In last month’s blog, we explored stone and solid surface countertops. Here we will be weighing the pros and cons of some traditional materials such as wood, tile, and laminate, as well as the more modern poured concrete surface.
- Wood Surface – Solid wood countertops are an age-old concept that has made a resurgence in recent years. Historically speaking, wood counters were the product of an abundance of available material (think “log cabin”). The modern wood counter or “butcher-block top” can be constructed from any variety of wood species, providing a classic look to your kitchen.
It is relatively soft when compared to other materials, meaning you may not break that plate when it slips out of your hand. But soft also means it is less durable and more susceptible to scratches and gouges. Fortunately these can generally be repaired with a filler and/or some light sanding.
Wood counters require a bit more care than other more resilient surfaces. Moisture and materials that may stain must be cleaned up quickly to avoid costly damage. Consistently maintaining the sealer and repellent on the surface will help protect the wood material underneath. And of course care must be taken to never sit hot skillets or saucepans directly on the counter.
- Poured Concrete – Concrete provides a clean and modern look that can be customized to any space or shape. The material can be texturized, stained, or sealed to provide any number of looks; even those resembling wood or marble. It can be finished to a shine, left dull, and even include accent pieces or lighting embedded in the surface to provide a unique product. And its natural strength allows for seamless construction and overhangs that are not possible with stone.
Concrete is extremely durable and can handle hot cookware. While concrete tops will last for years, they are susceptible to stains. Regular sealing and timely cleaning up of messes is required. Pouring a concrete counter is a labor-intensive skill that takes time and patience. The counter must be given time to set and cure once it is in place. If your remodel is on a strict timeline, this may not be suitable to your needs.
- Tiled Counters – Tile provides your kitchen with a natural texture. Not just for backsplashes anymore, a good tile installer can place your tiles to create an “almost” seamless surface. Like all synthetic surfaces, the possibilities are endless when it comes to selecting tile. This includes not only looks but price! In general tile is a less expensive alternative to a solid stone surface. They require less maintenance than other surfaces, but flaws can be more noticeable. And should a problem arise, it is much easier to replace one tile than an entire section of solid surface.
- Laminate Surface – As timeless as “mom and apple pie” laminate has made a strong resurgence since its heyday of the 50s and 60s. Today’s laminate is a far cry from the surfaces of 70 years ago. It is by far the least expensive material available, however it also has the shortest life expectancy. Laminate is also less durable and can be damaged by burns, cuts, and chips. But if you are only looking ahead to the next 10 years in your kitchen and you take care of the surface, laminate could be a great choice.
Bring your kitchen back to life! Whether you’re planning a complete remake or simply need to replace those countertops, call the pros at Distinct Construction today to schedule your quote.