Top Tips for Choosing your Kitchen Counters
Although it might not seem like it, choosing your kitchen counters can be complicated. Fortunately, there are loads of designs to choose from. Here are some of our top tips.
If you decide to remodel your kitchen, you’ll have to choose from hundreds of different kitchen counters. You’ll need to keep in mind the style, material and design you want while making sure they don’t clash with the rest of the kitchen.
Plus, as we’ll explain later, you’ll want to find the most durable kitchen counters available, so that they’ll last longer. After all, one way or another, they’re going to be used literally every day of the year.
Obviously, we don’t all use our kitchen counters for the same things. It’s important that you think about what you’re going to use them for. And don’t forget how much kids like to “help” in the kitchen. It’s best to choose counters that can withstand all the knocks, scratches and stains those sticky little fingers like to leave around the house…
It’s also important not to forget about the design – after all, they’ve got to match the rest of your kitchen furniture. But, do keep in mind that they won’t look the same after a couple of years.
Counters are, without a doubt, an essential item in any household, regardless of the amount of space in your kitchen. You can’t underestimate their importance. You’ve also got to think about the material, size, design, whether you want flush counters or an overhang…
What makes a good kitchen counter?
Firstly, they’ve got to fit with the amount of available space in your kitchen. That way, they won’t draw attention away from the other features in the room. Height is also important here. You’re going to be using your counters every day and for that, you need them to be at a height that will facilitate everyday tasks. The ideal would be to have a different counter for every activity, but as that isn’t usually possible, you’ll have to opt for a height that’s somewhere in the middle.
Counter height is more or less universal, approximately 80-90 inches.
You also have to think about whether you’d rather have counters that look good, or counters that are easy to clean. After that, you can decide whether you want one that’ll hide stains. If you don’t, just remember you’ll have to clean them every day. This is something which not everyone has time for. It’ll all depend on how organised you are, and how determined.
Another factor is the resistance. We want to reemphasize the fact that your kitchen counters are something you’ll be using every day, and so it’s easy to wear them out. We don’t just use them when we’re cooking – we also use them for dishes, or for leaving shopping bags when you come home from the store. Our counters put up with a lot, so you can’t ignore the importance of finding one that’s resistant.
Obviously, you’re going to buy a different counter depending on whether you’re living in your home long or short-term. If you’re going to be living there long-term, we recommend that you spend a little more. That way, you can find higher quality, more resistant and more durable kitchen counters.
Kitchen counters – common materials and their properties
Let’s now take a look at some of the many different types of kitchen counter you can buy, and the properties of the main materials you’ll find on the market.
- Laminates. Made from a coating of plastic over a synthetic base, you’re likely to get the best value for your money with laminate counters. The only problem is that they can sometimes show signs of water damage over time.
- Quartz. Easy to clean – which is always a plus – quartz counters are compact and durable. However, they can’t withstand high temperatures, so you’ll have to be careful with dishes straight off the stove or out the oven.
- Granite. These counters stand out for their durability and their long working life. The grey or black models are the most common designs you’ll find in this material.
- Marble. There’s no denying that this material will bring a touch of simple elegance to your kitchen. Although you might see some other finishes, white is the most common. Plus, it’s a porous material, so will absorb most stains.
- Steel. Inspired by industrial style kitchens, stainless steel counters are often seen in professional kitchens. The problem is that stains and scratches can be seen easily. But on the other hand, they do have a long working life.
- Wood. Ideal for rustic style kitchens with a natural or Nordic style, this material is easy to maintain, but it can be affected by factors such as humidity. It’s a good idea to brush, sand and varnish them every so often to keep them in good condition.
- Tiles. The best thing about this material is the huge range available. There are so many designs, you’re sure to find one that suits your taste and the style of your kitchen.
As you’ve seen, choosing kitchen counters is more complicated than it might first appear. In our opinion, resistance is the most important factor, so it’s maybe best to focus on that before thinking about the design or the finish.
There’s a pretty wide range of materials available on the market. You just need to weigh up the pros and cons of each one, keeping in mind the kind of tasks and activities you’ll be doing in your kitchen.
We hope these tips have helped you get started on designing your new kitchen.