Countertops are one of the most fundamentally important aspects to any kitchen. While cabinetry costs a huge chunk of the design budget, countertop surfaces are just as important. Choosing surfaces that will last and serve your needs is important. Today, there are dozens of options for countertop materials. To help you narrow down the options, here are the top 5 countertops homeowners are seeking in 2016.
HGTV calls marble countertops “the current darling of the design world.” This timeless countertop material is both aesthetically enjoyable and disguises wear, tear, and light stains. But in exchange for the high-end look, marble tops need regular sealing and particular attention to care. This is due to the porous nature of marble. Stains can be an issue, as well as etching. However, the most popular choices in marble, typically Carrara or Calacatta, are comparable in cost to some granites. So while marble is high-end, with some dedication to maintenance, it can be worth the added cost.
Butcher Block Wood
One of the most recently trendy countertop materials is butcher block wood. Not only decorative, when properly sealed, they are quite sanitary and functional. It is also one of the most heat-resistant budget countertop options. Typically, these wood countertops are used for food prep spaces, but they can be used throughout a kitchen. Usually, however, butcher block is used in addition to engineered stone or quartz countertops to help keep costs down while also adding a timeless design element to the kitchen.
Once one of the most popular countertop options, laminates are making a comeback in budget-friendly kitchen remodels. Most popular have become laminate patterns that look just like granite, marble, quartz, or even wood at considerably discounted costs. Even bright “retro” colored surfaces reminiscent of the mid 20th-century have become trendy. While laminates are heat, scratch, and water resistant, they don’t match up in durability to granite or quartz. Still, properly maintained, laminate countertops can last for decades.
Engineered Quartz Countertops
Close to granite in popularity, engineered quartz countertops are often quoted as being “practically maintenance free.” Indeed, these countertops are acid, heat, impact, scratch and stain resistant. Also, due to a non-porous surface, they don’t need the sealing which natural stones such as granite and marble require. Engineered quartz is available in a great array of patterns and colors, and it rivals what is still the most popular countertop option today.
Polished Granite Countertops
Even with the rise of engineered quartz, polished granite is still the top countertop choice among homeowners every year. One of the most traditional countertop surfaces, polished granite offers high-end appeal that is quite durable and adds significantly to your kitchen’s value. Being a natural stone, granite has often unique variations in its pattern. While these variations can prove to be tricky when matching up slabs, this adds to the surface’s aesthetic appeal. When it comes to cost, granite and quartz are similar in price, although granite requires more maintenance than quartz. Yearly sealing and being careful to quickly wipe up all stains should do the trick.