There are decisions galore to make when building a custom home. From paint colors to flooring, you’re sure to be inundated with selections from which to choose. The heart of the home in particular, the kitchen, has a bevy of design features. You’ll want to select options that you love, but also make choices that will stand the test of time.
Your kitchen countertops are a critical part of this investment – it’s a surface that you’ll be utilizing nearly every single day in your home. The aesthetics of countertops play a large part in the overall look of a kitchen and visual impression made on your guests; the material from which they’re crafted will dictate functionality as well as ease of maintenance. In short: you want beautiful countertops that will last and are easy to care for! There are quite a few types of countertop materials that you can choose from – so which countertop material is the best choice for your dream kitchen? B.E.C. Custom Homes has put together a short buyer’s guide to help you navigate the options.
You might’ve thought laminate’s days in the kitchen spotlight were over – and although laminate has continued to be the most affordable (read: cheap) option for kitchen countertops, there are now many more high-end options that are worth giving this material a second look. This plastic and particle board infused material presents several color and style options that mimic the look of natural wood and stone, making it a beautiful and budget friendly choice for your kitchen. Laminate is also easy to maintain and doesn’t have surface or edge seams like other countertop materials. Although more durable options for laminate are offered now than in years past, it can still be more susceptible to scratches, heat, and moisture damage than other surfaces, and could be difficult to repair.
- Solid surfacing
Solid surface countertops, also known as Corian, have become a hot commodity for countertops. This nonporous surface made from acrylic and polyester, is easy to clean and resists stains and bacteria. Solid surface countertops come in several natural stone and wood options, but there is also a vast selection of colors and patterns to choose from as well. Although it’s not the most resistant countertop option for heat and scratches, solid surfaces can be easily repaired (and it’s a practical option for bathroom countertops).
Granite has been one of the most popular choices for kitchen countertops of homeowners for decades. Because each slab is natural stone and has unique patterns and colors, it creates a custom feel for any home. It also is extremely durable and is not easily scratched or susceptible to heat or UV light- making it the best option for outdoor kitchen areas. However, because this natural stone is porous, it requires sealing every few years, depending on the type of granite.
Made from a mixture of stone and resin, quartz is another beautiful choice for your kitchen! This countertop option has recently surpassed granite in popularity but is a bit more expensive. It is low maintenance, easy to clean, impervious to scratches and stains, and doesn’t have to be sealed like granite. Quartz is also resistant to heat but can be damaged with too much exposure.
Marble countertops are easily the most sleek and stunning choice for any kitchen! Although marble may not be the most practical, it is a porous high maintenance material that is susceptible to stain and scratches and requires sealing often to help avoid damages and discoloration. Marble, like quartz, is also more susceptible to heat than granite, and you will want to avoid exposing it to higher levels.
Made of natural quarried stone, soapstone adds an organic touch to any kitchen and is a top choice for stain and heat resistance. Over time, soapstone gains character as it darkens, and natural wear and tear appears. But no worries- if the scratches are too noticeable, they can be sanded out. Soapstone can also crack over time, so keeping up with oiling and polishing is a necessity!
- Stainless Steel
Stainless steel countertops can add an industrial feel to any space, but also performs on an industrial level. These countertops are extremely low maintenance and since nonporous- very hygienic, and completely resistant to water, heat, and stains. However, stainless steel is prone to smudges and scratches, but overtime the blemishes only add to the overall aesthetic.
Looking for an industrial yet rustic countertop option? How about concrete! Keep in mind this is porous material and needs to be regularly waxed and sealed to avoid discoloration, and it is prone to cracks. But in our opinion, this just adds to the lived-in, edgy look. Not to mention, glass fragments, stones, shells, etc. can be easily imprinted to add a custom feel.
- Butcher Block
Butcher block countertops offer a warm, natural, and affordable countertop option for any home- but they do require some maintenance. Regular oiling is necessary to protect the surface from stains and bacteria. Natural wear and tear can occur over time but can easily be refinished by sanding, thus making it the perfect option for a laundry room or a low traffic kitchen area.
Which Option Should You Pick?
So many countertop choices… Overwhelmed yet? Don’t be! That’s what the B.E.C. Custom Homes design team is here for: we’ll help you navigate all the options, countertops and beyond, to carefully decide which is the best fit for your home. It’s just one of the perks of working with a custom home builder like us. Reach out to us to learn more!