Shopping, Selecting, Caring For Your New Countertops

Selecting the perfect countertops for your kitchen or bathroom can be overwhelming-there is a lot to consider. Countertops play a significant role in defining the aesthetics and functionality of your space. With a wide range of materials available, each offering unique benefits and considerations, it can be difficult to choose the right countertops for your needs and personal style.

Let’s explore how to shop for countertops, the factors to consider when choosing the right material, and tips for maintaining their beauty and usability over time.

Understanding Your Needs

Before you start your countertop shopping journey, it’s a good idea to assess your needs and preferences. Think about the style and color scheme you want for your space and how the countertop material will complement it.

Another factor you’ll want to think about is how you’ll use the countertop and how much effort you’re willing to dedicate to maintenance. Are you an avid home chef who needs a durable surface for food preparation, or do you primarily need a low-maintenance guest bathroom countertop? Be sure to do your homework and understand how to care for the material-some require more care than others.

Beyond just usability and aesthetics, your budget will likely be the most important part of your decision. Set a realistic budget for your countertop project. Different materials come with varying price tags, so your budget makes a big difference.

 

Choosing the Right Material

There are several countertop materials to choose from, each with its unique characteristics. Here are some popular options:

  • Granite: Known for its natural beauty and durability, granite countertops are heat and scratch-resistant. They are available in a variety of colors and patterns, making them a versatile choice.
  • Quartz: Engineered quartz countertops offer the look of natural stone without the maintenance. They are non-porous, making them resistant to stains and bacteria.
  • Marble: If timeless elegance is your style, marble countertops are an excellent choice. However, they are more susceptible to staining and require regular sealing.
  • Butcher Block: Wooden countertops are warm and inviting, perfect for a rustic or farmhouse-style kitchen. They do require regular sealing and can be sensitive to water.
  • Solid Surface: These synthetic countertops are highly customizable, available in various colors, and seamless. They are resistant to stains but can scratch more easily.
  • Laminate: A budget-friendly option, laminate countertops come in a wide range of designs and are relatively easy to clean. However, they can be less durable than other materials.

Maintenance and Care

Proper care is essential to keep your countertops looking great for years to come. Here are some general care tips:

  1. Cleaning: Use a mild, pH-balanced cleaner and a soft cloth to clean your countertops regularly. Avoid abrasive scouring pads or harsh chemicals that could damage the surface.
  2. Sealing: Some materials, like natural stone, require periodic sealing to prevent stains and water absorption. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for sealing frequency.
  3. Heat Protection: Use trivets or hot pads to protect countertops from hot pots and pans, especially with materials like laminate and solid surface, which can be vulnerable to heat damage.
  4. Stain Prevention: Be cautious with highly pigmented substances like red wine, coffee, or certain spices. Wipe up spills promptly to prevent staining, especially on porous surfaces like marble.
  5. Cutting Boards: Use cutting boards to prevent scratches on your countertop when chopping or slicing food.
  6. Avoid Excessive Weight: Refrain from placing heavy objects on unsupported countertop edges, as this can lead to cracks or chipping.

Start Shopping

Shopping for countertops involves thoughtful consideration of your needs, budget, and style preferences, which is why we created our handy Countertop Buyer’s Guide. This free guide can be downloaded on your phone or computer and is full of useful info you can use to make the right choice for your project.

For more personal guidance, visit our showroom for a walk-through of materials and what will work best in your space.