A premier feature of any kitchen is a countertop. As they say, you’ll need to love the counters if you want to fall in love with the kitchen in your home. Even a kitchen that’s furnished with all the greatest and latest gadgets will fall short of expectations without the right counters.
It’s important to start visualizing what specific look you’re planning to achieve and the styling elements that it requires once you’ve already decided to remodel your kitchen counter. Note that the tone and feel of your space can easily be altered by your countertop’s visual aspects. Considering the importance of a counter when it comes to kitchen décor, what design, finish, and material you choose for your countertop matter a lot. Read on below for some tips on remodeling your kitchen counter.
1. Give The Material A Careful Thought
You need to think about what material you’re going to select before thinking about the color for your counter, or how a certain color will play or interact with the rest of your space. Of course, granite is still the leader in the market. It makes sense since granite holds up nicely for years, comes in a comprehensive list of colors, and looks beautiful. You’re unlikely to regret your decision if you choose granite. Just remember to source this material from reputable suppliers, like Affordable Granite And Stone.
There are other options for you, however, including tile, quartz, marble, and more. Some DIY kitchen countertops that use wood even exist. Make sure to do your research before opting for one since each material has its own pros and cons.
2. Choose Color Schemes That You Can Work Into Various Decorating Motifs
Decorating trends change. However, you don’t want to be changing your kitchen countertops every five years no matter how fun remodeling can be. That means you must choose a color scheme that’s varied enough or neutral to ensure that your decorating choices in the future will still work with the current countertop design that you have.
One way to ensure that you’re not locking yourself into one kitchen design scheme is to select more neutral colors, like those with earth tones. Should you go with granite, it’s also ideal to opt for more neutral patterns. Note that if you have plans to sell your house in the future, another consideration when it comes to the color of your countertop would be what most people will be attracted to.
3. Take The Long-Term Maintenance And Upkeep Into Consideration
Your kitchen countertop is going to require regular maintenance and upkeep for it to stay in prime condition. Depending on your or your family’s lifestyle, maintenance should be one major factor to consider when remodeling your kitchen counter. A countertop material or design that requires regular sealing to avoid staining and/or water damage may not be ideal for busy families. Your kitchen countertop choice is generally worth it if it only needs at least an annual maintenance.
Some kitchen counter designs, such as those made up of granite slabs, can be expensive to replace or repair when they’re damaged, so they need to be maintained on a regular basis. However, they’re also the ones that retain high resale values because of their gorgeous appearance.
On the other hand, selecting a quartz product, such as Cambria, can give you that same high-end look, while eliminating the maintenance requirements. If you want something affordable, go for laminate surfaces. They’re an attractive way of maintaining a contemporary look in your kitchen without a lot of responsibility for maintenance. However, you’re going to lose out on potential resale value.
4. Consider The Effect Of Your Design Idea On Resale Value
Create a kitchen counter that’s visually appealing for future home buyers, while ensuring that the space meets your aesthetic needs, too. Seven to ten years is the usual time an average home buyer remains in their property. While some people actually enjoy fixer-uppers, many home buyers want to move into a home that’s live-in ready.
Consider your material and design choices in terms of overall resale value. Certain materials, such as granite, quartz, and Corian, will add value to a home. Simply said, your choice for a countertop now as you remodel your kitchen needs to add as much overall resale value as possible. It has to be timeless.
5. You Can Use A Variety Of Materials For Your Counter Space
When remodeling your kitchen counter, remember that you don’t have to make use of the same material for every space. The best thing to do is to use one specific material where it fits best. For example, you can use more porous stones, like marble, on an island, where spills can be minimized. A durable surface, such as Caesarstone, granite, or soapstone, is great near the sink and stove, where stains occur more frequently. An important thing to keep in mind is to avoid mixing different materials with movement when mixing countertop surfaces. Try veined with one that’s solid instead. Pair them like you would an outfit.
6. Make Sure There’s Plenty Of Space
The counter space is the last aspect of kitchen remodeling you’d want to skimp on. It would be a shame to be left thinking that you should really have installed more counters when your remodeling is complete. Err on the side of actually having too much space rather than not enough since counter space seems to be always in high demand.
Selecting The Correct Countertop Height When Remodeling Your Kitchen
The kitchen countertop may be used by several people with varying heights. For such cases, the best solution may not be a standard countertop. That being said, for households wherein different members of the family will have to use different parts of the kitchen, multi-height countertops are an excellent choice. Having different heights for the countertops will make everyone feel more comfortable when using the kitchen. Multi-height countertops also work well with kitchen islands, which function as dining tables or bars, so that’s an additional advantage.
