home.
How Much Countertop Maintenance Are You Willing to Invest?
As we mentioned above, when we were discussing countertop materials, choosing the right one for you also depends on what you plan to do with it. If you frequently use your kitchen and want to be able to wipe everything down without worrying about scratches, engineered stone or solid surface countertop may be best for you. But if you don’t mind the extra cost of maintenance for marble or concrete, go for it!
How Much Linear Feet of Countertops Do You Need?
Depending on the size of your space, choosing kitchen countertop material can be even more difficult. You may want something sturdier and low-maintenance, but if your countertop space is too large, you may need to consider something less expensive. It’s best to talk to kitchen experts like we have here at Red Rose Cabinetry—we’ll make sure you have what you want in the budget you need.
Still Have Questions About Choosing Kitchen Countertop Material?
No matter what type of vision you have for your kitchen, Red Rose Cabinetry is here to help you bring it to life. We’re experts in bringing passion and creativity to projects while still staying within your budget. So when you feel lost, give us a call or visit our showroom in Lititz (near Lancaster, Pa.) to take the first step toward the kitchen of your dreams.