You know I love these questions, because I love to hear your thoughts and because your answers provide an incredible insight into the latest consumer preferences. And this question – What is your preference for your kitchen countertops: granite or otherwise? – is particularly interesting because granite has been so popular of late, but it seems that the tides have turned a bit. Where the trend used to be largely in favor of using granite for kitchen counters, I now hear many people, buyers especially, saying that they dislike granite and would not use it in their kitchens.
So if you were just about to renovate your kitchen, which material would you choose for your kitchen countertops? I am not a countertop expert* by any means, but here are a few thoughts on some of the options:
Granite – is a type of igneous rock. It gained favor because of its intricate natural and earthy appearance as well as for its durability, but it can be costly. Depending on the color, it can also mask spills and messes on the counter, which actually may be a good or bad thing?!
Wood – think butcher block. Not only does the wood provide a warm and rich look to the kitchen, many people use it because it can absorb the impact of knife blades and meat cleavers.
Soapstone – is a metamorphic rock and is softer than granite, which in turn means it has a bit of a softer look and feel as well. Soapstone is extremely durable and absorbs heat. We used it for our kitchen, and I am so glad we did.
Silestone – is the leading manufacturer of man-made, quartz countertops, which are designed to look like other stone surfaces. Silestone is durable and non-porous, and because it is man-made, its look is more uniform in color and pattern than other natural rock choices like granite or soapstone. It too can be costly.
Corian – is a solid-surface material created by DuPont and can give a clean and uniform appearance to the kitchen. Corian countertops are easy to clean, but because they are plastic, they are not heat resistant.
Formica – is a synthetic countertop manufactured by the Formica Group. My Mom still prefers formica for her kitchen countertops, and we had it in our 1970′s house too, before we renovated the kitchen. Formica is also non-porous, durable and easy to maintain, and it also offers an affordable option for counters.
Stainless Steel/Metal – this can give a sleek and contemporary look to a kitchen and can be quite resistant to stains – it’s metal after all. But you need to be mindful of corrosion and scratches.
Of course these are just a few of the options for countertops. There are many others to choose from (marble, copper, limestone, tile, concrete and more). Which is your preference? And which criteria is most important in determining what material to install – the look, maintenance issues (they all have them), durability, practicality, uniqueness, cost, etc.? I can’t wait to hear….
* If you are looking for a countertop expert, try www.TypesofCountertops.com. I found the web site to be incredibly informative about the world of countertops.