Kitchen decoration project: How to choose your countertop
As a central element of your kitchen, countertop is essential for a decoration project. Established by the experts of the University of Illinois since 1944, the set of 31 design rules for countertops specify a maximum total length of 4 m and a width of 0.65 m for countertops, with backsplash of minimum 0.38 m. Of course, sizes and materials have changed in time, as a result of new trends in technology and fashion. These days, countertops are made from natural stone, composite materials, particle board or solid wood, being laminated and refurbished by cladding with stone tiles or existing ceramic countertops.
Here are some criteria we recommend for choosing your material.
This parameter is very important for a worktop since its operation can affect the surface. Natural stone has the best durability, with a projected life span of 30 years for natural stone countertop, all other materials having a lower life span (15 years for composite materials and chemically treated wood and 10 years for particle boards). The transformation of damaged or aging countertops by cladding surfaces with natural stone tiles increases their lifespan significantly.
2. Material features
Depending on the basic features of the material, you can establish some essential parameters for your countertop, such as: durability against abrasion and scratching, porosity, durability against high temperatures or staining. Wooden or particle board countertops have low resistance to temperature, abrasion, scratches and corrosive agents. The composite material countertops are medium resistant to abrasion, scratches and corrosive agents and less resistant to repeated thermal shocks and can melt in high temperatures. The natural stone countertops are durable against any kind of mechanical aggression, temperature and abrasion and withstand most of the corrosive food agents.
3. Aftercare and maintenance expenses
Daily maintenance for countertop is necessary, regardless of the type of surface. The stone countertops are easily maintained with minimal expenses if treated with protection solutions after installation. Such a requirement is also valid for old countertops cladded with stone tiles. By using natural stone protection solutions, their surface is protected against water stains, oil and foods. The granite and slate countertops are easy to maintain. The countertops from composite materials and wood have specific expenses for aftercare, based on product and treatment applied by manufacturer.
The color is an essential element of aesthetics, besides the finish. The natural stone is unique, the shades in each surface can not be found with the same layout anywhere else and the tiles are also different. The types of finishes (polished and honed) will convey a unique look for your countertop, unavailable for any other surface. Granite and slate are the most durable materials but marble and travertine serve better the design requirements. Countertops from composite materials and wood have the same color and minimum color variation.
The above comparison establish natural stone countertops as best suited for kitchen, according to impartial criteria. The higher price of these countertops is justified, considering its features and superior life span.
PIATRAONLINE promotes natural stone by countertops of granite, marble, travertine and limestone for the kitchen, but also by cladding obsolete countertops with natural stone tiles.
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