Kitchen countertops are surfaces placed above a kitchen worktop where preparation is done. It may support items such as food preparation equipment, or be used as a surface for preparing and cooking food. If suitable for use as a hotplate it will also include a cooktop on which the food can be heated by an electrical appliance such as a hob, grill or oven.
The designation of “counter” simply means that the object is counted as one unit in a group or series. In general, they are built from more durable materials than those designed for indoor furniture since they suffer harsher conditions: grease, heat, moisture, spilled liquids and rough treatment from cleaning staff. There are kitchen countertop materials of different sorts. They can be made of steel, plastic, ceramic, quartz or granite. The most common type is of course the one made of wood; it’s commonly called “kitchen work surface” (work top in UK). It comes in different varieties like butcher block set and solid wood set. They are affordable but they’re easily damaged by water and heat.
These surfaces get scratched with repeated use which requires more money to get them refurbished or replaced. A similar problem arises with marble or natural stone surfaces since these stains cannot be removed without altering their appearance permanently. Marble needs to be sealed regularly while some forms of stone need to be polished regularly so the surface doesn’t warp or crack overtime.
This is not the case with glass; it offers a smooth environment-friendly surface that doesn’t stain easily. However, it’s common to find smudges and fingerprints on them. These surfaces are also very vulnerable to heat and repeated use can cause its surface to crack and chip. Polyester resins like Formica can be used as an alternative; they offer similar properties without the risk of damage by heat or stains. Resin countertops are relatively easy to clean and don’t require much maintenance at all although scratches cannot be removed as well as those seen on other materials such as wood or stone, so repair work may be necessary in this case.
The newest material used for the kitchen countertop is called Corian. It has a lot of fans since it doesn’t require much maintenance and resists a lot of damage. It’s easy to clean and very durable. It comes in a wide range of colors which means you can get one that matches the color of your kitchen appliances or walls. Yet, it is very expensive so if you have a middle class income, this may not be an option for you.
Kitchen countertops are made from different materials all meant for different purposes, but they work great as long as they’re taken cared of properly whether by refraining from placing heavy objects on them or through regular cleaning and polishing procedures. You don’t want to find yourself replacing these surfaces after just a year because they were poorly designed for the kind of efficiency needed in a kitchen.
When it comes to material, durability determines product quality. An average solid wood set will only serve you for about three years; laminate tops can live up to ten years under normal usage. Corian or quartz countertops will offer great service between 15 and 20 years while granite tops can stay with you for life if properly maintained and polished regularly.
And in terms of function…Kitchen countertops are one of the components in your kitchen that have to satisfy several needs. They must be easy to clean, durable and resist heat when necessary. Granite or marble tops are more resistant to heat but they’re also easier to scratch. Corian is also easily scratched by sharp objects like knives so it’s better for you not to cut food directly on this surface.
For these reasons, solid wood tops are the best solution since they offer high durability and resistance to liquids. On top of that, there’s no need for special cleaning agents; all you need is a bit of soap and water in order to get rid of grease spots or spilt food residues. It’s very economical especially if you consider how long it lasts which is up to 20 years. In this case, cheap doesn’t mean bad quality as you may have thought before. And as for aesthetics…Solid wood can be sanded and refinished which means its appearance can be restored if it becomes ossified over time. Laminate tops are not susceptible to scratches or fading so they will always look like new at a very affordable price. Besides performance, you should opt for high quality wooden countertops since they offer the best value for your money. All you need to do is maintain them properly and refinish them when needed.
Kitchen countertops are not eternal; its lifespan depends on usage, the materials it’s made of and how well you take care of it. So don’t push them to their limits if you want them to live long years with you.