- 1. Granite
- 2. Marble
- 3. Artificial stone
- 4. Laminated chipboard
- 5. Stainless steel
- 6. Natural wood
- 7. Tempered glass
- 8. Concrete
- 9. Ceramic tiles
- 10. Paper composite
In this article, we will study the advantages and disadvantages of the materials from which kitchen countertops are currently most often made. We will study the features of countertops made of various types of stone, wood, glass, concrete, stainless steel and a number of other materials.
A worktop is a must-have for every kitchen. It is on it that the owners will cook, so the load on such a surface is very high. In this regard, the main requirements for the material from which the tabletop will be made are reliability, durability, resistance to damage, heat and moisture..
But you can’t forget about external parameters either, because the countertop will become a very noticeable element of the kitchen interior design. An important point is the cost of the material, since the price of the countertop itself directly depends on this. From this point of view – reliability, durability, price and attractiveness – we will study all the materials described in this article.
The worktop can be called the most “shock” working part of the kitchen. In this room, a stone countertop occupies almost the entire perimeter and has become the main decoration of the headset, perfectly combined with an apron
- Unique appearance, variety of shades and textures. Each piece of granite is unique, so finding two completely identical countertops is very difficult..
- Durability. Will last for several decades.
- Strength. Of course, if you try very, very hard, you can scratch or chip off a piece, but you will have to make really serious efforts. Not afraid of sharp knives and hot pans.
- Great weight. You need a solid foundation.
- High cost – from 250 to 1000 dollars per square meter.
- Light-colored granite must be coated with a protective compound, as stains from, for example, wine or ketchup may remain on it.
Granite countertops have undoubted advantages and immediately speak of the wealth of the owners, because not everyone can afford such a choice
Such light colored granite needs extra stain protection
The structure of granite is incredibly beautiful, so working on such a tabletop will be not only convenient, but also pleasant
- It looks even more beautiful than granite, a very large selection of textures and shades. The marble countertop will certainly become the main decoration of the kitchen..
- Resistant to mechanical stress, not afraid of hot iron.
- Absorbs paint much stronger than granite, so even extra stain protection does not always help.
- Loses to granite in strength, you can chip off a piece if you hit hard.
- Slightly lighter than denser granite, but still needs a solid foundation.
- It costs less than granite, but still quite solid – from 150 to 1000 dollars, depending on the type, thickness and other characteristics. The most valuable is Carrara marble from Italy, its average price is from 300 to 900 dollars per square meter, depending on the thickness.
No other material can compare with marble in beauty and variety of structures.
Marble is softer than granite, so we do not recommend beating meat on such a tabletop!
3. Artificial stone
- Acrylic artificial stone countertops have no seams and can be used to make products of any shape. Agglomerate countertops, in which the content of natural stone chips, most often quartz, marble or granite, can reach 95%, are less plastic, but differ in good external parameters and greater strength.
- Huge selection of shades and textures.
- The porosity of the artificial stone is minimized, so that such countertops do not absorb odors and are very easy to clean.
- Non-toxic, hygienic, antibacterial.
- Despite the efforts of manufacturers, artificial stone is still inferior to natural stone in terms of richness of textures. It is easy to see that this is not marble, but a fake.
- Artificial stone is also very heavy, like its natural “counterpart”.
- Afraid of hot surfaces – putting a hot pan on such a countertop, you can burn the top layer.
- May be scratched, do not use abrasive cleaning agents. Small scratches are later polished, but the chips that appear will be difficult to hide. It is impossible to cut and beat directly on the countertop made of artificial stone.
- The cost of agglomerate artificial stone is comparable to natural analogs. Acrylic artificial stone costs 20% less than more resistant agglomerates – about $ 220 per linear meter. The most expensive artificial agglomerate stone is quartzite, its price is higher than that of marble.
Today, not only countertops are made of artificial stone, but also bar counters.
Acrylic artificial stone has great plasticity, due to which countertops and sinks of the most different shapes and sizes are made from it. Such a tabletop will not have joints
A kitchen island with a multi-level artificial stone worktop is the main decoration of this spacious kitchen.
4. Laminated chipboard
- The most affordable option – the cost of laminated chipboard for the countertop averages $ 35 per square meter.
- Light weight, does not need massive support.
- Does not fade in the sun.
- Resistant to dirt and various detergents, does not absorb odors, easy to clean.
- Large selection of shades and textures, can simulate a variety of surfaces.
- Resistant to moisture – may swell with prolonged exposure to water.
- The top layer of plastic peels off over time, especially at the joints.
- Afraid of hot and sharp objects.
- In terms of external parameters, it is inferior to artificial and natural stone.
Laminated chipboard successfully imitates natural wood and marble, can be of various shades
At first glance, the countertop of this kitchen is very similar to wood and managed to soften the laconicism of the snow-white facades.
The top layer of laminated particle board can peel off over time due to high temperature and moisture. The service life of such countertops is much shorter than that of those made of natural or artificial stone.
5. Stainless steel
- Practically indestructible, not afraid of heat, sharp objects, dirt, or germs.
- Long service life and ease of maintenance.
- Fits well into a modern interior and has become one of the fashion trends in kitchen design.
