How to Choose a Kitchen Countertop

The kitchen is the hub of activity in any home, where most families not only cook and eat but also socialize and relax.  Your kitchen design is an excellent opportunity to showcase the style of your home and reflect your personal tastes.  When planning your kitchen renovation you will make many design choices such as kitchen cabinet styles, color schemes, and backsplash design.  As the kitchen is one of the most heavily trafficked areas in your home, you must also carefully consider the materials you use in your kitchen design.

Kitchen countertops are no exception and the material you choose for your countertop must be able to last for many years while withstanding constant wear and tear.  There are numerous options for countertops available to suit any style and budget, in a wide array of materials and colors.  So where should you start in making this important choice for your kitchen remodeling project?  Here are a few key steps to help you get started.

What do I need? You should first consider what sort of activity your countertop must withstand.  Are you an avid cook, do you have kids, do you entertain frequently?  Keep in mind your countertop will cover a large surface area that may include cooking and food preparation areas, eating and entertaining areas, and more.  All these factors help inform your decision and whether you should focus on a material that doubles as a chopping block or one that resists stains from kids spilling drinks, one that is easy to maintain or a heat resistant material.  You may even decide to mix and match materials to meet the varied needs of your kitchen design.  For example, you could incorporate a more heat resistant material or a chopping block into one section of your countertop designated for baking, cooking, or chopping.

What do I like? This is the fun part as there are so many options for materials, patterns, textures, and colors.  You can vary the thickness, the look of the edge, or whether you want your countertop to stand out as a signature design element or to blend in with the rest of the kitchen.

For example, the light color of this countertop blends well with the white cabinetry, while the edge adds a stylized flair that complements the kitchen cabinet doors.

Kitchen countertop with white kitchen island cabinetry.

Kitchen countertop with white kitchen island cabinetry.

The countertop chosen for this kitchen design on the other hand completes the look of the contemporary kitchen.  The white countertop provides a dramatic contrast to the dark cabinetry, but the sleek look of this waterfall Caesarstone countertop complements the clean lines of the modern kitchen design.

Contemporary kitchen design with a white waterfall Caesarstone countertop.

Contemporary kitchen design with a white waterfall Caesarstone countertop.

Visit our kitchen design gallery for more great ideas, or check out our products page to learn more about countertop options.

Which material?  Choosing a material for your countertop can be a difficult task as there are more options than ever, each with their pros and cons.  Some are easier to clean and maintain (stainless steel, glass, or tile), some materials are more energy efficient (concrete) or eco-friendly (recycled materials like Vetrazzo or Silestone ECO), while others are more heat resistant (sealed wood) or durable (granite, marble, or quartz).  Some are natural materials while others can be stained in any color and cut in any shape.  Each material has its own texture, look, and feel and it is important that you take time to work with your kitchen design professional to determine the materials best suited to your kitchen renovation.

One final note: The countertop can be one of the most expensive materials in your kitchen remodeling project, but there are a range of options available to suit any budget.  The most important thing is that you determine the best options to meet your requirements within the budget for your overall project.  Your kitchen design expert can help you through this process.