The kitchen is the heart of the home. It's where the family tends to gravitate, where people gather when they come by and is one of the first places homebuyers look when house shopping. Nothing dates a house faster than an outdated kitchen, and countertops are starting to take center stage. Kitchen countertop prices range from high-end natural stone to laminates on the lower end.
One of the most popular countertops is granite. A beautiful choice that comes in a variety of colors and patterns, granite is also a wise choice for the kitchen, because granite countertops can handle the heat from hot pans and is very durable. While they may not be budget-priced, their durability makes up for the higher price.
Silestone is a less expensive option. It is made from quartz, one of the hardest minerals, so it is resistant to scratching. It is a good choice for kitchen counters, because it is nonporous, stain-resistant and easy to clean.
Ceramic tile is another choice for countertops, is inexpensive and homeowners can easily install it. Cleaning the grout can be a hassle, so pick darker colors. You can seal the grout with an anti-microbial additive to prevent mold growth.
You can go to Home Depot or Lowes to see different laminate countertops. Because laminate is affordable, you can change it every few years if you like. It is made from thin plastic layers that are bonded to particleboard. Laminate countertops resist stains and are easy to clean with a sponge or damp cloth. You can get laminate in 250 different colors; some even resemble stone. Laminate can scratch easily, and hot pans can damage it.
Other Countertop Options
You can use butcher block for countertops, too. People have been using butcher blocks since the 1880s, and they are making a comeback today. They are food safe, and you can prepare your food on them. Prices vary, so you need to get a quote to see if they are affordable.
Stainless steel is another countertop option. Stainless steel looks good with wood. If you have wood cabinets or hardwood floors, you may want to consider stainless steel countertops. They require little maintenance, are heat resistant and anti-bacterial. Get a quote to determine if the price is right for you.
Concrete is an option, but it is not necessarily a budget option. Concrete countertops can cost as much as the premium granite countertops, because they are custom-made. They will give your kitchen a unique look however, which could be a good selling point to consider. Concrete is also durable and easy to maintain, and the design and color possibilities are unlimited.