Verona’s Tips: What to Consider When it Comes to CountertopsOne of the most exciting choices you will make regarding your new custom kitchen is the countertop. The cabinets are usually more demure, staying with a natural wood, a stained wood or white, black or grey (the newest colour to become popular). But you can really add drama, glitz and texture with the countertop. I think of it as the “pop” like the way your purse or shoes can accentuate any outfit with some colour. The fantastic thing about counters is that there are so many choices, you can really make your kitchen unique.
“You can really add drama, glitz and texture with the countertop. I think of it as the “pop” like the way your purse or shoes can accentuate any outfit with some colour. ” – Verona Jungling
Granite is, for most people, the countertop of choice. Granite is good for high-use areas, fairing well against hot pots, spills and knives. My only complaint against granite was that it is not food safe unless sealed. The process of sealing the granite wasn’t hard or costly, but it was required at least once a year. Granite has cracks in it-it is a piece of stone after all. Those cracks can harbour bacteria and could be transferred to your food when being prepared. Maybe I am a bit over-cautious, but I feel better knowing that my kitchen is food safe. So, until now, I wouldn’t recommend granite because of this. But with our new sealing process, we can provide you a food-safe granite that we are really excited about. Elite is the only local company authorized to seal your granite so that it is food safe for 10 years without regular maintenance and sealing! Now, I am excited to be on the “granite is great!” bandwagon! So feel confident in selecting granite as your countertop of choice and enjoy the process of choosing your piece of beautiful granite that will stand out in your unique kitchen designed by you with the help of our talented design team at Elite. Price Point: $$ – $$$ (The cost of granite has really come down!)
Solid surface countertops have become very popular lately. They are made from a polyester or acrylic resin combined with mineral fillers to imitate concrete, marble or natural stone. It can be joined seamlessly and sculpted to integrate sinks and a backsplash. It is resistant to heat and impact and scratches can be buffed out. It is waterproof and therefore good for undermount sinks. Although scratches can be repaired, it does in fact scratch easily and can become discoloured with prolonged heat exposure. The cost rivals quartz and granite, but it is not as strong.
Quartz, also called “engineered stone” is a blend of stone chips, resin and pigments. It is great for high traffic areas and is resistant to stains, heat and scratches. It does not require sealing and is a good choice for undermount sinks. Price Point: Varies
Concrete countertops can be customized by tinting and using different textures as well as adding stone chips. It does chip and scratch easily and can be sealed against stains, but not heat. Price Point: $$.
Limestone is also becoming more popular because it has a natural look. It is a soft stone so it scratches easily and is susceptible to stains. Again, with the new sealing process, we will be able to reduce or eliminate staining. Price Point: $$
Stainless steel is another unique choice. It can be welded, ground and buffed to eliminate seams. It is resistant to heat and stains and a good choice for undermount sinks. However, it dents and scratches easily and shows fingerprints. So, if you get frustrated by constantly wiping the fingerprints from your stainless steel fridge, you might want to pass on this option. Price Point: $$$
Butcher Block has a homey look to it. The positives are that it looks great and if it gets damaged, it can be sanded and resealed. The challenges are that it damages easily, it requires regular treatment with oil and is a poor choice in high humidity areas such as above the dishwasher and around the sink. Price Point: $$
Laminate countertops have the greatest variety of colours and patterns. Basically, laminate is made of layers of paper or fabric impregnated with resin over a composite wood base. It is good at resisting stains, impact and heat-to a degree (pun intended!). It is easy to clean. However, water can seep through the seams which can weaken and separate the layers of paper or fabric and so it is not advisable for undermount sinks(However it can be done). It can be easily scratched and nicked and cannot be repaired. It was the standard countertop of kitchens for many years. Price Point: $
Tile is also an option because it is cheap and relatively easy to install with good heat resistance. Make sure you purchase some spare tiles in case you damage any and need to replace them. The negative about tile is the grout. If you get a light coloured grout, it can easily stain, so consider getting a darker shade of grout. This type of countertop has a unique look. With our new sealing process, we will be able to seal the grout and prevent most stains. Price Point: $