a kitchen island

Choosing the Right Countertop – Part I

Updating or remodeling your kitchen eventually leads to the question, “What should we do about these countertops?” Seasoned professionals like Norman Graham Builders can make suggestions based on our experiences, but the choice ultimately comes down to what countertop you like best.

We’d like to simplify the process for those of you who may not be familiar with all of today’s countertop options. From ceramic tile and concrete to quartz and wood, there are a dozen great options to choose from. Naturally, you’ll want to select the one with the features, look, and cost that fit your budget.

In order to make the most informed decision, we broke down the most common countertop options into a two-part list. Here’s the first part:

  • Butcher Block (Wood) – For that rustic look, the butcher block gives off a classic country kitchen vibe. Kept away from a sink area, the butcher block is a decent option. It is easier to scratch than harder surfaces and can harbor bacteria, so you’ll need to disinfect it after use and sand down and fill in any scratches.
  • Ceramic or Porcelain Tile – If you’re looking for a specific color to bring the room together, tile gives you great flexibility. Extremely heat- and scratch-resistant, and moderately easy to repair, ceramic or porcelain tile with grout is one of the cheapest options available. Keep in mind its uneven surface can make it difficult to use a cutting board, and unless you seal the grout it is prone to staining.
  • Concrete – One of the more expensive options on the list, concrete countertops that are sealed regularly offer great scratch, stain, and heat resistance. However, this countertop option needs something strong to support it and is difficult to repair.
  • a granite slabGranite – Granite has become a go-to for remodeling projects, and rightfully so. You can make each slab unique to your home because it is offered in a variety of colors and patterns. Resistant to heat, cuts, and scratching, granite is heavy and susceptible to chipping. You’ll also need to seal it periodically to avoid stains.
  • Laminate – Laminate has developed a much more sophisticated look than before, and is one of the most affordable options available. Laminate is low maintenance, easy to clean, and much lighter than other countertop options. Be careful with scratching, heat, and staining, since laminate countertops aren’t as tough as the options above and are more difficult to repair.
  • Limestone – Better suited for lighter uses, like shower floors or powder rooms, limestone is heat-resistant, but vulnerable to just about everything else. Limestone is not recommended for kitchen countertops, as it scratches and etches fairly easily.
  • Marble – Marble is close to limestone when it comes to performance. Marble looks great and is very heat resistant. Since it is a softer stone and can easily chip, scratch, or etch, it’s better used as a tabletop or in a powder room.
  • Paper Composite – For those of you looking for eco-friendly options, paper composite is a great choice. It won’t absorb moisture, is chip and heat resistant, and is much lighter than other countertop options. However, if the budget is tight this can quickly price itself out of consideration, and it may need maintenance periodically in the form of sanding and a mineral oil rubdown to keep it looking the best.

Looking for more options? Visit our blog in January for part two!

If you’d like to discuss these or any other options in more detail when you’re ready to remodel your kitchen, give Norman Graham Builders a call at 717-656-7336. You can also reach out via email at office@normanlgraham.com.