Your countertops are an important component to your kitchen and bathroom ambiance. The right countertop will tie the design of your space together, even without serving as the main focal point of the room. Not only do they have to look great, but with the highest traffic in these two rooms, they have to be durable. It used to be tiling the countertop was trendy, now there are many more options to choose from. Read on to learn what will work best for your kitchen or bathroom remodel.
Soapstone is a natural stone material that has been used as countertops for centuries, but it is currently gaining in popularity. It provides a rustic feel due to its milky appearance, and many homeowners like the natural charm that it offers. Soapstone is non-porous and easy to clean with a dishrag and mild soap, and while it isn’t as hard as granite, it is less brittle and won’t crack due to weight or stress. However, this stone is fairly soft, so you should never cut directly on it, and be careful to not drop heavy items.
Bowling balls being dropped on it aside, it is a very durable surface and they do come in varying degrees of hardness. Another benefit is that the stone slabs are very unique. Soapstone is very common in bathroom vanities, especially in more traditional styles.
Engineered Stone Countertops
Also known as quartz, engineered stone countertops have been gaining in popularity. This trend is expected to continue to grow. Homeowners love this material because it is durable. It will stand up to heat, stains, and scratches. Unlike soapstone, it does require a little maintenance but is still non-porous. Quartz is easy to clean, making a great option for families with children.
It is important to have a professional install quartz, but it is easy to work with than granite. We do recommend that quartz is in a kitchen or bathroom where the countertop gets very little direct sunlight. This can cause discoloration over time. However, the strength and durability of the material make it long-lasting.
Stainless Steel Countertops
Stainless steel has long been used to improve the look of kitchens, but historically it has been used for appliances. Today, this material is gaining popularity for kitchen countertops, as it is resistant to just about any hazard that might come up in your kitchen, including bacteria.
Stainless steel countertops are custom-made, and they go well with contemporary and modern settings in any kitchen. During the summer months, they are cool to work with, and they do well with hot pans. Even better – your kitchen will look bigger, as stainless steel is reflective.
This isn’t as common in bathrooms, they are still an option. They come in a range of finishes to mask fingerprints and add some demension.
Concrete isn’t for everyone, but homeowners that embrace this design trend will be left with a beautiful kitchen or bathroom countertop. This material looks similar to natural stone. But, unlike other countertop materials, it can be cast in almost any shape and size. Concrete countertops can also be personalized. Consider embedded items like seashells, recycled glass, or pebbles. Since concrete isn’t a static material, its appearance can improve with age.
Concrete countertops do require regular sealing in order to continue looking their best. In its natural state, concrete is quite porous and could stain, but sealing your counter can prevent this damage.
Helpful Design Team
If you are building or renovating, choosing the right countertop is an important design consideration. Contact Friel Lumber, or visit our kitchen and bath design center. Our team is always up-to-date on the latest countertop trends. We can help you to create your dream kitchen with a beautiful and modern countertop.