Quartz, glass, soapstone, concrete. What do all of these have in common? They are classified as premium decorative surfaces – materials that stand out from the realm of laminate countertops. When searching for the right countertop in your new kitchen, it’s important to remember that your choice will be the most highly used surface in your space.
Materials commonly chosen for countertops today are:
· Exotic Wood
· Solid Surface
· Recycled Materials
· Stainless Steel
According to the Kitchen & Bath Business article, “Ending Consumer Countertop Perplexity,” premium decorative materials can be broken up into two categories: Hard and Shiny Surfaces and Seamless/Integrated Surfaces. Here’s where a few surfaces from the list above fall.
Hard and Shiny Surfaces
Hard and shiny surfaces are glossy and reflective. With the exception of quartz, they require a sealant, which can increase maintenance over time. These materials are not easily damage due to their scratch and heat resistance. If damaged however, they are difficult to repair due to their one-of-a kind look. The surfaces require an under-or-over mount sink, but their natural qualities leave homeowners with a beautiful and completely unique product.
Seamless or integrated surfaces are easier to install because they have more malleable properties. This means that two pieces can be seamed together to create a fluid appearance. They are easier to clean and are non-porous, and therefore extremely hygienic. Despite the lack of unique colours and patterns compared to natural stone, seamless surfaces are easier to maintain and repair.
Using these categories to decide which material characteristics are right for your kitchen can make the process of narrowing down a countertop less cumbersome.