You can also go for bar-height countertops, but they aren’t the best option even if they work well with bar stools, especially for having meals on. For a more comfortable eating area, lower height countertops are a better option, considering that they work well with your standard dining chairs. However, nothing compares to the flexibility that multi-height countertops provide. With multi-height countertops, different areas of the countertop can have different functions. That means you can have areas for cooktops, baking, food preparation, dining, and even homework. Depending on the purpose it serves, each area will have the right height.
Considerations For Multi-Height Countertop Installation
When opting to install multi-height countertops, there are several factors that you should weigh in. These are the following:
- Premade Cabinets Are Designed For Countertops With Standard Heights – While developing the plan for your kitchen design, consider that premade cabinets are actually for standard height countertops. That being said, you may have to spend for custom-made ones.
- Consider The People Who Will Use The Countertop Most Often – When incorporating multi-height countertops into a custom kitchen island’s design, it’s important to look at the height and the activities of the people who will use the countertop most often. Choose the appropriate height of the countertop based on those details.
- Consider Everything You’ll Want To Have In Your Kitchen – Another consideration to be made when it comes to custom kitchen countertops, like the multi-height ones, is how they’ll work with your replacement or existing appliances. Before installing custom countertops, carefully consider what you’ll want to have in your space.
- Remember That Not All Materials Used In Countertops Have The Standard Thickness – What should determine the distance between your counter and upper cabinets is the height of your countertop. Thirty-six inches off the floor is the standard countertop height, but it’s not rigid. It’s actually determined by different factors, including the height of your cabinets and the thickness of the countertop materials. The standard thickness assumed in standard countertop heights is one-and-a-half inch. However, not all materials used in countertops follow it. For instance, marble, granite, and quartz are usually sold in two- to three-centimeter thickness, unlike the standard one-and-a-half-inch thickness you’ll see in butcher-block countertops.
Talk to an experienced and reliable countertop installer as you consider all of the elements you want your new or remodeled kitchen to have. By doing so, you’ll learn all of the things that you should think about when choosing the correct countertop height.
Countertop Choices In The Market
Sometimes, a homeowner has their heart set on a certain countertop design, but the material required just doesn’t match with their lifestyle. The good news is that there’s a high chance that another material does. Below are the choices for countertop materials available in the market today:
- Natural Stone Countertops – These are available in various shades, such as beiges, corals, whites, and blacks. Note that no two pieces of these shades are exactly the same. Granite is the top choice in the market among the different natural stone countertop materials available.
There are two finishes to choose from when opting for granite. A shiny look is achieved with a polished finish, which often darkens the stone’s appearance, while honing is matte and soft. Origin of the stone, finish, and color are some of the variables that determine the costs for granite and other natural stones. For instance, a granite that’s relatively easy to obtain is more affordable than one that has to be imported from other countries.
Other natural stone materials you can choose aside from granite are soapstone, limestone, and marble, which are softer and require greater care and delicate use. Note that you have to periodically seal all stone countertops.
- Engineered Stone Countertops – When compared to natural stones, engineered stones provide a wider variety of color choices. They’re also more affordable and easier to maintain. However, these materials and granite cost roughly just the same.
- Solid-Surface Countertops – They’re seamless and capable of resisting or buffing out stains and scratches. They come in countless colors, too, that’s why they have so much appeal. However, keep in mind that solid-surface countertops can be damaged by hot pans.
- Concrete Countertops – This is a countertop material that you can completely customize with pigments. Concrete countertops are gaining popularity nowadays. They come in several different finishes, which include pressed (reveals marble-like finish), ground (exposes the sand aggregate), and trowel or smooth. Keep in mind, however, that abrupt or extreme temperature changes may cause concrete to curl or warp. Also, the surface of concrete countertops may be etched by acidic spills, and discoloration may result from damp sponges left on your counter. It’s advisable to seal a concrete countertop up to four times annually to keep it looking at its best. Every two to three months, you’ll also have to wax it with a paste.
- Wood Countertops – They instantly warm up the kitchen same as butcher block. Any scratches can be easily sanded out. They’re also easy to clean. However, water can easily damage butcher block, so the surface of wood countertops must be sealed through frequent oiling.
- Laminate Countertops – The market’s most affordable countertop material is laminate. It comes in different colors and designs. Note, however, that laminate has a reputation for getting easily scratched. It can also scorch if a hot pan touches your counter’s surface.
The counter has always been a huge part of kitchen décor. As homeowners seek the best look for their main cooking space, countertop designs have really gone from style to style.
Variety has been the theme of the day in modern times. The good thing is that there’s an endless selection of finishes, sizes, styles, and materials that you can choose from. It’s a matter of personal preference or thinking about what adds more value to your home if you’re planning to sell your property in the future.
As already mentioned, talking to a countertop installation expert is the best thing to do when remodeling your kitchen counter. Finding the best supplier for countertop materials is also important. Make sure to only choose a design for your counter once you already have taken into account all necessary considerations. The tips above should also help you make the remodeling process of your kitchen a successful one.