Choosing a Countertop

Countertops are an important aspect of your kitchen, and one that’s imperative to give time and consideration to when planning your custom kitchen project. Essentially, it’s what ties the space together. When it comes to selecting a countertop, naturally, you want an aesthetically pleasing option to enhance your kitchen space. However, the composition must be given equal consideration.  

At first, the process of shopping for countertops can be overwhelming. There are so many options for colours and patterns, textures, and materials at your disposal. Depending on your manufacturer, the materials can range from natural stone and acrylic sheets, to quartz composite, and even less traditional options like slate reclaimed wood. However, once you assess your needs and functionality, it becomes more easy to sort out the best candidates for your project. Here’s a look at a few different types of countertops, their pros and cons, and how to pick the best countertop for your needs.

Time to Choose a Countertop? Here is what you need to consider.
What are your day-to-day kitchen habits like? If you’re looking for a more functional space (ie. if you’re a person who does a lot of food prep directly on the counter surface) you would want to stay clear of a porous material for your countertop. What does your budget look like; how much are you willing to spend? And what is your kitchen design like overall? Are you factoring in the cost of your backsplash as well? If you want the back splash to be the same material as the counter, you’ll need to factor the added square footage into your cost. Consider versatility vs. value for your own individual needs.

Laminate countertops are common choice when it comes to kitchens and bathrooms. They are the most affordable option and compared to other materials, come in the widest possible range of colours and patterns to almost certainly match any decor. They often contain a hard particle board core with layers of plastic laminate bonded over it. The plastic laminate is tough and fairly durable. Many of these countertops are made to emulate the look of more expensive surfaces like marble or granite.

These countertops are being made available in higher quality options than ever before. They are the easiest option for cleanup, which is great if you have children or a busy household. The surface is solid, which means a soapy washcloth or sponge is usually all you need to clean up, and the seams on a laminate counter can be hidden easier than other countertop seams. The downside is that laminate countertops can be more easily scratched than other surfaces. They’re also not heat resistant like other surfaces are, and scratches, burns or chips are very difficult to repair.  

Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular choice due to the fact the engineered stone composition is extremely hard material and needs no sealing. They always boast a gorgeous, classy and very contemporary look. 
These countertops are now offered in an extremely wide variety of colours and patterns. Quartz is a great option due to the large selection of options, the durability and the low-maintenance.  Quartz stands up to many sources of stains in the kitchen. The non-porous surface means that it will not harbour bacteria or viruses.

The only real downside of quartz is it’s a more expensive option, so you need to ensure you have space in the budget if that’s the countertop you feel best suits your needs.

Granite is a material that was traditionally found only in expensive homes. Luckly, that’s no longer necessarily the case and it’s now one of the most popular countertop materials. Granite comes in a wide array of warm, cool and natural colours with a timeless, natural look and appeal.
Apart from the strong, earthy look, some benefits to going with granite are little to no visible seams, resistance to heat and stains, and good durability; all great features if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen. On the flip side, granite must be sealed to resist stains, and is typically still on the more expensive spectrum.

At Hawthorne Kitchens, we believe in options. If you have any questions on what option would be best for you and your project, get in touch with us today and one of our professional staff members would be happy to assist you.