27 Jun 9 Things To Consider Before Choosing Your Kitchen Countertop
Of all the materials used to make kitchen counter tops, perhaps the five most common are Granite, Quartz, Marble, KompacPlus and Acrylic Solid Surfaces. But how do they score against each other and versus the elements in the kitchen?
We take you through some of the points you’ll need to consider when choosing your next counter top:
Granite and Quartz – made from compressed stone and sand over millions of years through heat and immense pressure from Mother Nature – resulting in grainy and veiny designs.
Solid Surfaces are manufactured using a special type of acrylic or polyester, and can have any design or colour that you fancy. Most designs however usually mimic granite or quartz. KompacPlus surfaces feature mostly wood grain patterns and are great for that woody theme.
2. Heat Resistance:
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Most of these countertops have to be able withstand heat. Granite is the most heat resistant while solid surfaces can take up to about 140 degrees Celsius before they begin to warp. So it is best to avoid directly placing a boiling pot of soup on one of those!
3. Scratch and Chip Resistance:
Image credit: The Celebration Shoppe
Now comes physical trauma. Whatever you throw at your top, whether heavy pots and pans, dishes, rolling pins, and knives, it has got to hold up well. Naturally you would assume that granite and quartz counters stand up to these and would top the charts, but KompacPlus tops are also pretty scratch and chip resistant.
Marble on the other hand, scores quite low on chip and scratch resistance. Watch where that rolling pin is going! A good counter top should hold up against knocks from it pretty well.
4. Stain resistance
KompacPlus tops the chart in terms of stain resistance. Sauces and spills are removed easily with household cleaner and a cloth even up to 24 hours when they’ve mostly dried up. Don’t believe us? Check out their video here
After the staining and spilling, comes the cleaning. Ease of maintaining your counter top should be one of your primary concerns when choosing a counter. Solid surfaces and KompacPlus score the highest when it comes to ease of cleaning.
Nobody wants to spend the entire Sunday scrubbing right? Regular household cleaners can be used on surfaces like the KompacPlus and gently brushed.
And of course, you can’t clean without water. Solid surfaces and KompacPlus are fully waterproof while granite and marble have pretty high porosity levels. Water is also present almost every day in the kitchen – whether you’re cooking or washing.
KompacPlus and Solid Surfaces are fully waterproof while granite and marble absorb liquids easily – porous surfaces over time may start to change colour due to absorption of liquids. Remember the old white marble tables with the yellow stains at vintage coffee shops?
7. Periodic Sealing
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Granite and Marble are made of compressed rubble and sand over millions of years by Mother Nature. Because of this, it is not entirely homogenous. You may occasionally feel sand or powder-like micro-particles on your counter top.
This happens because the rock (marble/granite) has not been aged long enough and the grains are not compressed enough before the entire rock was harvested. Grains and veins occur naturally amongst these rock-type counter tops and require periodic sealing.
Sealants also reduce the porosity of your granite and marble surfaces, reducing the chances of staining.
8. Joint Lines
Kitchen countertops coming in various sizes nowadays, it is nearly impossible to find a piece of granite that fits your exact dimensions perfectly – Even if you could, you’d have to pay a hefty sum for it.
In this scenario, your contractor will usually recommend two or more pieces together, resulting in somewhat unsightly joint lines that irks the hidden perfectionist in us. Joint lines are also present in L-shaped counters since most materials typically come in long horizontal planks.
Even though the kitchen is a workspace doesn’t mean that you should neglect its outlook. One of the qualities of solid surfaces is that such joint lines can be polished away, making it look seamless. Joint lines on a KompacPlus surface. These are usually visible at the corners of L shape kitchen counter tops.
Money is probably one of the most important factor to consider when you renovate your homes. Nobody wants to break the piggy bank. Granite and quartz, though awesome on aesthetics, highly durable to heat and physical abuse, can cost you quite a bit.
If you have a tight budget, choose a solid surface top or a KompacPlus top. Do think through these 9 properties before you choose your next kitchen countertops so as to save yourself from future headaches. In addition, feel free to contact our designers to help you design your dream kitchen.