Northern Virginia- Kitchen Countertop Selection Guide-2017

September 12, 2017

When it comes to choosing countertops for your kitchen, there are advantages and disadvantages to each material. There is no "correct" choice, but there are ways to determine which type of countertop is right for you and your home. In this guide, we found several of the most frequent countertop choices and outlined their pros and cons, as well as their price ranges. So whether your priorities are around design and aesthetics, practicality, or price, there is diversity in the types of countertops you can choose for your kitchen.

1. Granite

Jodi Foster Design.jpg
 
 
Pros:
  • As a naturally occurring stone, each piece is an original pattern and color
  • It's easy to clean
  • It's sanitary (bacteria is a non-issue)
  • Good with wear-and-tear (pretty resistant to heat, utensil marks, and liquids)

Cons:

  • Very heavy (need solid, sturdy cabinets to support weight)
  • Should be sealed occasionally to avoid stains
  • It can crack if hit hard
  • It can be difficult to remove/replace

 

2. Marble

Olympic Kitchens.jpg
 
Image via Olympic Kitchens
 
 
Pros:
  • A classic and elegant choice for kitchen countertops
  • It handles heat very well (known to be good for baking, as the surface tends to stay cold)

Cons:

  • Susceptible to stains, even when sealed (watch out for acids in things like coffee, alcohol and citrus)
  • Can scratch/get damaged relatively easily

 

3. Stainless Steel

Fougeron Arch.jpg
 
 
 
Pros:
  • An appropriate aesthetic for industrial style and contemporary kitchens
  • Very durable
  • Resists heat and bacteria (typically used in restaurant kitchens, but their practicality and durability have grown increasingly popular in the past several years)

Cons:

  • It can dent if hit hard
  • Noisy (think: pots and pans clanking against another metal surface)
  • Fingerprints and smudges need to be wiped often
  • Chemicals can alter the appearance of the metal

 

4. Laminate

Wetherby.jpg

 Image via Wetherby- James Smith

Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Waterproof
  • Low maintenance (easy to clean)
  • Very lightweight (compare to granite or marble, which require a lot of support from floor cabinets)

Cons:

  • Prone to scratches, burns and stains
  • Layers can peel over time
  • It can be difficult to repair if damaged

 

5. Quartz- Man Made Solid Surface

 
contemporary-kitchen.jpg
 

 

Pros:

  • Many options for color and patterns since it is not a naturally occurring material
  • Easy installation
  • Minimal maintenance and easy to clean
  • Anti-microbial properties

Cons:


  • Some believe it has an artificial appearance compared to natural materials

 

6. Soapstone

farmhouse-kitchen-2.jpg

Image via Misiaszek Turpin pllc

 

Pros:

  • Has a natural softness in texture
  • Its appearance is known to fit in seamlessly with older , traditional, and cottage-style homes

Cons:

  • Needs to be polished with oil
  • Not as resistant to scratches as other materials, and may crack over time
  • Expensive

Good to know: When you first get soapstone it's a light grey, but will darken over time. Some people really like that the color of the material naturally evolves, while others aren't as crazy about it.

 

7. Butcher block

Talbot-2-crop.jpg
 
Image via Riach Architects

 

 
Pros:
  • Has a natural, warm appearance
  • Very fitting for traditional and country-style kitchens
  • Can be used as a cutting board; many people love the change in color and texture of the wood over time

Cons:

  • Woods shape changes with moisture
  • It is prone to bacteria, so needs to be disinfected often
  • May have a lot of upkeep, as you should apply oil to it to protect surface

Good to know: If wood countertops are installed around your sink, they are likely to discolor. Additionally, many people choose to use butcher block in just one area of the kitchen, like the island.

 

 8. Corian

contemporary-kitchen (1).jpg
 

 

 

Pros:

  • Many options for color and patterns since it is not a naturally occurring material
  • Easy installation
  • Minimal maintenance and easy to clean
  • Anti-microbial properties

Cons:

  • Does not handle heat as well as some other materials
  • Prone to scratching
  • Some believe it has an artificial appearance compared to natural materials

 

Good to know: Corian countertops can be used in kitchen applications, but are more commonly found in bathrooms. 

If you live in the Northern Virginia area and you’re interested in a free estimate, or would like to know how Lensis Builders, Inc. can make your home even better, give us a call at 703-367-8999 or fill out a short contact form. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next project, visit our Pinterest page.