What to look for when buyingkitchen countertops? What to choose: natural stone or solid wood, stainless steel or laminated chipboard? We will help to facilitate the choice and tell you about the basic materials with all the pros and cons. As you know, when buying a kitchen the most important and responsible moment is the choice of the material for the countertop. After all, it is on this work surface that all the tests and loads of the cooking process drop out. Therefore, before dwelling on a specific option, it is worth exploring all the advantages and disadvantages of each material from which modern countertops are made. We will help you with just this. 1. Laminated chipboard (postforming) This material is one of the most popular and common today. The popularity of such countertops is determined by the most affordable price, from 1,200 rubles per 1 running meter, and an attractive appearance with many shades and textures. Among them, you can choose glossy, mirror, matte or rough surfaces. But do not expect that the top of the laminated chipboard will serve you very long, especially with careless handling and poor care. Pros:
- affordable price,
- a large selection of colors and textures,
- attractive appearance,
- resistance to moderate chemical attack,
- The protected surface does not lend itself to moisture,
- average impact resistance,
- quickly dries.
- complex installation,
- places of chips and poor-quality assembly, as well as unprotected joints under the influence of moisture swell and deform the surface,
- weakness to high temperatures,
2. Artificial stone This composite material excellently proved itself in the modern market. Artificial stone, as a rule, costs an order of magnitude lower than natural stone. However, in terms of its external characteristics, it is not inferior to the latter, but rather, it is superior, due to the huge number of color options and textures. If we talk about shortcomings, then they are almost the same as for a natural stone, because it is, in fact, a copy of it. The only difference is that the artificial stone is not so durable. The greatest demand now use such artificial materials as acrylic stone and agglomerate. The difference in price is quite noticeable - if the meter of acrylic stone tabletop can be found at a price of 10,000 rubles, then it will cost twice as much from a quartz agglomerate. Skillfully coping with all the kitchen challenges, the top of the artificial stone, perhaps, has one major drawback - a high price. Pros:
- impact resistance,
- moisture resistance,
- ability to withstand high temperatures,
- warm and pleasant surface,
- light weight compared to natural stone,
- absence of seams,
- external beauty, a variety of color options and exclusivity,
- simplicity in the care and repair,
- has no pores, therefore it does not absorb all kinds of odors, liquids and bacteria.
- has a high cost (although in comparison with natural stone its price is several times less),
- reacts to strong chemical solutions,
- is prone to scratches during hard handling.
Stepan Bugaev, interior designer -Artificial material is one of the most beloved of designers, since it is plastic, and it allows you to make any curved shape. This stone has a large selection of colors that mimic the natural material, plus it has its own decorative palette. Such types of artificial stone are used in trendy and modern interiors. In interiors, where the texture contradicts the concept: pure white, pure red, without interspersing. Of course, such material is inferior to natural stone wear, but it is much cheaper. I advise you to pay attention to Corian, Staron, Hi-Macs. 3. Natural wood The kitchen top from a wooden file must be made exclusively from hard rocks, and its manufacture must be of high quality. Lovers of eco-style who appreciate the natural beauty and naturalness will certainly choose this material, but from the point of view of practicality the tree is the most vulnerable and gentle option for the countertop. But the price per running meter of this working surface starts from 3,000 rubles and may be too high for those who want to choose exclusive tree species. Pros:
- natural beauty and uniqueness of the drawing,
- moderate wear resistance,
- impact resistance,
- is amenable to restoration,
- warm to the touch.
- special gentle care,
- complex professional installation,
- vulnerability to increased moisture and temperature,
- quickly becomes soiled, so it is necessary to cover the surface with special protective equipment,
- lacquered wood may darken over time.
4. Natural stone Probably, this is the most prestigious version of the material for the countertop. Having an excellent view, the working surface of granite or marble will become a respectable decoration of any kitchen. But not everyone can afford this luxury, because the price of one running meter of a tabletop made of natural stone starts from 4,000 rubles for domestic granite and reaches 20,000 rubles for Italian marble. Pros:
- luxurious appearance, great choice,
- resistance to temperature and mechanical stress,
- is amenable to grinding,
- high price,
- sensitivity to cleaning and detergents,
- the need for special care,
- complex installation,
- great weight.
Stepan Bugaev, interior designer - Excellentoption for kitchen countertops - natural stone, for example, quartz. On technical properties this material is wear-resistant, has unsurpassed strength and durability. Worktops made of quartz repel liquids without retaining odors. They prevent the development of germs, fungi, mold. The natural coating of quartz countertops is resistant to the effects of cleaning and detergents. The aesthetic properties of the palette of natural stone looks noble and beautiful. Especially now the methods of processing allow you to make interesting design techniques in the interior. For example, from simulating untreated stone to polished surfaces with milling. Quartz can be used in any style interior, because it has different ways of processing. 5. Glass Quite an ambiguous material for the kitchen countertop. On the one hand, the development of technology has made it possible to create strong, hot glass that is very durable and environmentally friendly. On the other hand, it is still glass, and it is fragile by nature, besides it does not cope well with abrasive substances, and it does not cost too much. A meter of glass countertop will have to pay at least 2,500 rubles. Pros:
- aesthetic properties, visually makes the space bigger and freer,
- thermal and wear resistance,
- easy to clean.
- brittle material,
- can make unpleasant sounds on contact,
- high price,
- marking the surface, the need for frequent washing.
6. Stainless steel Sturdy and stylish steel worktops are most often used in high-tech style, but can be used in other directions. Not having a rich choice of colors and shapes, they can be corrugated, glossy or matte. The latter, by the way, are perfectly amenable to grinding, which allows you to quickly bring them to an ideal state. The price of one running meter of metal surface is at least 2,500 rubles. Pros:
- resistance to temperature, moisture and mechanical damage,
- simple installation,
- stylish modern look,
- hygiene, resistance to strong chemical agents.
- marking the surface, you can see prints, stains and irregularities,
- complexity with the production of figured forms.
Stepan Bugaev, interior designer - When choosingmaterial for the kitchen countertop, pay attention to the technical properties. And most importantly, do not forget about the design and color scheme of the entire interior of the kitchen, so that the overall picture is harmonious. pinterest.com, Nicholas Moriarty Interiors, Alex Amend, Rikki Snyder, Bruce Damonte, Noah Webb, modwalls.com