Whether you are remodeling your kitchen or you’re making a few changes, you want nothing but the best. Just like kitchen cabinets, countertops range from the most familiar to some that offer uniqueness but at a price. Below is a detailed review of several countertop materials with a complete listing of their pros and cons as well as their estimated prices.
Costing around $35-$100 per square foot, granite countertops have a lot to offer. They are scratch, water, and stain resistant. They are also durable, and a broad range of colors is available. Not to forget they have a unique glowing look. Unfortunately, they require substantial support due to their bulky nature. They also need constant sealing, making maintenance a bother.
Marble has excellent heat resistant qualities. Over the years, most people preferred a marble surface for pastry and baking work. Most importantly, marble offers sophistication. On the other hand, marble gets stained easily. Even with proper sealing, stains still become a bother. Perhaps, that is why many people prefer to have it as a countertop on a small section only. Mind you, it also cracks and chips easily. With $40-$100, you can install a square foot of marble.
While soapstone might not be a match for marble and granite, it has its unique way of appealing to the eye. Soapstone is soft in nature and has a light gray friendly color. Regrettably, the color darkens with time. To avoid this, you have to oil the surface constantly. Besides, the rough nature of soapstone is not too friendly to glassware. The soapstone countertop cannot stand knife scratches too. A square foot of soapstone ranges from $70-$100.
The good thing about concrete, you can customize it to your taste and preference. Concrete can get cast in any shape and custom tints applied. You can also add embellishments such as glass fragments, shells, and rocks. Disadvantages include the fact that concrete is porous. Therefore, without constant sealing stains set in. With time, small cracks develop. Due to its customizable nature, it is a bit expensive with prices ranging from $75-$125 per square foot.
Made from paper fibers and resin the paper composite countertop offers more durability than you would ever imagine. One of the main advantages lies in its weight. It is also great for withstanding water and heat. In terms of disadvantages, it is not resistant to scratches and risks chemical damage. While you might get tricked into believing this is a cheaper option, it costs $85-$125 per square foot.
For those after a unique traditional feel, this is the way to go. It has a warm natural appearance. While it hardly stands knife scratches, some people love the end look. Due to its wooden nature, it suffers from many challenges. For instance, it swells and contracts with different moisture levels. It also faces a risk of bacterial infection thus needs frequent disinfection. Oiling is mandatory as the scratches have to be filled, and the surface needs constant protection. Overall, it is quite cheap costing around $35-$70 per square foot.
Mainly found in commercial kitchens but can serve as a beautiful countertop at home too. The good thing about it, you get a tailor-made solution. Stainless steel stands out in that it resists heat, water, and bacteria. Unfortunately, fingerprint marks need wiping constantly, and it might get dented with time. The coloration also changes with time. To install one, you will need around $65-$125 per square foot.