8 Things No One Tells You About Kitchen Countertops
A countertop, also known as a benchtop or kitchen bench, is the work surface in kitchens where food preparation takes place. Hence, the countertop is central in the kitchen design since this is where most of the activities took place. Aside from aesthetics, the materials used also affects the functionality of the kitchen due to the different durability and maintainability. Here are 8 interesting facts about the kitchen countertops.
1. Carrara is the most commonly used marble for countertop
Design: Icon Interior Design
Marble is still the most sought after material for kitchen countertops since it adds a touch of elegance and luxury. Aside from white, marble is available in a wide range of colours (ranging from pure white, pink, green, blue, grey to black) and vein patterns! Hence, it is one of the most versatile materials for home interiors. The most commonly used marble comes from Carrara in Italy. The other type of marble, Calacatta, is much more expensive due to its pure white background, dark grey and gold veins. This distinct feature makes Calacatta stand out from other types of marble.
2. Create a bacteria resistant countertop with Laminate
A laminate countertop is made from a thin layer of plastic bonded to a particleboard or medium-density fiberboard (MDF). As plastic is a non-porous material (when sealed), it is bacteria and pathogens resistant. Nevertheless, it is still possible for dirt and bacteria to be trapped over time in cracks and seams. However, due to the vast improvement in technology in recent years, the modern laminate is much more scratch and more heat resistant than ever.
3. Soapstone doesn’t stain and is heatproof
Soapstone is a natural quarried metamorphic stone. It gives kitchens an antique look due to its darker colour and texture as it oxidizes over time. Soapstone is also an extremely low maintenance work surface since it is stain and heatproof and chemically inert. This means that Soapstone can withstand acidic materials and doesn’t discolour easily. Furthermore, the dents and scratches can also be easily buffed away.
4. Tiles make the worst countertop
Image from bstcountertops.metrocenternews
Although tiles are the second cheapest materials (after laminate) to be used as the countertop material, and that the modern ceramic and porcelain tiles are now available in larger sizes, the grout lines are still easily stained and hard to maintain. Over time, white grout will discolour and become dirty looking. Even though grout sealer helps to make the grout lines easier to maintain, reapplication is still needed a few times a year. Nevertheless, tiles still remain popular choices as a countertop since they are available in a wide range of fanciful and trendy designs.
5. Design an exclusively unique and modern industrial countertop with Concrete
Image from Surecretedesign
Concrete is a very versatile material since it can be fabricated precisely in any shapes and sizes. Furthermore, concrete can easily embed with other materials such as glass fragments, mirrors, seashells and even fibre-optic lights make an unforgettable design statement. However, concrete is very heavy and thus requires structural cabinetry reinforcing before it can be used as a countertop. Furthermore, due to its porous nature, concrete countertop needs to be sealed annually.
6. Thermoformed glass countertop has more style than a fashionista
Image from Thinkglass.com
A 6-inch thick, joint-less, translucent glass countertop with embedded LED lights creates an incredible illusion of floating effect. Also, the thermoformed glass effect also makes it looks more like an impressive art installation than a countertop!
7. Mix It Up; mix and match different countertop materials
The trend of mixing and matching multiple kitchen countertop materials has since gained traction. The contrast in textures and colours results in visual variety is more budget-friendly and can meet the specific kitchen needs too. For instance, low maintenance and highly durable material is installed at the places where the most food preparation work is carried out. As for more expensive materials which are aesthetically pleasing, and yet easily stained and scratched, they can be used for kitchen islands, where light activities are carried out.
8. Get a high tech kitchen countertop for a modern home
Technology is invading every aspect of our lives. Now, there is even a high tech countertop, especially designed to make the work in the kitchen smarter, more efficient, and hands-free! Kitchen preparation is now mess-free with the voice and gesture control for common kitchen functions such as turning on and off the tap. There is also an embedded kitchen scale, visible as a ring of light on the countertop, which uses multiple sensors for weighing.