THE KITCHEN COUNTER TOP MATERIAL THAT IS NOT YOUR ORDINARY TYPE IN KITCHEN DESIGN
There are so many options for kitchen countertops that are available to you when updating your space it can be overwhelming and difficult to determine what style is the best fit for your families’ needs. Home decor is not unlike fashion. There are classics with looks that will last a lifetime and there are trends that come and go. Generally, life lifetime of kitchen decor last less than 10 years, so when creating your dream kitchen you want to consider a look that will last the course of its time. So if you are ready for an upgrade and you have given careful consideration to your appliances and the overall look, but how much have you thought about your counters? How much do you know about the options available to you? There’s more to a counter than granite or marble these days. Though they are still wildly popular I’d like to offer some other suggestions that are trending in kitchen design.
1. Poured concrete
Poured concrete counters offer strength, style and are seemingly timeless in appearance. They offer a natural, organic look for those who are wanting such in their kitchens. These counters need to be sealed well, perhaps more than once, to prevent staining. Poured concrete can be tinted to be any colour you wish. If sealed it is stain resistant and can be cast and poured into any shape you desire. Its appearance improved with age, as opposed to many others that start to look weathered and dingy after just a few short years. While concrete is heat resistant the sealer is not and hot pots and pans should not be placed directly on top of the concrete. Likewise, cutting boards should be used as well as chopping directly on to the concrete could damage the sealant. Concrete, requires just a little bit of maintenance and is a very desirable option at a very desirable price.
2. Butcher Block
Butcher block offers a look that is elegant yet casual and environmentally friendly. The soft surfaces mean that some maintenance is required, but nothing that will take up any significant amount of time. Cutting should be left to be done on cutting boards. A nice butcher block surface should be sealed and oiled about once a month. Cleaning up is easy, requiring simply mild dish detergent and a light cloth or sponge. The only potential negative is that the surface, if not well maintained can dry or crack and excess water should always be wiped off. There are many kinds of woods with varying thicknesses available. Butcher block is another well priced option.
3. Reclaimed Wood
What is reclaimed wood? It’s simply wood that has been salvaged from older homes and barns that are about to be, or have been, slated for demolition. Reclaimed wood, simply put, is a smart and attractive option. Reclaimed offers a look and feel that the newer butcher blocks simply can’t. Reclaimed wood that was used from older trees is much sturdier than the newer counterparts made from younger trees. When purchasing reclaimed wood for your kitchen you are, in effect, doing wonders for the environment. If you are concerned about the environment, want a “greener” feel to your kitchen and love the casual elegance that wood has to offer, you should see how you can obtain reclaimed wood products near you.
4. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel has an elegant, classy, sexy feel to it. It invokes the feeling of an up to date, modern, trend-setting material. These counter tops are resilient to water, heat and germs. Over time they are susceptible to dings and scratches, and these surfaces show every little finger mark, but other than a regular polish and wash, these tops require very little maintenance, making it perhaps a very sexy and smart surface!
Soapstone is a natural stone that’s quarried like granite. It’s a softer surface composed mainly from mineral talc, but the varieties used for kitchen counter tops are generally sturdier as they contain more quartz. This makes it a suitable option for a kitchen surface. The colour is naturally grey which darkens with age. Like stainless, this material is not impervious to dents and scratches. Soapstone has a beautiful natural grey colour, offers smooth, matte feel. Scratches can be sanded or oiled away.
Quartz is a plentiful, natural occurring mineral. It is one of the most scratch resistant minerals available, because of this it is extremely easy to care for and clean. Wiping stains from its surface is easier than even granite, making it a very desirable choice for your kitchen counter top. Quartz needs not be sealed, has a long lifetime and is available in a wide variety of colours. For those wanting a natural mineral counter top in your kitchen, but wanting to stay away from granite for a slightly different, more unique look, quartz could be for you!
7. Slate Countertops
One tends to think of rooftops or walkways when one thinks of slate. A natural, fine-grained rock, slate is softer than granite but harder than marble. Slate has a naturally uneven surface that many find aesthetically appealing. Many find this particularly appealing as these natural occurring dents make it hard to detect nicks and scratches that inevitably happen on well-used kitchen surfaces. Slate has a dull matte finish and would not be the material of choice for those who prefer more of a high gloss look. Maintenance is easy – a simple wash with soap and water. Slate is not a material conducive to bacteria build-up. To prevent staining and uneven colouring or discoloration it is best to use trivets under hot pots and pans and coasters under glasses and other items containing liquid.