- It weighs relatively little, as it differs in its small thickness.
- An excellent choice for the kitchen of a restaurant or cafe, but the house may look too cold.
- Fingerprints and stains are perfectly visible on the shiny surface, which makes cleaning much more difficult – you need to use special detergents.
- Over time, even on materials as strong as stainless steel, impact marks – dents and scratches may appear.
- Chemicals may leave permanent stains on surfaces.
- The steel surface will rattle every time you place a pot or other metal objects.
- It is quite expensive – about $ 700 per square meter.
The stainless steel worktop will perfectly fit only in a modern interior, for example, high-tech
Too much metallic luster is the main drawback of this kitchen. But the steel table top is in perfect harmony with household appliances, for example, a refrigerator
Ultra-modern cuisine. It is for this design option that the steel tabletop will fit perfectly
6. Natural wood
- Natural wood is a very warm, beautiful material that does not need additional decor.
- Each tabletop is unique due to its unique wood grain.
- Easy to restore – scratches are easy to sand with sandpaper.
- Lighter than stone.
- Compared to natural and artificial stone, it is cheaper – about $ 120 per square meter, but much more expensive than laminated chipboard.
- Resistant to moisture, should not be installed next to the sink.
- Untreated wood will have to be periodically rubbed with wax and mineral oil for better preservation.
- Quite delicate material – scratches and chips appear frequently.
Wooden countertops are perfect for interior styles such as Scandinavian or country
The tranquil, classic interior of this kitchen was inspired in large part by the wooden worktop.
This version of the kitchen countertop – made of solid wood – is commonly called the “butcher’s block”. Rough but interesting
7. Tempered glass
- Glass reflects light so that the kitchen appears more spacious and airy.
- Looks very interesting and unusual, will become a highlight of the decor.
- Hygienic, not afraid of bacteria, does not absorb odors.
- Not afraid of hot objects and high humidity.
- Long service life – will not dry out, will not crack, will not fade.
- It does not withstand strong blows; over time, scratches and chips appear. Particularly vulnerable to side impacts.
- Stains and fingerprints remain.
- Costs from $ 80 to $ 550 per square meter, depending on thickness and shape. Rounded countertops are more expensive.
The tempered glass worktop in this kitchen has the usual rectangular shape, it looks very impressive, but it will be expensive due to its large thickness
A very unusual option is a blue glass tabletop. Good option for marine interiors
- The ductility of concrete allows you to create countertops of any shape and size.
- High wear resistance.
- Long service life.
- Wide range of shades.
- You can do it yourself and save money. Detailed instructions on how to make a concrete countertop can be found in our article “How to make an elegant countertop with your own hands”.
- Too industrial look. Suitable for lofts and ultra-modern interiors.
- High porosity. The concrete countertop is vulnerable to stains and needs additional treatment.
- Low heat resistance.
- Very heavy, reliable support required. Installation will be expensive.
- Concrete can crack over time.
- Expensive – about $ 550 per square meter.
The concrete countertop looks, of course, brutal and rough, but unusual. Option for those who want to experiment with interior design
Concrete countertops can be of any shape, with rounded edges and different shades
A massive concrete countertop in this kitchen looks beautiful, but it weighs a lot, so you should take care of a reliable support
The plasticity of concrete allows you to create amazing things, even such a shell-shaped sink, which has become part of the countertop
9. Ceramic tiles
- A wide range of sizes, shapes, colors and patterns. Almost unlimited space for the designer’s imagination.
- Resistant to heat, stains and scratches. At the same time, even if one tile is cracked, you will not have to change the entire countertop, it is quite easy to replace it.
- It is relatively inexpensive – from 10 to 80 dollars per square meter, depending on the type and manufacturer.
- Poor-quality inter-tile grout can deteriorate over time and become an excellent “springboard” for the development of bacteria.
- The surface will be uneven even if the tiles are perfectly laid.
- He is afraid of strong blows, you can split.
Kitchen countertop tiles – a traditional option for a Mediterranean-style room
The classic version – both the apron and the table top are tiled with the same tiles
In this case, the tiles on the kitchen backsplash are laid out with a classic “checkerboard” pattern, and on the countertop – plain
10. Paper composite
- Externally looks like a hard surface, somewhat similar to laminate, but more pleasant and warm to the touch.
- Long enough service life.
- Very light weight – these countertops are based on paper fibers mixed with resin.
- Easy to scratch.
- Afraid of chemicals.
- Additional treatment with mineral oil required.
- You will have to grind periodically to give the original look.
- Despite the fact that it is made of such a budget material as paper, it is quite expensive – about $ 650 per “square”. Installation is expensive too.
Composite paper is still the rarest material used in the manufacture of kitchen countertops. But it looks quite worthy, agree
The surface of the paper composite worktop is warm and pleasant to the touch
As you can see, all of the presented materials for kitchen countertops have their pros and cons. Of course, the choice between budget laminated chipboard and granite will be primarily determined by the price. In addition, in a luxurious kitchen with an expensive set, the laminate will look simply inappropriate, but marble will be just right. Of course, you must choose, however, you will agree, the more materials on the market, the more chances you have to get exactly the result you are striving for..