Guest Blogger #637, Entry #1514, August 25, 2012
When it comes to the kitchen surfaces that you use while chopping your veggies, buttering your toast, and stacking your dirty dishes to cue them up for the washer, you might not think that you have very many options. But just because ceramic tile and slabs of natural stone (marble, granite, etc.) have dominated the countertop scene for the last few decades doesn’t mean you have to succumb to the trends if you don’t like them. And you might be surprised to learn that there are actually a wide variety of potential materials to consider when it comes to your counters. Here are just a few that could make your kitchen makeover a revelation (or a revolution, if you happen to be a trendsetter).
If you’re willing to get stainless steel appliances, why not countertops? This material will give your kitchen a sleek, modern look and it has an awful lot of benefits. For one thing, it doesn’t really stain, and if you accidentally set a hot pot on it you won’t have to worry about scarring the surface with (although you probably don’t want to touch it for a few minutes after you move the pan).
The farmhouse kitchen had something of a resurgence recently by way of giant kitchen sinks with no dividers (like small tubs ensconced in your countertop) and antique-finish hardware made to look like it came straight from 1930 (manufacturers have really nailed that dark patina). But if you like this look, why not take it a step further by installing a wooden countertop? While the original look would have called for nude wood, you’ll probably want to use some kind of matte lacquer to stave off food stains (wood is pretty porous). And you’ll certainly have to be careful about placing hot items on it without a trivet in place. But the fact that you can use the entire counter as a cutting board kind of makes up for it.
Believe it or not, this retro look is coming back in a big way when it comes to kitchen customization. The saturated colors and metallic sparkle that made this plastic laminate so popular back when your parents (or grandparents) were kids has been recently rediscovered by a new generation of homeowners who are looking to put a personal stamp on their interior spaces. And thanks to the melamine resin used in Formica, this counter surface will resist heat, staining, and abrasion.
You’ve no doubt heard of materials like Coriander and Silestone, and these composites can provide you with a wide range of color options as well as durability and ease of use that you simply can’t get from natural stone.
Both concrete and recycled glass can make for a killer kitchen countertop. Concrete, for example, may be poured as is if you like the ultra-minimalist look. But it can also be stained and treated to look like all manner of other surfaces, including natural stone, wood, and even leather. As for recycled glass, it is crushed and molded (sometimes with concrete) to create a one-of-a-kind surface that positively glitters (and you can choose the color of glass). And if you decide you want the look of granite or marble tile, simply seek out reclaimed materials that don’t call for further mining.
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