Your kitchen countertop plays an integral role in your home; it’s the place where all your meals are prepped and served, and your countertop serves as the focal point of your kitchen. If you’re redesigning your countertops and deciding what material to use, there are a few things to keep in mind. While affordability and aesthetics are important when choosing the material for your counter design, the most important consideration is the durability of the material you choose.
With so many material and counter design options, it can be overwhelming, and we’ll go over the most popular choices below.
Most-Popular Kitchen Counter Design Materials
Beyond vinyl, laminate, or plastic countertops, the most popular materials for most kitchen counters are made using natural stone, tiles, and modern materials that are not only durable but beautiful to look at.
Granite is the most popular material used in kitchen counter design. Granite is formed by a combination of quartz, mica, and feldspar, which makes it extremely durable. On Mohs scale of hardness, granite rates between six and seven on a scale of one to 10. Granite is a popular counter design material because of its naturally occurring patterns and color combinations, clean and modern look, natural resistance to stains, scratches and damage, and its ability to handle extreme heat. It requires little maintenance, but it needs to be cleaned with a granite cleaner.
Another popular choice in counter design material is quartz. A fun fact about quartz that surprises many people is that it’s artificial, unlike granite, which is pulled from the ground in slabs. Quartz is fabricated using a combination of ground quartz and resins, polymers, and differing pigments. It measures a seven in hardness and is incredibly durable. Quartz is a popular counter design option due to its versatility. Because it’s an engineered stone, there are limitless design and color options. Quartz is also a nonporous material and stain-resistant, but it does require special cleaning agents. A quartz kitchen island is a great way to utilize quartz in your kitchen.
Cambria is a specific type of quartz countertop. It’s made from pure and natural quartz, binding agents, and pigments, which make it harder than both quartz and granite. Cambria colors mimic that of other natural stones in look and feel, but because the substance is harder than most other stones, it’s even more stain and scratch-resistant. This makes it the most durable choice in counter design materials. It’s also virtually maintenance-free! You just clean Cambria with soap and water.
Marble is a popular choice for counter design material because of its endurance, beauty, and elegance, and it's considered a high-end material. Marble is a much softer material, ranking at a four on Mohr’s hardness scale, which makes it a less desirable material if your kitchen sees a lot of action. It’s more porous, so it's susceptible to stains and requires sealing every year to prevent liquid absorption.
Granite Countertop Ideas
When designing your perfect countertops, granite is the perfect middle-of-the-road material to choose. Some ideas for granite counter design choices include:
- Solid granite – Going with solid granite is a great counter design option for a smaller kitchen or one that has accents in other places, like the cabinets. Solid granite is a minimal and classic counter design choice.
- Speckled granite – Speckled granite offers a wide variety of colors and textures and is a fun and bold accent to solid cabinets, stainless steel appliances, and a large kitchen.
- Honed granite finish – Granite comes in different finishes as well, and a honed finish has a matte appearance to it. This allows the granite to take on the appearance of other materials, too, such as soapstone. A honed finish provides a more muted look and can make your counter look less busy.
- Glossy granite – The opposite of a honed finish is glossy. This finish creates a dramatic look and is also a great finish for a smaller space. The glossy finish refracts light, making the space appear bigger. Glossy finishes are less maintenance than their honed finished counterparts and are easier to clean.
Choosing the best counter design for your kitchen might feel daunting at first, but once you know the pros and cons of each material and which design look works best with your home and lifestyle, the process is much easier. If you’re ready to take on a kitchen counter design project, contact Lancia Homes today.