Your countertops are the focal point of the entire kitchen, so you shouldn’t settle for something you don’t really like.
But there’s a lot to consider when you’re choosing the right custom countertops for your kitchen. Sometimes, the most expensive countertops aren’t the best.
Before you go shopping, you need to ask yourself these five questions.
What Is Your Price Range?
You can only buy a custom countertop you can afford, and some countertops get pretty pricey.
If you don’t have a large budget, countertops made of stainless steel, concrete, or paper composite are probably out of the question. Even options like granite and marble can be expensive, depending on the size of your kitchen.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to get around the money problem if you don’t have your heart set on using real materials. There are a lot of new laminates that look just like the “real deal” granite counters.
So you don’t have to be stuck with an ugly counter even if you don’t have a lot of money. Things like tile and even some solid surface countertops are also other good cost-effective options.
Don’t get discouraged if you think your dream countertop might be out of reach. Do some shopping around before you make your final decision. More expensive countertops could still make the short list if your kitchen is small enough.
What Are Your Countertop Goals?
This may sound like an odd question, but it’s own you definitely need to ask yourself before doing any serious countertop hunting.
Why are you replacing your countertops?
Maybe your current countertops have seen better days, and you’re just ready for an upgrade. Maybe your house is still full of young children. You need something functional, but you also need something you can replace in the future when the children get older and less likely to spill and stain the counter.
If you’re fixing up your house to put it back on the market, your only goal won’t be getting something that looks nice. The countertop will need to raise the value of the house.
Make sure you have clear goals in mind so you know what to look for. If you think your custom countertops will be taking a lot of wear and tear, you may not want to invest in something expensive. But if you’re ready to throw some amazing dinner parties, you don’t want your guests walking into your linoleum countertop kitchen.
What Is Your Maintenance Budget?
Some custom countertops come with strict maintenance regimens. Will you have the budget (and the patience) in the future to repair, reseal, or sand an expensive countertop?
For example, granite countertops, one of the most popular countertops out there, has to be resealed at least once a year. But if you do a lot of cooking, you may need to get it done several times a year.
Marble and concrete counters stain easily and may, therefore, need to be sealed more often than granite counters. Soapstone counters need to be polished with oil to keep it from cracking over time. Stainless steel leaves noticeable fingerprints and can dent easily if you’re not careful.
Even a wooden butcher block counter has to be rubbed down with oil to keep it from absorbing water and swelling.
If you aren’t willing to put some effort into your countertops to keep them in good shape, you’ll probably want to stick with something that needs less work. Countertops made from laminate, tile, or quartz don’t need a lot of attention.
All That Said…
Maintaining your countertops isn’t hard work. You can reseal granite counters yourself, and it usually doesn’t take more than a day or two. A bit of upkeeping shouldn’t turn you away from these types of counters.
In most cases, you do a bit of maintenance once or twice a year and then don’t have to think about it.
Granite countertops, and other similar countertops, need a bit more protection from knives and hot pans than other counters because they are made from natural stone.
They are still incredibly durable, and their beauty makes the maintenance completely worth it.
What Do You Spend the Most Time Cooking in Your Kitchen?
Believe it or not, certain counters will make a difference in your cooking process. Because marble is naturally cool, it is a great choice if you do a lot of baking.
If you need a lot of counter space for hot pans, you’ll want something like granite, tile, stainless steel, paper composite, or anything else that has a strong resistance to heat. Solid surface counters can’t handle hot pans the same way.
Soapstone counters are rough and may scratch nice glassware. So if you don’t want your nice china getting damaged, you may want to choose something else.
Again, if you have children who may unintentionally stain, scratch, or burn your counter, you’ll probably want to stick with something inexpensive that you can replace in a few years when the kids are older.
What Is the Best Countertop Choice?
It all depends on the size of your kitchen, what you use it for, and who will be cooking in the kitchen. Generally, granite countertops and quartz countertops are probably your top two choices.
Every piece of granite counter is completely unique because they’re made from the natural colors and patterns found in nature. It can handle spills and withstand knives and heat. It doesn’t stain very easily if you take proper care of it.
Quartz can stand up to those things as well. The only difference is you can tell quartz is an engineered product. But that also means you can find quartz countertops in a wider range of colors and patterns.
Get Your Customer Countertops
Once you know what you want out of your counter, the right material isn’t too hard to find. They can transform your kitchen into a beautiful room while still keeping it functional and practical.
Ready to buy your custom countertops? Take a look at some of our countertop options.