Countertops can set the tone for your kitchen or bring a boring bathroom to life and often set the tone for your overall design during a remodel or renovation. Today’s countertop materials are quite varied; materials include stone, man-made, composite and wood countertops among the most popular options. A little background information on our three most popular types of countertops tells you how each measures up aesthetically while also meeting your lifestyle or day-to-day needs.
Natural stone countertops are highly popular and one of the most durable countertop types. High-demand options include granite and marble for their unique characteristics and durability. Soapstone is a more unique choice that offers a smooth, silky feel and historic look.
Of the natural stone counter options, granite remains a perennial choice, with a wide variety of colors, grades, patterns and thicknesses to choose from. Like marble, no two slabs of granite are identical, so you achieve an elegant look that can’t be mass produced. The broad range of color and pattern choices also makes it easy to match to most kitchen or bathroom designs. From a lifestyle perspective, granite is highly durable, resists heat and holds up well to normal wear and tear. When properly sealed, granite countertops won’t become porous, and seams have low to no visibility, giving you a smooth surface that can last a lifetime.
Natural Stone Options:
Man-made materials are built to be quite durable and often mimic high end countertop materials. Popular choices include quartz, also called engineered stone, and solid surface counters. Both materials are completely nonporous and never require sealing, with minimal cleaning and maintenance requirements.
- Quartz countertops are made of resin and about 95% ground quartz and other materials, such as marble and glass. Because they’re manufactured, slabs are uniform in color without imperfections and can be custom-fabricated into any size and shape. Modern offerings include a broad color palette and wide range of patterns to match your renovation needs. The lustrous surfaces are also resistant to heat, stains, impacts and scratches.
Natural wood countertops are coveted for their rustic charm and warm look and feel. These counters may be made from solid wood, reclaimed wood, live edge wood or the iconic butcher block and provide an organic surface that’s naturally beautiful, unique and highly durable. Hardwoods are a preferred choice, but some softwoods are also suitable, and counters can be refinished if damaged, stained or scorched. Popular wood species include American walnut, bamboo, birch, Bolivian rosewood, Brazilian cherry, hard maple, mesquite, teak and white oak.
- Reclaimed wood has become a popular option for eco-conscious homeowners, and the distressed finish provides a realistically rustic look that can’t be reproduced. Reclaimed wood countertop choices include various styles and colors, depending on the wood source and species. Salvaged wood may come from barns, bowling alleys, residential or factory flooring and other structures, with common species including elm, maple, oak and pine.
- Live edge wood slabs are cut from dead, standing or recently fallen trees and provide a supremely natural look. The bark is often left intact and used as the countertop edge, but it may also be removed to display an organic edge. These edges aren’t squared or rounded like traditional countertops but follow the natural flow of the wood slab.
- Traditional butcher block remains the wood countertop of choice and offers an impressive choice of wood varieties that lend character to your home. Butcher block is made from straight cuts of wood glued together into thick slabs for a sturdy surface that’s most often installed in kitchens. Our company is able to source reclaimed barn wood butcher block in a variety of finishes for a unique look and environmentally friendly application.
When properly installed and cared for, wood countertops can last a lifetime, but they do require some TLC. Many companies offer sustainably grown woods, including exotics, and if your counters do become worn out, they’re recyclable.
Choose a Design Expert
Whether you have contemporary tastes or prefer more traditional styles, our design experts at Element Design Build Remodel help you achieve the new remodel or renovation of your dreams. We’re a full-service home remodeling company serving Cleveland and the entire northeast Ohio area from our Hudson location. Contact us at 330-523-6919 to set up a design consultation for your kitchen, bathroom or home remodeling project today.