A good kitchen countertop has to be a couple of things. Above all else, it needs to be stylish and practical. The practical appeal comes in the form of being hygienic, easy to clean, durable, shatter-proof and resistant to scratches.
To address all of these criteria, you’ll need to choose the right material. Luckily, numerous options do exist both material-wise and brand-wise. If you don’t know how to make the selection, here are a few excellent choices and the reasons why they’re worth looking into.
If you go through online rankings of the best kitchen countertop materials, granite will often top the chart. Its versatility, functionality, cost-efficiency and beauty can be difficult to match through the selection of another option.
Granite countertops will always look elegant and sophisticated. They add an instant sense of luxury, even if the rest of the execution happens to be modest.
While granite does come with a higher price tag than other materials, the additional spending is certainly justified. Tough, natural and very long lived, granite will yield an excellent return on investment (especially if you’re seeking longevity when renovating).
There are several very important advantages that granite brings to the table. This natural stone is almost entirely impervious to heat. In addition, granite comes in thousands of different colours and patterns. It will easily add uniqueness to the kitchen because each piece of granite is distinctive. Granite is also nearly 100 per cent maintenance-free, very easy to clean (especially when treated with the right kind of contemporary sealant) and it is exceptionally strong.
Only a few disadvantages are linked to this material. Granite isn’t a good choice if you’re looking forward to a DIY kitchen renovation – leave its installation to a professional home renovation contractor in Singapore that is HDB-licensed. If it’s not installed properly, granite can crack and that’s something you definitely don’t want for a fairly expensive countertop. When granite isn’t treated with a sealant, it’s a porous material. That means it can harbour dirt and bacteria. That’s why professional countertop installers will use sealant on all kinds of natural stone – it eliminates the issue altogether.
You may think that quartz (when it comes to kitchen countertops) is a natural material but it actually isn’t. This is an engineered option resulting from quartz particles and other minerals being mixed with resin or other polymers.
When these materials come together, an exceptionally durable surface is brought into existence. In fact, quartz is completely non-porous and it has double the impact resistance of natural stone.
A few other great features that make quartz an excellent countertop choice include uniform slabs that are lacking in imperfections, no need to apply sealant to the surface, imperviousness to heat and acids from food, as well as a beautiful and very natural appearance. Quartz countertops are suitable for DIY installation. Also, because the material is engineered, you can order any shape and size that comes to mind.
The shortcomings aren’t that many but the ones you need to keep in mind include the cost of quartz (still a fairly expensive material) and its weight. Countertops crafted from this material tend to be pretty heavy – something to keep in mind when designing and executing this part of the kitchen.
Exceptionally beautiful and naturally versatile in appearance, marble is one of the classic choices for a kitchen countertop.
Marble looks luxurious and sophisticated. It can have colourful veins and beautiful patterns. Just like granite, each piece of marble is unique and it will add that VIP touch to a kitchen. Engineered marble is also available as an alternative to the natural stone and it gives you a bit more when it comes to cost-efficiency.
The biggest benefits of choosing marble include a material that’s fully heat-proof and waterproof, as well as longevity. With proper sealing and care, marble countertops will probably last longer than your home.
On the downside, marble is a natural stone and it is porous. Sealant will have to be applied to it for hygienic purposes. It’s also one of the “softer” natural stones, which makes it prone to scratching. Like granite, marble isn’t a good choice for a DIY installation and if it gets cracked or damaged, repairs will be very challenging.
If you’ve never heard of solid surface countertops before, you’ll be surprised to find out they’ve been around for over 50 years. This is one of the best materials for Singaporeans who are looking for options that look good and are fairly affordable.
Solid surface is an engineered material that’s crafted from acrylics or polymer resins. Hence, thousands of variations are available and you can have a custom-made solid surface countertop especially crafted for your kitchen.
While solid surface lacks a bit when it comes to the depth of natural stone, it’s still very convincing and authentic in appearance.
Some of its biggest benefits include a very high degree of durability, seamless joints, easy to care for and non-porous. Solid surface is also one of the few kitchen countertop materials that can be resurfaced with a basic tool like an orbital sander.
On the downside, solid surface can be scratched because it is softer than natural stone. Also, the material can get deformed if a lot of heat is applied to it – don’t leave a pan directly on the countertop.
Also called KompacTop, this engineered countertop material has been gaining a lot of popularity lately.
KompacPlus has been designed to look exactly like wood laminate. Unlike wood, however, it is non-porous and water-resistant – two important characteristics that make a good countertop material.
The material is made from layers of kraft paper and resin. The panels are compressed together using a lot of pressure and at a high temperature. As a result, a solid and seamless material is created. Because of the manufacturing process, KompacPlus is very long-lived and almost entirely maintenance-free.
Apart from being very cool to look at, KompacPlus is also stain-resistant. Because it is lightweight and easy to work with, KompacPlus can be installed over an existing kitchen countertop without prior removal.
Its disadvantages are just a few and the ones worth mentioning include limited designs, visible seams and potential discolouration with the passage of time.
Bonus Tip: Choosing the Right Brand
When looking for a kitchen countertop material, you’ll have to make another important choice. The right brand will give you access to quality, warranties and reliable customer surface. This is especially important when you’re seeking engineered materials and custom-crafted kitchen countertops.
Some of the best brands currently available on the Singaporean market include Caesarstone (a US-based quartz countertop company), Dekton (the company offers its own engineered kitchen countertop material that’s tremendously durable and excellently priced), Silestone (a good range of all kinds of mineral surfaces), Sensa (a maker of high quality granite and quartz countertops) and Vulcan (another reliable and well-known brand when it comes to granite countertops).
If you’re feeling a bit lost about choosing a material and a brand, we have you covered.
Interior design professionals have to make countertop choices on behalf of their clients all the time.
At Home Guide, we know which materials and which brands are the best match to both a lifestyle and a home renovation budget. Hence, we can come up with a personalised recommendation that’s bound to address every single goal you have in mind for your kitchen.
Contact Home Guide for a kitchen renovation. Not only will we help you select a great countertop , our home interior design team will also custom-pick every single element and then our home renovation team will execute it to perfection to give you a perfect space for meal preparation, hosting guests and spending quality family time together.