How to choose the right countertop for the kitchen

How to choose the right countertop for the kitchen

How to choose the right countertop for the kitchen

Choosing a countertop for the kitchen is not difficult if you follow a few recommendations and take into account the design of the space around. It is important to determine not only the appearance, but also the material of manufacture. The article discusses the most popular and common solutions, as well as the criteria that must be taken into account when evaluating the option you like.

How to choose the best quality kitchen worktop

First of all, decide on the budget that you are willing to spend, since the price varies greatly depending on the material of manufacture, quality, thickness and other factors. Before choosing the best countertop for the kitchen, check out the requirements that it must meet:

  • Coating resistance to high temperatures, as well as to the ingress of hot drops of oil and water. Hot pans, pots and baking sheets are often placed on the table. Almost all modern countertops withstand such impacts without any problems and do not require the use of additional supports, which is very convenient.
  • Good moisture resistance. The material must be completely moisture resistant or have a coating that will protect the base from water and prevent its damage during changes in humidity and temperature. In addition, the surface is constantly wiped with a damp sponge. If she is afraid of water, she will quickly begin to deteriorate.
  • Ease of maintenance. Smooth finishes work best, as dirt and moisture can be easily removed from them. Contaminants are not absorbed into the surface, so it retains its perfect appearance for a long time.
  • Resistant to scratches and mechanical stress. High loads are placed on the coating, heavy dishes are placed, knives and other objects are dropped. Therefore, it must have high strength.
  • Resistant to detergents and other aggressive agents. Very often, compositions with chemical components are used for surface treatment. High-quality countertops for the kitchen can be easily cleaned with similar products.

Advice!

It is best to use a solid worktop on the entire work surface. The fewer joints, the fewer places where dirt and moisture accumulate.

It is worth noting that the same material may have different characteristics depending on the quality of workmanship. Therefore, it is worth choosing products from well-known manufacturers that have proven themselves among buyers. You can read reviews on specialized resources on the Internet.

Can a chipboard countertop be good?

You can meet two opposite opinions: some people consider chipboard a great option, others say that it is not suitable for the kitchen. In fact, this is the most popular and widespread solution today. In most kitchen sets, wood chipboard is used. But in order for it to serve for a long time and not change its characteristics over time, several conditions must be met:

  • Plate emission class E0-E1. This indicator reflects the content of formaldehyde in the material – the most dangerous component for human health. The best solution is class E0, but E1 also contains harmful substances in very low quantities. But options marked E2 or more should not be purchased in any case.
  • The work surface type must be High Pressure Laminate (HPL). This is the most reliable and wear-resistant coating with a thickness of 1 mm, which perfectly withstands hot dishes and almost does not scratch over time. Options marked CPL are noticeably cheaper, but the surface resists wear much worse and loses its attractiveness after six months or a year of intensive use.
  • The moisture resistance class of the board must be P5. This means that you have an option that will not swell even if water gets under the outer protective coating. You can also distinguish moisture-resistant chipboard from ordinary chipboard by the color of the cut: it must be green, as it is impregnated with a special compound.
  • Choose options with a thickness of 30-40 mm, they are highly reliable and serve much more than 5 years (this is the service life of this solution). It is also worth paying attention to the quality of the processing of the ends and the bottom: all open areas must be protected, since moisture can only damage the countertop from the inside, and the coating reliably protects it from the outside.

Important!

Chipboard products can imitate any texture and have a different color, which significantly expands the design possibilities.

Most often, chipboard products are in stock or made to order in a short time, which is convenient. At the same time, you can order cutting to any size and configuration, which is also important if you need a product of complex shape. And it is not difficult to install the structure on your own, which will allow you to save even more money.

