Countertops play a significant role in your kitchen’s style and overall design. They set the tone for your entire space and can add warmth, texture, and interest.
There are various ways to update your kitchen, from new countertops to DIYs. This article covers affordable and creative options that will make your kitchen look upscale without breaking the bank.
Stainless steel counters as kitchen countertops have a clean, sleek look perfect for contemporary kitchens. They also work well in more traditional styles and can be used with various colors and materials for an eclectic kitchen. Plus, they’re sanitary and stain-resistant.
Typically made of type 304 stainless steel, with a high chromium content and other metal alloys, these countertops resist corrosion and heat. They’re also easy to clean and can be installed over a wooden frame.
Stainless steel counters are usually custom-made, but DIYers can create their own with the help of a local sheet metal shop and some wood frames. Choose a thickness (gauge) that can handle heavy equipment and frequent use without denting for durability. Most gauges are suitable for residential kitchens, but 16- and 18-gauge steel is typically used for commercial spaces.
The right countertops can transform your kitchen from functional to elegant and beautiful. Marble is the classic choice, and its neutral hues are an excellent fit for any style space.
Marble is also incredibly durable, like granite countertops, which means it’ll outlast you (and your kids and their kids). It stays cool, making it easy for cooks to roll dough or work with delicate foods.
It’s porous, however, and liquids absorb quickly. Oil, juice, wine, and other spills seep deep into the stone and are hard, if not impossible, to get out. This is why working with a skilled fabricator and following their care recommendations is essential. They’ll be able to help you minimize the risk of staining by sealing regularly.
Copper or Bronze Metal
Copper and bronze metal countertops are a stylish, eye-catching kitchen renovation idea that can add an antique feel to your kitchen. They are often made from sheet copper that can be shaped to fit the counters and come in a range of finishes, including polished, brushed, and hammered.
Over time, copper countertop surfaces develop a natural patina in attractive green and reddish-brown hues. This is especially true when the copper is left untreated, but homeowners who want a more consistent color may choose to have the metal professionally patinated.
Copper is often used to make sinks, backsplashes, and light fixtures. Many homeowners like to use these metal elements to bring out the contrasting colors in their kitchens. This provides a more dynamic design that keeps the space from becoming monochromatic.
Laminate is an affordable and easy-to-install option. It’s made from sheets of brown kraft paper saturated with melamine resin, then topped with a decorative design layer and pressed under high heat and pressure.
Because it’s non-porous, laminate is stain-resistant. It’s also relatively easy to maintain, with no sealing required. You can use a commercial green cleaner or mix equal water and TSP to remove stubborn stains. For a more natural touch, try using nail polish remover or denatured alcohol on a clean rag.
Another option for updating your laminate countertops is to paint them. Look for products like Rust-Oleum’s Countertop Transformations at a home improvement store. Before painting, make sure the surface is clean and lightly sanded. Then, apply at least two coats of the product, taking care to reach all of the nooks and crannies.
Quartz countertops are the hottest material for kitchens right now. They offer a sleek look that can instantly transform any space. The best part about them is they are durable and stain-resistant. This makes them an excellent choice for busy families.
Unlike natural stone options, which have a unique radiance that sets them apart from each other, quartz counters have a consistent appearance. This allows you to pick a specific color and design, which isn’t possible with other materials.
You can also choose from various textures to customize the look of your countertop. A leather-like texture complements rustic or industrial designs, while a matte finish can warm contemporary spaces. You can even combine two countertop materials to achieve a more transitional style.