Updated: Jan 24, 2022
So you want to upgrade something in your kitchen ? How about the countertop ? Changing this sole piece in the kitchen can transform it.
Kitchen countertops are natural stones or high-tech engineered stones. All those colors and textures are fascinating ! The manufacturing process of engineered stones compacts and uses high heat to turn raw material into a product with the appearance of natural stone.
Let's begin by assessing two things.
First, select the material that meshes well with the way you work in your kitchen. Select between granite, quartz, laminate, wood block, marble and porcelain. The most popular for residential use is quartz because of the wide selection of colors, it performs well under heat, it's scratch resistant, durable, anti-microbial and because there's no particular maintenance requirements, like seals. So you just need to wipe it with a damp cloth.
Second, think about the existing look and the overall effect you want to create in the end. This will narrow your search for the finish. If you want to brighten the space and make it look bigger go for white and creamy tones. Grey makes a statement if you want sophistication and contrast. If you want dark and dramatic go for charcoal or black. If you dare colorful hues, there's hints of blue, red, brown you can find in some finishes.
Also, with finishes you can choose between glossy, matte, veined, sparkles or filaments. Natural stones are thicker while porcelain and engineered ones like quartz, come in size of about10mm or higher.
“Natural stones or engineered products, really, it's a matter of preference. You can't say that one material is more attractive than the other. It's more of an investment, you will find out what you can afford.”
When you arrive at the step of choosing the countertop in the renovation process, it can be long between the time you select your piece and when it's installed. Modern and contemporary styles are very much in demand, so are some colors like solid white and grey. However some materials like granite, that are unique with custom colors need to be ordered in advance.
Countertop average price guide (per square foot) :
Ceramic tile : $10 - 35
Laminate (solid surface) : $25 - 40
Porcelain : $30 - 40
Wood block : $40 - 250
Slate : $50 - 65
Dekton : $55 - 115
Quartz : $55 -155
Granite : $55 - 200
Marble : $75 - 250
Concrete : $70 -135
Soapstone : $ 75 - 125
Stainless steel : $80 -100
Granite, dekton, porcelain, slate, soapstone and concrete can also be used outdoors.
Edges are such great aesthetic elements. You can have the countertop cut how you like it. It doesn't have to be straight. This is how you add personality to it. Consider other features that come with changing your countertop, like the sink and faucet, that can really add character. You can do a farmhouse, undermount or drop-in style.
Lastly, outdoor kitchens are fun projects ! So should be the shopping experience for the best materials. For countertops, select natural stones like dekton, porcelain, slate, soapstone or granite. Interestingly, quartzite, an engineered material, has similar abilities to natural stone because it has specifications for outdoor use. Depending on the climate you live in, make sure you check that it resists to UV light, won't absorb liquid, won't discolor or deteriorate, and can go from temperatures that vary from one extreme to the other witouth cracking.
Granite has a solid reputation for outdoor kitchens. When sealed and maintained, it can handle heat well. Some surfaces are more durable, it is highly recommend to consider the ones that are less veined. Dark stones absorb heat, therefore may be hot to the touch. So opt for a light color.