When Jim Heaphy, a well known columnist of countertop design and fabrication visited Israel, he was pleasantly surprised. In a quaint town in Galilee called Safed, he visited the 500 year old Joseph Caro synagogue known as a center for Kabbalistic mysticism. With an ancient past, it was fascinating for him to find the kitchen installed with contemporary kitchen equipment and a unique countertop that used engineered stonework from the prehistoric synagogue itself. This niche design was a perfect blend of mystical historic design with modern tones. The kitchen countertop is the feature that attracts the attention most and focus on this aspect is important while designing or remodeling a kitchen. Various materials are available in the market today and new designs are evolving. The current trend is to use environmental friendly materials which are recyclable and durable. Onyx, a natural stone which was earlier used in places of worship or altar designs, is now the current trendy material used for kitchen countertops. When choosing a kitchen countertop material apart from aesthetic appeal, functionality has to be considered too. It is one of the most utilized spaces and a balance of function and style will be the best option. For instance, stainless steel tops do provide a futuristic and trendy look but it sometimes proves to be a real hindrance as it is noisy, you are unable to cut food on it, it is expensive to buy and fabricate. There are many other materials for kitchen countertops to choose from, some of which are mentioned below.
Materials for Kitchen Countertops
- Some of the eco friendly and stylish options are the natural stone countertops such as onyx, granite, marble, quartz and concrete. Compared to laminates, they are considered to be more durable and they add a sophisticated touch to the design too.
- If you are looking for an economically yet trendy countertop design, you could choose laminate. It is quite popular as the designs are usually an imitation of natural stone materials and are priced reasonably.
- Materials like ceramic, stone and porcelain are also economical. These tiled countertops also have high resistance to scratches and heat. Each material has its own characteristic and selection should be based on comfort and suitability.
- If you want an earthy feel to your kitchen, wooden tops are the best. The butcher block variety is one of the commonly used wooden countertops. However, the price you have to pay by choosing this material is high because wood is porous and attracts bacteria; it is more prone to stains, burns and scratches. One of the best features is that it can be restored easily.
- Stainless countertops are best suited for those who want high functionality. This material is highly resistant to damages like heat, scratches, burns and stains. It can be easily cleaned and disinfected. However, it could be noisy at times and functions like cutting food are not possible.
- You can get creative and use unique materials for countertops to get that customized look to your kitchen. Environment friendly and recyclable materials are quite popular these days. Some of the other exceptional materials used are pounded copper, slate shingles, personal rock collections, broken colorful dishes, different type of leaves with lacquer and an old wooden door.