Whenever you enter someone’s kitchen for the first time, the two things that get your attention first are the countertops and the cabinetry. And after that the appliance and furniture. It is not an exaggeration to say that the counters set the bar for the kitchen. It is why kitchens from the ’80s and ‘90s are so forgettable with all their cheap counters and pressboard cabinets. Today people want a countertop that is both luxurious and easy to clean. And that sets the right tone for the rest of the kitchen features. In most cases these days, that means stone or stone-like products. The three most popular surfaces are natural stone, manufactured stone, and coming up quick is concrete.
- Natural Stone: It is hard to surpass the elegance and beauty of natural stone. Since classical times, stone has been the pinnacle of luxurious building materials. All around the world, the most elegant buildings are covered in marble and other exotic rock. Stone is beautiful in the kitchen, and it is hard to beat for durability and as a hygienic surface material. But there are downsides to natural stone. It can be costly and unseen fractures can cause it to break unexpectedly and because every piece of stone is unique, this can cause problems for matching later.
- Manufactured Stone: Manufactured stone or engineered stone is a stone-like material created in a factory. It used to be considered inferior to natural stone, but the processes have advanced. Today it is hard to define how natural stone is better, except for reasons related to prestige. Engineered stone comes in many different patterns and styles, which can be matched later for renovation or repair. Engineered stone is becoming incredibly popular because it is less expensive and can be used in various applications due to it being produced rather than quarried.
- Concrete: Concrete is quickly rising in popularity. Concrete can be poured in place, making it adaptable to odd spaces. And options for its colouring and pattern are increasing. Excellent quality concrete counters can be glassy smooth, unique, durable, and can be designed to match modern interiors in a way that other materials cannot.
Choosing a countertop surface is no longer as simple as it used to be, but if you know what you want and research what options are available to you. You should be spoiled for choice. Whatever you choose, it will surely be an improvement from the laminate surfaces of the last century.