A kitchen takes on the identity of its owner. It will reflect who you are as a family, a host and of course a cook.
This is one of several articles that will assist you in navigating the kitchen-remodel process with ease.
No two people dream alike, so what a dream-kitchen looks like to one homeowner will not be the same for another. Deciding on the right remodel for your kitchen will depend on a number of factors: such as your cooking habits, how and when you entertain and, above all, your personality.
A kitchen takes on the identity of its owner. It will reflect who you are as a family, a host and of course a cook. Before beginning the remodel process, ask yourself one question. “What do I want the space to say to all who enter?” A little self-reflection will result in discovery, with the end result being a kitchen that fits your unique personality. Like pieces from your wardrobe, your kitchen is an accessory that not only highlights a homeowner’s cooking methodology, but also your style.
Let’s get started with your countertops.
There are literally dozens of options to compare, but here is a list of six of the most common options that customers have requested from us. The pros and cons of each are also listed.
Stunning, butcher-block countertops are constructed from cuts of wood that are straight and are glued together. Butcher-block is sturdy, durable and attractive. The rich wood grain of these countertops brings a premium look and feel to your kitchen. There are three different types from which to choose.
- Edge grain is often more cost effective, since it doesn’t require as much wood for manufacturing. Edge grain is made from long continuous boards, or short boards, laid on its side to reveal the narrow edge of the board as the surface of the countertop. Edge grain is less absorbent than other grains, and many cooks prefer it, since it is more forgiving on knives, and has a self-healing appeal. For the most part, small cuts in the wood will close.
- Flat grain, as the name implies, is made from full-width boards of wood that are laid flat. It is less forgiving of knives. Flat grain cuts do not heal.
- End grain somewhat resembles a checkerboard, and is probably the design that comes to mind for most people, when thinking about butcher-block. It is constructed so that the ends of rectangular blocks are visible on the surface of the countertop. You will recognize end grain by the “growth rings” appearing on the surface. End grain is the best butcher block for kitchen countertops. It is also the most expensive, since it is the strongest of the three types of butcher-block. If you plan on using the countertop for a lot of cutting and chopping, end grain is the best choice. Knives rarely scar the surface, as they will not penetrate the wood, but glide into the grain. When the countertop does happen to get a knick, it will self-heal.
Pros Has natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties
- Is easily repairable
- Adds warmth and natural coloring
- Lasts for years if given proper care
- Is relatively inexpensive as compared to solid surface countertops
- Excessive wetness makes wood susceptible to rot and discoloration.
- Wood swells or shrinks in the presence of extreme dryness or humidity
- Wood stains, and can be burned by hot pots.
- Over length of time, due to heavy usage a patina can develop
Stainless Steel Countertops
Visit any professional kitchen and you’ll notice an abundance of stainless steel worktops. They’re virtually indestructible, and are designed for serious cooks. The durable countertops make chopping, dicing and slicing a breeze, and there is no worry associated with placing hot pots down on the counter.
Stainless steel comes in a variety of gauges, ranging from 14 to 20. The lower the gauge number, the thicker the steel.
Can handle heavy pots and equipment.
- Resistant to bacteria
- Easy to maintain
- Won’t stain or rust.
- Can dent and scratch if abused
- It’s aesthetically cold.
- When setting plates, pans and other equipment on the counter it can get loud.
Marble is a classic choice that looks good in just about every kitchen.
The most common marble finishes are polished, honed and antique. Each comes in thicknesses ranging from 0.75” to 1.25”.
- Each piece is unique
- Available in a wide range of colors and veining’s
- Heat resistant
- Does not chip or crack easily
- Works well in both modern and classic settings
- Susceptible to stains
- Can scratch easily
- Requires on-going maintenance
- Develops a patina over time.
Engineered Quartz Countertops
Engineered quartz is a man-made product and is created mostly from natural materials.
Quartz comes in thicknesses ranging from 0.75” to 1.25” and is manufactured in a variety of colors, patterns and textures.
- Consistent color and texture
- Stain resistant
- Bacteria resistant
- Won’t chip or crack
- Lack of variation in pattern and veining
- Very high heat can damage the surface
- Due to the uniformity in color the seams are more visible
As consumers, we’ve been taught that a good kitchen will have granite counter tops…and for good reason. Granite is without question one of the countertop heavyweights. Cooks love granite countertops, for many of the same reasons associated with Stainless Steel. It is virtually indestructible, only unlike steel, it doesn’t dent, and unless you abuse it, it won’t crack or break. Under normal wear and tear, a granite countertop will last a lifetime.
Granite can be both honed or polished, and is available in thicknesses of 0.75” to 1.25”.
- Rich beauty, with over 20 shades to work with
- Chemical resistant
- Bacteria resistant
- Easily maintained
- Won’t scratch
- Heat resistant
- Stains (If it goes unsealed or is not resealed over time)
- It will crack if a heavy object is dropped on it
Laminate countertops are a popular option because they are affordable and come in the widest range of colors and patterns available.
Laminate countertops come in hundreds of patterns, designs, and textured surfaces.
- The surface is solid (no pores)
- Can be easily cleaned
- Resistant to harmful germs since the surface is non-porous.
- Not heat resistant
- Scratches easily
- Difficult to repair.
Call us today with any questions you may have. We’ll be glad to walk you through the different options outlined above. To be notified when the next 6 articles in this series are published, subscribe to our blog.