Picking Out the Best Countertop for Your Lifestyle
With the multitude of decor shows on HGTV, you’ve probably heard of more countertop materials than you ever knew existed. In a world filled with choices, how do you pick the best countertop for your kitchen? Come with us as we guide you through each material and how they differ in style, durability and price range.
The classic granite countertop has had a lot of popularity in years past due to its heat and scratch durability coupled with the beautiful and unique patterns it offers. This material is made of 100% stone and is sourced out of quarries. It’s generally composed of quartz, feldspar and mica — naturally occurring materials that give granite its stunning visual.
When it comes to price, granite costs more than synthetic options like laminate but less than other stone countertops such as quartz, marble or quartzite. To maintain granite, all you need to do is give it spray with sealer once a year, which will help it resist staining. Though this was once the go-to countertop material, we’re seeing granite show up less and less in the design world, and that’s mainly due to our next material.
By far the best-selling countertop in the Orangeville area and GTA, quartz countertop takes all of the durability of granite, makes it even better and comes in countless colours and styles. It’s more than 90% natural, being composed of crushed quartz aggregates, pigment and resin. Because of this process, more labour is required to create a slab of quartz versus a slab of granite.
Quartz comes in slightly higher price-wise than granite, but it gives homeowners some flexibility down the road if they ever need to source out the same colour of countertop. Also, quartz requires literally no care, making it a favourite choice among families. Because of the durability, wide range of choice and flexibility that quartz offers, it’s quickly gaining traction in the kitchen world.
Though it sounds like our previous material, quartzite is actually compressed sandstone and is 100% natural stone. The colour of quartzite ranges slightly from white to grey with occasional pinkish hues, but other colours can appear depending on which elements were present when the stone formed.
A plus about quartzite is that it is quite hard — even harder than granite! Unfortunately, it is more prone to chipping than other materials. Like granite, quartzite must be properly sealed at least once a year to resist stains. If you require a more intricate countertop shape, quartzite will end up costing quite a bit more than other materials, however, if you only need a simple rectangle, it actually costs about the same as quartz.
Marble is a specific type of natural stone that produces beautiful, subtle veining. This is the stone that many historic artists used to carve their sculptures because it is softer than many other natural stones.
Because marble is more malleable, it’s actually quite susceptible to damage from simple and commonly found substances like vinegar and fruit juice. It’s relatively difficult to keep in good condition — especially for Dufferin families with children! If the look of marble is what you want, NAK Cabinetry suggests opting for a similar quartzite or a printed quartz option — both of which will last much longer and cause you less trouble.
Butcher Block Countertop
A rustic look in any kitchen, butcher block countertop brings a country feel to even the most modern of kitchens. As diverse as the trees in the forest, butcher block comes in many different colours and styles. It also allows for interesting ways to customize your look including the use of ebonizing solution, torching, live edge design and distressing techniques.
Depending on how the wood is sealed, it can be quite durable, with some surfaces being ideal for cutting. Butcher block can also be waterproofed and fares better than laminate in terms of bacterial growth over time. You will have to reapply whichever finish you choose over time, making it fussier than other materials. In terms of price, expect to pay a similar amount as you would a natural stone option, though it varies based on which type of wood is used.
A newer trend, concrete countertop is an industrial decor lover’s dream, giving an edgy feel to any space. It uses pre-cast or spot-poured cement and sand mix to create a hard surface. The result is a grey, textured and sometimes rough material that is showing up a lot in the world of design.
Before you attempt this on your own, you have to first realize how heavy concrete truly is. Depending on your slab size, you might even require special floor joists underneath your kitchen area. Another point that must be considered is that concrete stains relatively easily and may crack over time. You’ll need to properly seal it every three years and embrace its unique distressed look. That being said, some do find they enjoy their concrete countertops.
The most common and the most cost-effective, laminate countertops can be found in kitchens all over Ontario. Laminate is made of compressed and printed paper that has been glued onto a wood composite. It ranges widely in both quality and appearance, with basically every colour and pattern available to buyers.
Of the countertop types, laminate is by far the most susceptible to damage. It is not heat or scratch resistance, although some brands provide better protection than others. The life of a laminate countertop will almost always be shorter than any of the other materials we’ve covered, but the price does reflect this somewhat. If you are on a budget but still want selection, laminate can be a suitable option.
For All Your Countertop Needs, Look to NAK
If you live in Dufferin or Simcoe County and are looking for top-quality countertops, stop by NAK Cabinetry & Tile located on C Line in Orangeville. Our team would be happy to answer any of your kitchen and bathroom design queries while helping you pick out materials that will work best for your situation. We also have a large showroom at our location with real samples of countertop, tile, backsplash and cabinet options so that you get a true feel of what your purchasing before you order. Talk with us today to begin your home design project!