Kitchen countertops can be made of a wide array of materials. When making the choice of which material to use, two things need to be taken into account. First is the durability of the material. You don’t want it to become scratched, broken, or stained before the time comes to replace it, many years in the future. The second is beauty, which, as we know, is in the eye of the beholder. Since you will have to live with it for these many years, you want to make sure that what you like now will be what you still like then. One of the latest trends in kitchen decoration is zinc countertops, which resemble the color of bullet metals. Other popular countertop materials are granite, engineered stone, solid surface, ceramic tile, laminates, wood, stainless steel, marble, soapstone, and concrete.
Let’s talk about a few of these. Zinc is purchased in flat sheets, cut to size, and molded to fit the space to create the backsplash and front curled edging. The zinc provides a shiny metal surface that will give your kitchen the look of a professional or restaurant kitchen. Is this the look you want? Some people do, with their love of professional-looking ranges and refrigerators. Not me. I want my kitchen to look soft and homey. I want it to look cozy and inviting.
Another countertop that has been popular for the last few years is granite. Many people love the natural stone look of a granite countertop. It has the advantages of being hard and durable. It resists heat, which overcomes the main problem of many other countertops. If a sealer is applied, the material becomes almost maintenance free. My main objection to granite is its dull color. Personally, I don’t want ugly, gray countertops. Its main drawback is its price. However, as it becomes more popular, the price may come down.
A particular favorite of mine is ceramic tile. In my opinion, ceramic tile gives a kitchen an old-fashioned, retro look. Ceramic tiles come in an almost infinite range of colors and textures. Since the tiles are small and installed individually, with some training, you can design and install your own countertop. Ceramic tile is hard, scratch resistant, and heat resistant. The main drawbacks are that a tile can be broken if a heavy object is dropped on it. Also, the grout can become stained over time, necessitating a session of cleaning grout.
Another favorite of mine is good, old-fashioned laminate such as Formica. This type of countertop has been available for close to fifty years. Laminate is a good choice because it is inexpensive and comes in many colors. This range of colors provides another area where you can express yourself with color. The drawbacks are that the surface can be scratched fairly easily, and it can be tricky to finish the front edge.