Kitchen Countertops: Top 10 Popular Options in 2021

kitchen countertop

People are becoming more invested in their kitchen. That shouldn’t be surprising as people prefer to dine in instead of going out to grab a bite to eat. This pandemic has basically forced everyone into becoming a home chef. If you already have the best appliances and knives to complement your kitchen, then it might be time to invest in a kitchen countertop next.

Before we begin talking about the best kitchen countertops, let’s first understand what they are. Simply put, kitchen countertops are a multi-purpose surface that you can add to your kitchen. Aside from being the place where you put your appliances in, it’s also the place where you can do prep work. Simply put, a kitchen countertop is a vital part of your house.

Kitchen countertops need to be many things. For starters, they need to be scratch and heat proof. They need to be scratch proof as since you are doing prep work here, it should be able to withstand hits from forks, knives and other materials. That also includes the legs of various appliances. Heat proof because as this is the kitchen, it’s expected that there’s going to be a lot of heat involved.

This is a secondary concern but kitchen countertops also need to be beautiful. As these are going to be a key part of your kitchen, it needs to add a lot of aesthetic value. Modern kitchen countertops can cost you around $1,500-2,500 at the very least. More expensive options will set you back $9,000-10,000. 

You may be wondering why it’s so expensive to get your kitchen fitted with these. Well, for starters, it takes a lot of skill and mastery for manufacturers to make consumer-grade countertops. The materials used in making these are also quite pricey. Another thing you should consider is that countertops are usually lifetime investments.

Now, with that said, let’s talk about the types of kitchen countertops that you may want to invest in. We aren’t just listing them randomly, we are of course picking the top 10 options this year.

Quartz

The premiere options for a countertop will always be ones made from natural stone. However, these are very expensive to say the least. If you want something that’s cheaper, then you should get a quartz countertop. Technically speaking, it isn’t a natural stone countertop. It is however, quartz mixed with binding resin.

Aside from being extremely durable and damage-resistant, quartz countertops look and feel like natural stone. It rivals the likes of granite and marble in terms of quality. Do keep in mind that while it isn’t as expensive as natural stone countertops, quartz is still pricier as compared to other man-made countertops.

Marble

The most expensive type of countertop currently is marble. It’s pricey for good reasons too. It is one of the most durable and most beautiful countertops on the market currently and to make it better, it’s a natural stone. Instead of being made separately, marble is cut from a single large stone. This means that most installations are customized to perfectly fit one’s home.

People often pick marble if they are going for a classy look. You won’t find marble in restaurant kitchens as these aren’t exactly for heavy-duty cooking. Marble does chip so it’s a must that you be gentle when having this around the kitchen.

Granite

Another popular kitchen countertop option is granite. In fact, it might be the most popular currently. The granite countertops you’ll see in kitchens mostly are engineered. As compared to natural granite countertops, engineered ones are highly customizable in terms of color and shape. As such, you can find one that fits your kitchen’s aesthetics well.

If you prefer natural granite, you can’t go wrong as well. While more expensive, it looks more natural than engineered granite. This is manufactured the same way that marble is, hence it’s price. Both variants are heat and scratch resistant which means they are both durable in the kitchen. 

Soapstone

Another cheap natural stone option is soapstone. It is sourced from the Appalachian Mountains. Either that or the material is gotten from Finland or Brazil. Due to its compound content which has a high percentage of talc, the surfaces has a soft feeling, hence the name.

Unlike other natural stones like granite and marble, soapstone requires minimal maintenance. It is also resistant to stains bacteria, and heat. You still need to take care of it but not as much as granite and marble. You should il it at least once a month during its first year with you.

Laminate

Thanks to the genius of countertop manufacturers, modern laminate countertops now resemble other countertops such as marble and quartz. Despite this fancy appearance, laminate countertops are more affordable than most options. It’s also an easy to maintain countertop as it is made from nonporous material. All you need to clean it with is dish soap and water.

More and more kitchens are considering laminate countertops due to their functionality and affordability. In the future, it is expected to even become more resemblant of natural stones.

Tile

Tile countertops were very popular during the 70s and 80s. However, they began to lose their popularity once quartz and granite emerged. However, these are appearing as the primary materials for modern kitchen countertops as well. There’s not much that has changed in the make of tile countertops. However, people really like how easy it is to install.

Whether you are good with DIY tricks or not, you can easily install tile countertops. These affordable and durable countertops now come in various shapes. The most popular of which is still squared tiles. However, hexagonal tiles are gaining ground in the popularity game as well.

Concrete

As natural stones like marble are expensive, your best bet at a luxurious option is to simply buy ones that look like the real thing. For this, we highly suggest getting a concrete countertop. This countertop is not what you think it is. As compared to the concrete you are used to, this one is polished and textured, making it perfect for kitchen work. As for the appearance, it is usually acid-stained with different colors.

What’s unique about concrete countertops is that they are made to perfectly fit your kitchen. Installers will visit your house, cast the countertop area, and then make a slab that fits there perfectly. As you can see, it adds a level of uniqueness to your kitchen as well.

Steel

We’ll start with a basic kitchen countertop. Steel countertops are currently the cheapest and they are made from light metals mostly. Aside from being affordable, another upside to them is that they are very easy to install. However, you won’t find steel countertops in home kitchens as these don’t look great inside the house.

As it is one of the cheapest and most functional of all the countertops out there, steel is perfect for restaurant kitchens. It’s also great for other commercial purposes. Beyond its appearance, another downside to steel countertops is that they are very loud. Even if you work lightly, you’re still going to hear a loud banging when using these.

Butcher Block

If you are on a budget, then one of the most affordable kitchen countertops are the butcher blocks. These are typically made from oak and other hardwood. They are very easy on the eyes, especially wood that has a light hue. The problem with this type of countertop though is that it has to be regularly oiled and cleaned. For this, you can oil at least twice a year.

There’s a price to pay for the affordability of wood countertops. That is the fact that these aren’t as functional as other options. While you can use it to prep ingredients, you need to be careful and avoid hitting it with a solid force using a knife or a fork. This is wood after all so you might damage the surface.

On that note however, butcher blocks are the only countertop that you can directly slice your ingredients off of.

Another thing worth noting is that you need to clean this regularly. Wipe with a disinfectant at least once a week. As this is wood, moisture  and bacteria could develop within the material. 

Mix It Up

Believe it or not, some people prefer mixing the types of kitchen countertops in their home. For instance, they use marble for the part of the kitchen that’s most usable. To cut costs, they’ll use a cheaper material for the part of the kitchen that’s used for prep work. Mixing various countertops is a smart choice.

If you have both an outdoor and an indoor kitchen, then this option is even better. Some countertops like those made of wood aren’t fit for outside kitchens as they shouldn’t be exposed to the rain. The best outdoor kitchen countertops are usually those that are unpolished but are still made of natural stone. These kinds don’t get slippery when the rain comes.

You should take time in picking your kitchen countertop. It is one of the best investments you can make for your home and kitchen. Other than what they do when it comes to cooking, they add a ton of value to your home as well.

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