Kitchen Renovation ideas - review of benchtop materials

March 21, 2014

In our final segment of our series of reviews of the various benchtop materials, we finish the week by reviewing another 4 materials for you to consider. This week we have reviewed 11 different types of materials you can use in your kitchen renovation. We hope they gave you some guidance and made a clear path for you.

  Kitchen renovation ideas Stainless Steel Once found mostly in commercial kitchens, stainless steel has slipped into vogue within the past two decades. These countertops are custom made to fit your kitchen, so you're guaranteed a tailored look. Pros: There's a reason stainless steel is used in restaurants and other high-traffic kitchens: It's nearly indestructible, and it resists heat and bacteria.It also provides a very distinctive look that feels appropriate in contemporary and industrial-style kitchens. Cons: Fingerprints show and must be wiped off frequently, and stainless steel can also dent. It can be loud as pots, pans and dishware clang against the surface. Chemicals can affect its color and cause unwanted etching. Stainless steel is extremely expensive due to the custom fabrication. Concrete Think concrete is just for floors? Think again. Slightly edgier than other materials, concrete countertops have an industrial chic that fits right into a loft or adds interest to an otherwise traditional space. Pros: Concrete is extremely versatile: It can be cast in any shape and custom tinted any shade you wish. You easily can add unique inlays, such as glass fragments, rocks and shells. Concrete stands up well to heavy use, although it isn't as heat resistant as some other surfaces. Cons: Because it's porous, concrete will stain without frequent sealing. With time and settling, small cracks can develop. Concrete is extremely heavy and will need strong support beneath. Like stainless steel, its custom creation ups the price tag. Butcher Block Butcher block has a classic appeal and always looks fresh. It's especially fitting for traditional, country and cottage-style kitchens. Pros: Many homeowners like butcher block's warm, natural appearance and variegated wood tones. Although knives scratch it, many people like the shopworn look it develops — after all, it's what chopping blocks have been made of for years. But you can also sand scratches down with ease. Cons: Wood swells and contracts with moisture exposure, and butcher block is no exception. It harbors bacteria and needs frequent disinfecting. Oiling is a must to fill in scratches and protect the surface. Paper Composite Paper countertops? You read it right. Created from paper fibers mixed with resin, this surface is ecofriendly and a whole lot more durable than it sounds. Pros: Paper composite evokes the look of solid surfacing or laminate but with a warmer sensibility. It's surprisingly hardy and can withstand heat and water admirably. It's also a great deal lighter than natural stone or concrete. Cons: The material isn't scratchproof and is susceptible to chemical damage. It needs an occasional rubdown with mineral oil, and even sanding, to refresh it. Although it sounds as though it would be a lower-budget option, it isn't (unless you install it yourself). I look forward to any comments or feedback you have on the various materiasl you have used. Good luck with your renovation. Have a great week. talk soon...


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