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Choosing the Right Kitchen Countertop

There are a few main criteria to consider when hunting for the ideal kitchen countertop, one of which is materials. Keep in mind that kitchen countertops can be made with raw and natural materials and that materials such as stone, wood and shiplap are making a comeback.

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  • How to Choose the Right Countertop?

    In order to find the right countertop, you’ll need to consider your options in regard to materials, technical characteristics and thickness. We’ll give you some information on these points and explain how to avoid certain mistakes.

    • Materials
    • Technical characteristics
    • Thickness
    • Avoiding mistakes
  • What Materials Are There for Countertops?

    Get to know the inner workings of each material so that you’ll be sure to make the right choice. The main materials are stone, quartz crystal, glass and laminate. Countertops made of these materials can be found on the ArchiExpo website, along with those made of other materials such as wood, concrete, terracotta and plastic.

  • What Should I Know About Stone Countertops?

    Granite countertop by Cosentino

    The first thing to know about stone is that there are various types used for kitchen countertops: granite, soapstone and marble.

    Granite countertops are expensive, but the price has lowered due to rising demand.
    + Almost impervious to heat and very strong and durable.
    + Adds real estate value
    – Expensive

    Soapstone has also seen an increase in popularity. It is naturally dark gray and smooth, perfect for any modern kitchen.
    + Strong and resistant to stains
    + Adds real estate value
    – Must be treated with mineral oil
    – May scratch over time

    Marble can look sleek and stylish for a kitchen countertop, but it may not be the best choice as it stains and scratches very easily.
    + Waterproof and heatproof
    + Adds real estate value
    – Scratches easily

  • What Should I Know About Quartz countertop?

    Quartz countertop by Staron

    Quartz countertop by Staron

    Quartz , engineered stone, is sold by companies such as DuPont and Leicht. It’s made from quartz crystals and other minerals that are shaped into a slab and bound by resins.

    As a non-porous, stain-and-scratch-resistant surface, quartz crystal countertops are a good alternative to granite and marble.

    + Non-porous, stain and scratch resistant
    + Can be easily installed by the homeowner
    – Expensive
    – Very heavy

     

  • What Should I Know About Glass Countertops?

    Glass countertop by ThinkGlass

    Glass countertop by ThinkGlass

    It’s good to know that glass is one of the most versatile materials for countertops on the market, available in various styles, colors and textures. Glass kitchen countertops consist of pieces of glass blended with resins and shaped into countertop slabs. They can be curvy or symmetrical and can be combined with any other material. Some have integrated LED lights and streaks of color added for style.

    + Durable, non-porous, heat resistant
    + Eco-friendly and affordable
    – Prone to cracks and dents

  • What Should I Know About Laminate Countertops?

    Laminate countertop by polyrey

    Laminate countertop by polyrey

    A material regarded as lower in rank than premium countertop materials such as stone, quartz crystal and glass, laminate is becoming more popular with many consumers, due to its availability and affordable price. Laminates on the market are offered in thousands of colors, styles and patterns and they are present both in kitchens with a retro feel or modern look. Laminates are plastic-coated synthetics with a smooth surface, making them easy to clean. They are made by bonding laminate sheets to a particleboard core. They can be bought as post-form countertops or customized on and off site. The disadvantages of having a laminate countertop is that the seams are always visible, and they can be viewed as a low-end material in the kitchen by home buyers. The surface can also be scratched easily, creating damage that can be hard to repair over time.

  • What characteristics are available for kitchen countertops today?

    Kitchen countertops on the market have different characteristics, making it more challenging to find the perfect one that possesses all the desired characteristics you prefer. Nevertheless, you will have to determine whether you want a kitchen countertop that is recycled or heat-resistant  while being stain-proof and wear-resistant, or a countertop that has antibacterial features and is recyclable, or countertops that are frost-resistant and/or originally designed or custom-designed.
    You can choose a combination of some of the above mentioned characteristics or all of them on the ArchiExpo website, where you can search from a wide selection of kitchen countertops in the search bar and by clicking on the “Other Characteristics” tab and selecting the characteristics you require.

  • How to choose the thickness for a work surface?

    It is important to know the thickness for your work surface as this will determine the longevity and durability of your kitchen countertop. Many kitchen countertop manufacturers advise that 3 centimeters is the ideal thickness for both quartz and granite countertops. Although you can reduce cost by opting for a thickness of 1 or 2 centimeters, the advantage of having a 3-centimeter-thick countertop is that it offers more durability. There is also a limited supply of 2-centimeter countertops on the market compared to 3-centimeter countertops. If you have a tight budget and / or you have lower expectations for your culinary work—keeping it simple, basic—, a 1-centimeter countertop made in laminate or wood and not in stone or granite is sufficient. Be prepared to have it replaced in a few years though as a 1-centimeter thick countertop will not last as long as a 2 or 3-centimeter-thick work surface made with premium materials such as granite, quartz and marble.

  • How to avoid mistakes when choosing your kitchen worktop?

    When choosing your very own kitchen countertop, here are some pointers to consider, to help you avoid making some costly mistakes along the way:

    • Identify the color. The color scheme of your kitchen will determine the color of your countertop.Choose a color that compliments the theme of your kitchen in order to create a harmonious environment.
    • Choose your style. If you want a modern kitchen, you can opt for soapstone worktops in black for example. If you want a vintage kitchen, you might choose a marble countertop in beige or sand color. There are different styles to choose from and it will all depend on your own personal preferences.
    • Consider the lighting. When you have less natural light coming in your kitchen, it is advisable to have a lighter colored countertop, with some gold accents or light-colored patches and flecks. If your kitchen space is enveloped in natural light, consider darker colors for the countertop.
    • Learn about seams. Talk to your countertop supplier or manufacturer in order to avoid generating seams in your kitchen worktop.
    • Choose the material. You must determine the material of your countertop before identifying the thickness. Granite, stone, quartz and marble countertops are premium materials compared to wood, glass and laminate. Check your budget and see which material fits your kitchen renovation/ construction list.
    • Choose the thickness. As mentioned earlier, 3 centimeters is the preferred thickness for premium materials such as stone and granite and 1 or 2 centimeters for materials like laminate, wood and glass.
  • How to create a standout countertop?

    In order to achieve standout kitchen countertops, consider trending materials, interesting shapes and textures, lighting and smart technology that can be built in.

    As for materials, there is a back-to-basics trend in kitchen design; many countertops built with raw materials such as wood are making a comeback in both modern, classic and vintage style kitchens. Interestingly, this back-to-basics shift comes at a time when kitchens are opening-up to natural lighting, with large glass windows and folding glass door wall systems increasing in popularity. The result is an airier and refreshing space that opens the kitchen up to other parts of the home and its outside environment.

    LED lighting has also made its way into countertops, with many manufacturers integrating them into the countertops in order to contribute various colors and hues to the kitchen. Smart technology such as touch screen displays, complete with phone apps, are also being integrated into kitchen countertops.

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