Which artificial stone countertop to choose

This option is much cheaper than natural stone, but at the same time it is practically not inferior to it in terms of reliability and durability, and even surpasses it in a variety of options. The production technology allows you to imitate a natural or artificial structure, so you can find a suitable solution for any interior. Currently, manufacturers offer several varieties of artificial stone. To choose the right solution, you need to understand the advantages and disadvantages:

  • Acrylic stone appeared in the 60s of the last century, so the technology has been worked out to the smallest detail. It is made from a mineral filler and acrylic resins, the finished mass is poured into a mold, which makes it possible to obtain products of even very large sizes. The surface has a high resistance to stress and shock, while it is pleasant to the touch and not cold, as it warms up to the temperature in the room. Acrylic elements are easy to clean, scratches appear on them over time, but the problem can be easily eliminated by grinding. The main disadvantage is that hot pots and pans cannot be placed on the surface, this will leave a stain on it.
  • Quartz agglomerate is even more similar to natural stone, since it contains more than 90% mineral filler (quartz, granite or marble chips) and less than 10% polyester resin. In terms of strength and resistance to stress, it surpasses natural materials, is resistant to mold and is not afraid of hot dishes, it can be placed on the surface without any restrictions. You can even wash with abrasive particles. Of the minuses, it is worth highlighting that the length of one element cannot exceed 3 meters, and the surface of the countertop is cold.
  • Polyester stone in production technology resembles acrylic. But it uses polyester resin instead of acrylic, which can significantly reduce the cost of production. In terms of strength, wear resistance and service life, this option is not inferior to most analogues, but after installation in the room, a specific smell is noted for a rather long time. Due to the peculiarities of the technology, it is impossible to manufacture countertops of non-standard shapes, they are always rectangular.
  • Cast marble in appearance practically does not differ from natural, but in terms of strength, moisture resistance and resistance to shock loads it significantly exceeds it. It consists of 80% marble chips, polyester resins are used as a link, and the desired shade is given by pigments. This option is great for kitchens and other areas with high humidity, it is easy to care for.

When choosing, remember that acrylic countertops are made on a frame, which can be made of wood, chipboard or MDF. The first option is the most preferable, as it is less afraid of moisture and provides greater strength. Other types do not have a frame, which positively affects their strength, since there are no elements in the design that are afraid of moisture.

Advice!

The thicker the layer of acrylic on the countertop, the more times you can sand it when scratches appear.

How to choose the right color for countertops and apron

In order for the work surface to be not only practical and durable, but also organically fit into the interior of the kitchen, you need to choose the right color. It does not require deep knowledge in the field of design and fine artistic taste, it is enough to use a few simple recommendations:

  • Do not choose products with a pattern, a distinct ornament or an exotic texture. It is difficult, and sometimes impossible, to select the rest of the furnishings for such a countertop, especially if the repair budget is limited.
  • For small rooms, light colors are better suited, as they visually expand the space. In addition, scratches and dust are much more visible on dark surfaces, so it is more difficult to care for them.
  • When wood texture is used, it should be combined with either the floor or the furniture of the dining group. A combination with kitchen facades is allowed, but it is better to make only part of the doors under the tree, it looks much better.
  • If a two-tone stone texture with contrasting hues (such as black and white) is used, it should be combined with other elements in the setting. An option is allowed when the countertop is an accent, but even in this case it needs to be “supported” with decor or other details.
  • Monochromatic options require special attention, since dirt is especially visible on such surfaces. For example, a worktop for a white kitchen can be in the color of the facades or have a bright shade to match the backsplash, furniture upholstery or other interior elements.

The design of the apron is also very important, since the appearance of the countertop largely depends on this element. With proper selection, the kitchen will look stylish and modern, and mistakes will lead to the fact that the perception of the situation will not be the best, even if all the details are individually attractive. You need to remember the following:

  • Make an apron from the same material as the countertop. An interesting solution that can not always be implemented, but if possible, it is better to make this zone contrast with the rest of the elements.
  • Pick a finish for the wall in the same shade as the countertop. This applies to cases where ceramic tiles are used or skinals are hung. It is important not to make a mistake with the combination.
  • You can combine the apron with the facades of the kitchen. In this case, play on the contrast of textures: for example, glossy doors and matte brick, or vice versa – matte furniture and shiny tiles.
  • A good option is a bright performance of an apron to attract attention. In this case, you can use tiles with a multi-colored pattern or ornament, skins with paintings or photographs. You can create an additional accent due to the unusual shape of the tile.

Advice!

To highlight the apron even better and provide good illumination of the work area, you can build a backlight into the bottom of the cabinets.

When choosing a countertop, you first need to decide on the material of manufacture, since the budget directly depends on this. It is equally important to choose a good design, for this it is worth considering this aspect in advance, not forgetting about the kitchen apron.

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