Kitchen countertops are one of the vital elements that you should consider carefully. A countertop is something you’d need when you prepare fresh food every day. If this is the case, you’ll need to get a durable worktop that will last. The material and type of worktop you will choose for your kitchen is an important decision to make. Here’s a quick guide to help you decide whether you need to get a kitchen countertop or not.
The Price of Kitchen CountertopsKitchen worktops or countertops are often priced per square foot. Their prices may range anywhere from around $40 up to a couple of hundred dollars. This will depend on the material used and the size of the countertop you plan to get. The price of the countertop itself is not the only thing you must think about. The installation cost is another factor that will chunk a big part of your budget. Installation costs would cost around $10 up to $40 per square foot. So when deciding to install or replace a worktop in your kitchen, compute the total cost of the materials and the labor.
Common Materials Used for Kitchen CountertopsYou can choose from a variety of materials for your kitchen worktop. Luckily, there are affordable ones when you’re running on a tight budget.
LaminateLaminate worktops usually have a wooden body. Laminated plastic material covers the surface making this one of the most affordable types of kitchen worktops. Since its surface is laminated plastic, it’s easy to clean and maintain. The downside is that you can easily scratch it if you’re not careful and the edges can chip off over time. When a laminated worktop becomes too worn out, you can’t salvage it anymore. You’d need to buy a new one and replace it.
Ceramic TileAnother inexpensive countertop option is the ceramic tile worktop. The body can be made from wood or other materials. But the top surface is covered with ceramic tiles and grout. This may look beautiful and more elegant compared to a laminated worktop depending on how it was made. However, tile and grout can easily get stained. If you don’t maintain it carefully, you may end up with a stained countertop for many years.
GraniteGranite is more expensive than laminated and ceramic tiled worktops. You have different options to get a granite worktop:
- Solid slab granite
- Modular granite
- Granite tiles
MarbleMarble is another expensive, but highly in-demand material used for kitchen worktops. But unlike durable granite, this material is much softer. This means that it could break and crack easily when you apply a great force to it. Also, marble is quite porous and would require regular sealing. This makes marble worktops a high-maintenance item in the kitchen. Still, many homeowners prefer marble countertops because of their elegant, natural veining. Having marble worktops increases your home’s value significantly.
Kitchen Countertops MaintenanceYour kitchen worktop is a wide surface area that will surely attract bacteria and fungus. You’d need to constantly clean your worktop especially if you use it often. It’s best if your worktop doesn’t have any grooves or intricate embedded designs where bacteria can sneak into. The best worktop would have a flat surface without any grooves. If you choose to have ceramic tile worktops, make sure that you clean them more often. When you have granite or marble can absorb chemical cleaners easily if you don’t seal them regularly. Just to be on the safer side, use natural cleaning mixtures like vinegar and baking soda. When talking about sealing, it’s safer to assume that your granite or marble countertop would need sealing every 6 months or yearly. Some sealant products may suggest otherwise. Still, if you’d want to thoroughly maintain your natural stone countertops, it’ll be best that you do this once or twice a year. But to keep your countertops looking brand new, you just need to follow two simple rules —
- Wipe off any substance that may stain your countertop immediately.
- Always use a cutting board and don’t use your worktop’s surface for cutting, chopping, etc.