Kitchen Countertops: Various Materials

Kitchen countertops—we don’t give them much thought, but we want them to be safe for our kids. We want them to be resistant to stains. Above all, they must match with the rest of the kitchen and be aesthetically pleasing. There are many materials that such countertops are commonly made out of, all providing different colors, shapes, textures, and sizes.

First, however, let’s look at a brief history of the kitchen countertop. The Western style kitchen countertop functions as a work surface where meals are often prepared. In most homes, a set of cabinets are often located on the wall above the countertop. Typically, countertops are often around 25-26 inches lengthwise and are around 35-36” off the floor. Countertops can also be positioned by being attached to the wall, or in the center of the kitchen as an “island.” In these modern times, countertops can also be modified to accommodate the installation of kitchen appliances such as sinks, ranges, and cutting boards.

The most common materials used in kitchen countertops are natural stones. Out of these, the stone that comes first to mind is granite. Granite is a durable, easy to cut stone that comes in a variety of grains and colors. Even more useful for use in kitchen countertops, it resists staining with an impervious surface. Furthermore, granite’s property of being easy to cut allows rock smiths to easily shape the rock into what the customer desires. As such, granite countertops are now one of the most popular types of countertops chosen by customers, both in new homes as well as in kitchen renovations.

Often, other stones such as limestone and marble are used for kitchen countertops. However, these materials, especially marble, are much more expensive because they provide different textures and bring a look of affluence to the kitchen setting.

Much less commonly, but starting to increase in property is the use of quartz as a tabletop material. This clear crystal must be treated with multiple solvents and finishes in order to be used as a countertop material. However, even with all the treatment and extra cost, a finished quartz surface is truly a stunning piece of work to behold. The light shimmers off of the quartz, reflecting and diffracting through the material, creating cascading rainbows of colored light dancing across the floor.

In conclusion, there is truly a very wide range of countertops, in different materials and textures, available to customers today. It is important to research all the different options available for your house and budget, and make sure to pick a suitable countertop that is both affordable and matching with the style of your home.

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