Because they take up so much visual space, countertops are one of the keystones of kitchen design. It’s amazing to see the difference that new countertops can make in a room, even if all of the other elements (such as flooring or cabinetry) stay the same. This is the reason why many homeowners choose to update the countertops before putting their home on the market. If you only have the time or money to make a single upgrade in the kitchen, chances are that investing in new countertops is a smart way to go. But how do you know which material will be the best investment for your kitchen? Never fear, because here is a brief guide to the most common countertop materials available on the market today.
Each material has certain positive and negative aspects that you should be aware of before making a purchasing decision. Stone (such as granite and quartz) has become one of the most popular choices for homeowners looking to upgrade their kitchen countertops. Stone is easy to clean, durable against heat and resistant to bacterial buildup. It is also scratch-resistant, while the other options are not. Unfortunately, it can often be pretty costly, especially if you are replacing a large number of countertops. While stone is a popular choice, it’s far from the only choice. Also available on the market are solid surfaces and laminates. Solid surfaces are engineered from acrylic or polyester plastics, while laminates are made from a plastic that is adhered to particleboard. Be warned: laminates and solid surfaces can scratch, which means dirt and bacteria can hide in these crevasses.
The decision comes down to your personal preference. Great looking countertops can be made from any of these materials. However, if you are willing to make the investment, choosing a stone material may pay off in the long run. Stone materials are generally more expensive than other options, but they are typically more long lasting and valued by potential homebuyers.