When it’s time to transform your kitchen with a high end kitchen reno, you naturally will be looking to get rid of the old countertops. But with the plethora of good looking countertops on the market today, what to choose? Just like kitchen cabinets, the look of a countertop can be deceiving; it can be difficult to tell what constitutes quality (translation: how is that shiny surface going to look in five years?).
When choosing top of line countertops for your luxury kitchen renovation, the first step is to assess your needs. Three things will immediately come into play:
- Usage: Are you or your staff heavy users of the kitchen? This question relates to cooking and meal prep. Will you be using the kitchen frequently for these purposes, or is the countertop mainly meant for aesthetic purposes, i.e., you dine out frequently and rarely actually put anything on the countertops?
- Aesthetics: Deciding on the right materials, styles and colours to match the overall design aesthetic of your kitchen.
- Maintenance: How long does your countertop have to last, under the conditions to which you will typically subject it? This is important because if you are just redoing your kitchen for resale, you don’t necessarily need to pick a top-of-the-line countertop – just one that looks that way, and requires minimal maintenance. The same may be true if you regularly perform a luxury kitchen remodel and plan to ditch the new countertop in relatively short order. Maintenance refers as well to how much you are willing to do to keep your countertop in excellent condition.
Once you have considered these factors, you are ready to shop for the luxurious kitchen countertop of your dreams.
Popular Materials for Luxury Kitchen Countertops
Kitchen countertops are interesting in that quality and luxury don’t necessarily have the same relationship to price as other products. For example, stainless steel countertops can be luxurious and perhaps the longest-lived of all luxury countertop materials, but the cost does not reflect that. Here are some of the top of line kitchen countertops that are trending now:
- Marble Kitchen Countertops: This is an old standby. Carrera marble is beautiful, but very common, so if you are going to go with marble, try to look out for more colourful, dramatic types to really enhance your kitchen. While marble is an elegant and sophisticated choice for countertops, remember that although it is heat- and crack-resistant, it is also very porous. That means it needs to be sealed to prevent stains, molds and bacteria. Even with stained marble, you will want to cook and entertain with care to maintain the flawless appearance of the stone.
- Butcher’s Block |Wood Kitchen Countertops: Hardwood countertops lend a rustic, warm, casual look to the kitchen. Be sure to look for wood that has been kiln dried to prevent warping or splitting. You can mix and match woods to create an incredibly unique look. Wood countertops must be regularly oiled and sanded to remove scratches – but this is definitely one surface that cannot take hot pots.
- Stainless Steel Kitchen Countertops: Used in restaurant kitchens for the fact that it’s non-porous (extremely hygienic) and virtually indestructible, being totally impervious to stains and heat, stainless steel also provides a very modern, contemporary look that blends seamlessly with sinks and stainless steel appliances.
- Granite Kitchen Countertops: While not a luxury material per-se, it certainly looks like one! Granite countertops are the gold standard for natural stone countertops among builders, who love them for the incredibly varied colours, elegant veining, and natural patterning, as well as durability. While granite is an extremely hard surface that is naturally resistant to heat, stains, mold and scratches, it should still be sealed.
Do any of these luxury kitchen countertops stand out for you? Send us a picture of the material you may be considering for free, expert advice!