10 Countertop Ideas for Remodeling Your Kitchen
Are you dreaming of remodeling your present kitchen? Or maybe you’re moving into a new home and making plans to update a few things to make the kitchen your own. Either way, updating your kitchen countertops opens a myriad of questions to ask yourself before taking the plunge. These days, there are so many materials to ponder, asking yourself a few select questions can help you narrow your options.
Which surface will best complement the style of my kitchen? Which surface is designed to last, thereby providing a good return on my investment? Which surface will best fit my budget?
Here are the most popular choices that we usually see. When considering which option may fit best with your plans, the staff at Vailes is highly knowledgeable and our skilled representatives would be happy to help you with your decision.
Laminate, made of paper-blended resins and fused to particle board, has been the go-to for kitchens for decades. Formica® seems to be substituted as the generic name but is really still a brand name. With this surface, you can keep your costs down while getting the look you want, or close to it, with so many colors and patterns available. You could choose almost any look with laminate, from a retro look to something more urban and contemporary. Laminate is fairly durable, but it can scratch or burn and is not easily reparable. Also, you can’t use undermount sinks with laminate. General industry costs run from $10 to $40 linear foot installed.
Tile can be made of porcelain, ceramic, or stone and be of various sizes, textures, and finishes. For those DIYers, tile can be a great project to tackle. This option can fit nicely into a wide range of looks as well, from country to more traditional or even contemporary. Tile is resistant to heat and knife mishaps, though staining can sometimes happen in grout, even with proper sealing. And if a tile or two break, they’re pretty easily replaced. Be sure the grouting (epoxy is most recommended) is sealed well to help protect against staining and bacterial growth. General industry costs run from $10 to $50 a square foot installed.
Solid surfacing is made of durable acrylic and polyester, designed to withstand years of wear and tear. Two of the most common name brands you might already be familiar with are Corian® and Wilsonart® Gibraltar®. Like laminates with so many options, solid surfacing can fit into most kitchen looks/styles. One factor many homeowners like about solid surfacing is the seamless installation of an integrated sink. No seams to clean or worry about. Solid surfaces are very versatile, being able to resist moisture, stains, and sunlight. Repairs, for incidents such as knife scars or heat discoloration, are easily made with a light buffing of an abrasive pad. General industry costs run $35 to upwards of $100 a linear foot installed.
The most-requested wood countertops are butcher-block countertops. That said, more and more homeowners are turning to various hardwoods like maple, mahogany, and cherry. These beautiful countertops add a warmth and coziness to any style kitchen, although many cottage, farmhouse, and country styles choose this option over other types. Wood does stain, burn, and dent, but many homeowners prefer the weathering of sharp-blade and dent marks, like a well-loved cutting board. Special care needs to be taken to seal the wood near any water sources to help prevent humidity and moisture reactions. Refinishing, consisting of sanding and resealing, can be done numerous times to take care of most problems, making wood countertops a lasting choice that will age wonderfully. General industry costs run from $30 to $200 a square foot installed.
Concrete adds an edgy, industrial look to a kitchen, but it can also take a traditional turn, depending on the color and texture chosen. It’s one of the most versatile choices for countertops, given the vast array of colors, patterns, textures, and sheens from which to choose. These countertops can be customized and poured on-site at your home or created off-site and installed at a later date. They’re extremely heavy, so sturdy cabinets and floors are a must. Although very durable, concrete doesn’t withstand heat as well as some other options, and resealing is a must due to its inherent characteristic of being porous, i.e., easily stainable if not sealed frequently. General industry costs run from $70 to $140 per square foot installed.
Stainless steel has exploded in popularity in recent years due to the popularity of stainless steel appliances. This countertop choice can be seen largely in contemporary, industrial, and traditional kitchens. Sometimes homeowners choose stainless steel only for specific areas around cooktops, ranges, and islands where cooking and food prep are primarily concentrated. This material is perfect for those areas in particular, as it’s nearly indestructible as well as bacteria and heat resistant. It does show dents, can be loud, and showcases fingerprints easily. General industry costs run from $75 to $140 per square foot installed.
Quartz-surfacing countertops are sometimes referred to as engineered quartz or engineered stone. They’re made of 93 percent crushed natural quartz blended with color pigments and plastic resins. However it’s referenced, it’s a gorgeous option, selected for all types of kitchen styles. It’s available in an extremely broad range of colors and designs. This material is a great cross between stone’s beauty and solid surfacing’s nonporous ease of care and longevity. As beautiful as quartz can be, it doesn’t offer the same natural variegation of granite, so sometimes it may be apparent that it’s an engineered product. General industry costs run from $60 to $185 per square foot installed.
Soapstone has a very distinctive look and fits very well in older and cottage-style kitchens. It has a natural softness that patinas over time, causing a split in homeowners’ opinions whether this is an advantage or disadvantage. Soapstone is extremely durable, since it’s nonporous and resistant to staining and scorching. It does require polishing with oil to keep it in good shape and can crack over time. It also doesn’t handle nick and knife marks as well as other types of stone, so that’s something to keep in mind. General industry costs run from $70 to $125 per square foot installed.
Granite is hands down the most popular stone choice in countertops. It fits well into any high-end-style kitchen. Granite, like its stone cousins, is very unforgiving in hardness but is unmatched for natural beauty. It’s an ideal nonporous material for countertops as it resists heat, most stains, and scratches, and it doesn’t require any sealing. Its hardness can be considered a disadvantage by some homeowners, as dropping a glass or china teacup may result in a broken beloved piece, but this may be its only downside for most who choose this countertop material. General industry costs run from $80 to $200 per square foot installed.
Even though granite may be the most popular stone material, marble is timeless. This countertop can be seen in the very best of kitchens and fits with any style. Serious chefs and bakers choose marble for its beauty, practicality, and durability. It’s resistant to heat and scorching, though stains, even with sealing, are an issue as well as scratches and chips. Marble’s typically not used throughout an entire kitchen for these reasons. Many homeowners will limit it to a few smaller areas, such as an island or where cooking or baking may be most focused. General industry costs run from $100 to $250 per square foot installed.
With such an array of countertop-material choices, your head could spin. But narrowing down your options by answering a few well-thought-out questions will help you close in the field. At Vailes, it is our job to help you narrow down these options, so give us a call today. Making a choice that appeals to the heart of your kitchen’s style, your kitchen’s life, and your defined budget will help you hit a bull’s-eye every time.
If you are in Fishersville, Stuarts Draft or Waynesboro, Staunton or any of the surrounding communities call us to day or request service online. We service all of the surrounding communities, check our service area page for more information on the communities work in or call the office if you don’t see your area listed.