Everyone knows the heart of a home is the kitchen. it’s where the day begins, peeking at the morning paper, enjoying breakfast, and finally, rushing kids out the door. In the evening, it comes alive with conversation, cooking and that cup of decaf that calms your nerves. But throughout the hustle-bustle of the day, the appearance of the kitchen is what feeds your mood and ultimately helps to maintain your sanity. While flooring choices, cabinetry and colors are all important, countertops are the backbone of kitchen design.
When choosing your countertops, like every other decision in homebuilding, you must first carefully consider your biggest needs. Quite frequently people forget functionality and weigh only what is pleasing to the eye. Thankfully, with most countertop products on the market today, what’s aesthetically pleasing is also available in a variety of materials.
Are you an avid chef who thinks no mess is too big when it comes to cooking? Do you have several pots brewing on the stove and flattened dough covering the counter? Or are you the type that needs a surface to elegantly blend with wine glasses and show-off-gorgeous serving trays when entertaining? Your needs are the most essential factors, with cost and maintenance close behind, when choosing materials for your countertop.
Countertops now come in almost any material you can imagine. Popular standards include laminates, ceramic tiles and stone, while newer materials include wooden butcher block and stainless steel, once seen only in commercial/restaurant kitchens.
Rising in popularity because of its low maintenance and lasting beauty is the quartz countertop. As the most natural mineral next to water, quartz is nonporous, stain- and heat-resistant and easy to clean. It is well suited for both serious cooks who utilize loads of counter space and those who just prefer a clean, solid-surface look.
Leading manufacturer Cambria takes quartz to the extreme by featuring various edge profiles and color collections that capture the natural look of limestone, but with the strength and beauty of quartz. Certified by the NSF (National Sanitation Foundation International), Cambria’s countertops are non-absorbent and reduce potential for bacterial growth, so there’s no safer surface for food preparation. Unlike granite or marble, quartz requires little maintenance, is two-times stronger, and year after year, gives the classic beauty of precious stone. Cambria is the only United States manufacturer of quartz.
For an ultra-modern look in the kitchen, consider using stainless steel for countertops, which is impervious to stains and high temperatures, as well as durable and resistant to gouging and denting. This polished look is frequently finding its way into kitchens alongside popular stainless-steel appliances.
CJ Design Kitchen Countertops is a popular retailer for manufacturing commercial stainless steel and zinc countertops and now makes them available to the residential market. These countertops emit a quality look that not only makes a statement in the kitchen, but also sets a standard for the rest of the home. Working with customers who want to design all of their own features, CJ Design Kitchen Countertops work to build sinks and back splashes that stylishly flow with the overall look of the kitchen.
The most common choice for countertops is laminate. Versatile and low-maintenance, laminate is available in a wide spectrum of color choices and finishes. Wilsonart® laminate offers hundreds of choices at an affordable price, and their newest collection, which evokes emotion through a stunning combination of natural materials, colors and various man-made elements, is inspired by nature. Laminates are extremely low-maintenance, and clean up is a cinch!
Don’t be afraid to install more than one type of surface throughout the kitchen. To preserve laminate, put the countertop in an area of the kitchen that won’t get much use from harsh knives or hot plates. A sturdy butcher-block center island is an ideal material for intense food prep, while a stainless steel counter flows naturally next to the kitchen sink. When properly designed, multi-product surfaces can blend to become an impressive look for the kitchen.
However you wish for your new kitchen to look and function, chances are there is a countertop surface designed with you in mind. Available in various stones, metals and synthetic materials, countertops define the overall look of the kitchen and bring about a sense of cohesion to the busiest room of your home.