Best Counter Materials For High-Use Kitchens
Your home kitchen might not be a full-scale restaurant, but it can feel like it on a busy night. All of that chopping, sliding and spilling can take a toll on your counters if they aren't made of a durable material. If you are planning a kitchen remodel in the near future, consider installing counters made of one of these low-maintenance yet durable materials.
The award for the most durable luxury material goes to granite. These counters offer an elegant look similar to marble without marble's tendency to stain, scratch or scorch. Granite is available in a wide variety of colors and quality sellers allow buyers to look at the actual slab of stone their counter will come from to see the actual color in person.
While granite is fairly low maintenance, it does need to have a new sealer applied at least once a year. But even concrete counters need regular waxing, so a small amount of upkeep isn't a deal-breaker for most owners. Granite is one of the more expensive counter options around, but also timelessly elegant so the investment is worth the cost if it fits within your budget.
Engineered Stone / Quartz
The counters often billed as quartz aren't made entirely of quartz. At least 10% comes from other composite materials. That's why these counters are also called engineered stone. This has the look of natural stone with increased durability against the wear and tear of cooking including scratches and stains. Engineered stone also doesn't require a sealer the way granite does.
Engineered stone is available in a wide range of colors and can include embedded glass fragments for a subtle amount of depth and sparkle. The main downside is that the material can be easily scorched if you accidentally set a hot pan down on its surface. And that scorch mark can be hard or impossible to remove. That might not be a big deal if you never set hot pans on your counters.
Wood counter lovers often drift towards butcher block. But butcher block requires constant maintenance and is vulnerable to scratches, stains, heat damage and just about any other use damage that exists. A more durable alternative is bamboo, which is technically a composite of bamboo and paper. These counters use eco-friendly material and offer the look of wood without all of the upkeep drama of butcher's block.
The cost is fairly low and on par with mid-range laminate. But bamboo counters don't come in a wide variety of colors, so if you have your heart set on an off-beat color, look elsewhere. Talk to places like GranBrazil Inc for more information.