Pros and Cons of Different Countertop Materials

If you’re getting ready to remodel the kitchen in your home, then one of the most important things that you can do is research your different options for updating this important space. For example, if you’re thinking about installing new counters as part of your renovation, you need to know about the different choices in materials.

There are a wide range of countertop materials that you could choose for your home, and each material has its own distinct strengths and weaknesses. Learning about these various materials will enable you to pick an option that fits your precise needs. Check out some of the pros and cons of different countertop materials so that you can be sure you select and install the best option for your home.

Granite Countertops

For homeowners who are remodeling their kitchen on a large budget, granite is one of the most popular materials for their countertops. Because of its elegant appearance and nearly unbeatable durability, more and more homeowners are choosing granite countertops.

The advantages of granite countertops are almost too many to mention. This material is extremely heat existent, and its wide variety of color options means you can pick a counter that matches your tastes perfectly. Granite counters can also help increase the value of your home, which can be beneficial if you ever plan to sell.

The obvious drawback of granite counters is that their upfront cost is much higher than other materials. In addition, if you don’t seal your counters, they can be vulnerable to staining. Finally, granite counters can crack if they are installed incorrectly or are subject to too much stress.

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is another consistently popular countertop material, mostly because it is very affordable when compared with other options. Additionally, some homeowners may be able to install ceramic tile using the DIY approach, although hiring a kitchen remodeling professional to handle installation is almost always the better idea.

Besides the lower starting costs, there are several advantages to selecting ceramic tiles. This material is very easy to clean, which is important if you frequently use your kitchen to prepare large meals. Ceramic tile is also available in different colors, designs and textures, which is important for homeowners that want a material that combines form and function.

Durability is the con that must be considered if you’re interested in installing ceramic tile counters in your kitchen. These tiles can easily crack or chip, impacting their appearance and forcing you to pay for a replacement. While the tiles themselves are low maintenance, the grout is at risk for stains. Lastly, if you want custom tiles, you should plan to pay a good deal of money.

Wood Counters

If you’re interested in achieving a warm, inviting and timeless look in your kitchen, then wood is perhaps the best of the available countertop materials. Wood counters are an excellent choice for homeowners that always want their kitchen to look great regardless of style trends, and they provide several benefits that you won’t be able to find with other counters.

For instance, the smoothness of wood counters feels great to the touch, and wooden countertops can generally be cleaned very easily. Also, if the wood becomes damaged, you can usually fix the issue with sanding and resealing, meaning you wouldn’t need to worry about replacing your countertop.

Most of the drawbacks of wooden countertops have to do with durability and maintenance. For instance, wood counters can stain very easily, and they are also at risk for water damage if you don’t clean up spills immediately. If your wood counters became scratched, you would need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to repair the damage.

Engineered Stone

Many homeowners want to install natural stone counters in their kitchen but are worried about the need to seal their counters annually. If this is a concern for you, then you might want to install engineered stone countertops.

Engineered counters are well-known for their durability, especially their resistance to scratches. They are also non-porous, which means they will not stain as easily as natural stone countertops. With engineered stone counters, you will also have access to a wider color selection than you would with granite countertops.

The concern with engineered stone countertops is that they are very expensive. If you’re remodeling your kitchen on a budget, then this countertop material probably isn’t the right choice for you.

Laminate

Installing new counters in a kitchen can be very expensive, and if you’re interested in keeping your costs as low as possible, laminate is the material that should be at the top of your list. Laminate is the most affordable countertop material that you can choose, and there are many other benefits you can receive by picking this option.

For example, despite the low cost of this material, laminate is surprisingly durable, meaning you can install laminate counters and trust that they’ll last for years to come. Laminate also has very limited maintenance needs, usually only requiring periodic cleaning to look its best.

A big problem with laminate, however, is that it cannot be repaired. When a section of your laminate is damaged, it will need to be completely replaced, so you will be have to be very careful about how you are treating your counters. The seams in laminate are also highly visible, which means you won’t be able to create a uniform look with your countertops.

Stainless Steel

Installing stainless steel counters can be a good option if you’re interested in creating a contemporary look in your kitchen. These counters are also perfect for homeowners that don’t want to spend a large amount of time cleaning up after preparing a meal.

Choosing stainless steel counters does have its drawbacks, however. For one, they are very expensive, both in terms of material costs and fabrication. Second, stainless steel counters can make your kitchen very noisy, and they can dent if you’re not cautious.

Pick the Right Countertop Materials

If you’re thinking about installing new counters in your kitchen, you should spend some time thinking about which of these countertop materials is right for you. Keep in mind the expense, style options and durability of each material, and you should be able to choose counters that fit perfectly in your home. If you need a little advice to help decide which material is right for you, talk with the experts at Kitchen Solvers.

Also, check out our article, The Pros and Cons of Five Popular Countertops for more information on countertop options. And be sure to consider Kitchen Remodeling Costs: Get a Return on Your Investment as you evaluate the various types of kitchen countertops available so you can maximize your financial return.

Kitchen Solvers is here to help homeowners with all their remodeling needs, including choosing an attractive and affordable countertop material. Drop by a location today to learn more about your countertop material options.

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