Kitchen Remodeling Ideas When It Comes to Choosing Countertops:

Planning a kitchen remodel means making decisions about big-ticket items from cabinets to appliances, but really the kitchen countertops can be the biggest design statement. Many homeowners think granite is an absolute must for a sophisticated kitchen remodel, but there are so many options today.

What does your countertop choice say about your dream kitchen?  Traditional, sophisticated, modern, or vibrant with personality?

And more importantly, does it suit you and your family? Are you willing to put in the maintenance to seal your countertop, or do you want to spill without worrying about stains?

Kitchens are where practicality and style come together. We spend so much of our day-to-day life in this space (usually where we start and end our day), it seems only right to create a space that serves its purpose AND makes us feel most ourselves.

Aside from cabinetry, countertops are perhaps the most eye-catching feature of a kitchen (and the most used)! When it comes down to it, countertop selections should make up about 7 percent of your kitchen’s overall budget. Luckily for both homeowners and designers however, there are many options for kitchen countertops in terms of material and style — ones that are not only beautiful, but are also in budget.

Here are 3 countertop myths exposed (and innovative ideas to use in your kitchen). 

1. Granite is the only way to go.

Many countertop materials effectively mimic the sleek look of natural stone.  Engineered quartz, such as Caesarstone or Silestone, is a durable material made from crushed quartz and resin binders. It’s as tough as granite, but is also stain-resistant, anti-microbial, and non-porous, so it doesn’t have to be sealed.  Quartz countertops come in hundreds of colors, so you can still achieve the granite look you are aiming for. For a slightly lower price tag, acrylic solid-surfacing, such as, Corian or LG HI-MACS, achieves a similar look and comes in just as many colors, though it’s not as hard or heat resistant as other options.

 

2. Concrete is too cold and uninviting for me.  

Not so!  Concrete can bring in beautiful clean lines and a modern feel to kitchens and is growing in popularity. Concrete can be made with large percentages of post-industrial resources and other recycled materials such as paper and glass.

Concrete doesn’t have to be boring and gray. There are many more style options than you would think! Pigments can be added to the concrete mix to create colors (anything from brown to black to cream, and even some vibrant hues).  The best feature of concrete is that it can be cast on-site and is customizable to your space.  It is easy to create free-form shapes and to set other unique materials into the slab, such as pieces of glass, metal, or stones. 

In order to prevent stains, make sure to apply an epoxy sealer to the countertop (and you may need to reseal the material every so often). To ensure that the end result is soundly constructed and beautiful, it’s important to find an installer that is experienced in working with concrete countertops.

 

3. I only get to pick ONE type of countertop

An easy way to put personality into your kitchen is to vary the materials used.  Don’t be afraid to introduce one or two different types of countertops without losing the cohesiveness of your design. My advice? Choose a striking material for the central island to act as the “wow” factor of the kitchen. The possibilities for an accent countertop are endless. You could feature a reclaimed piece of wood or a dramatic copper, or simply vary the color used on the rest of the counters, such as, black against white.

Many homeowners like to designate a certain area of countertop for a specialty material which is useful for chopping or kneading, such as butcher block or marble.  Showcasing an elegant material in one area of your kitchen is also a good way to make a statement while adhering to a budget.  By finishing the rest of the countertops with a less expensive material in a similar color or even something completely different, will help you save more money than if you had finished the whole kitchen with an exotic granite.

 

4. I can’t obsess over granite because I can’t afford it.

Granite countertops don’t have to break the bank! The best thing about granite (besides it’s beautiful appearance) is that it’s priced at all different levels. While a high-end level of granite can cost up to $200 per square foot, the average cost of granite is normally between $50 to $100 per square foot. If a slab is totally out of your price range, maybe you go with a different material on your counters, but use granite tiles on your fireplace heart or as an accent in your backsplash. Granite tiles cost considerably less than a slab, at about $25 to $50 per square foot and you can still get a high-end feel by using it elsewhere in your space.

When it comes to your kitchen, don’t hesitate spending the time (and money) to create a space that you truly love. For many of us, the kitchen acts as both the center of our homes and our families, so making sure it’s functional and appealing is an investment you won’t regret. If you do your research before renovating, you’ll be able to find the perfect countertop materials that are both budget-conscious and beautiful.

 

When renovating your kitchen, what materials did you ultimately use? Were you satisfied with them?

Ready to start tacking your home renovation? Check out my Renovation Roadmap for all the help you need start-to-finish

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