All-white kitchens with counter tops constituted of slabs of granite have been the dominant type of residence kitchens for a number of years. It’s a clear and glossy look, however perhaps it’s time to attempt one thing just a little completely different.
Earlier this yr, the Pasadena Showcase Home of Design introduced a kitchen with a chic different — deeply darkish, hand-planed walnut and creamy gray porcelain for the counters and the island high.
Becky Zoni-McMakin of RZ Designs San Diego instructed us she’s seen a return of wooden to kitchens, together with the renewal and reuse of older wooden cupboards. However how sensible is a wooden countertop?
“If you’ll use wooden for counters, it needs to be walnut,” she says. “There are claims that it’s straightforward on knives, and self-healing, so that you don’t see the cuts. If it begins trying worn, you are able to do a light-weight sanding and re-oil it.
“However wooden absorbs moisture and might swell, so I wouldn’t suggest placing it subsequent to a water supply. Each sort of countertop wants cleansing and upkeep, however wooden and water don’t typically combine, so which means extra upkeep. If you find yourself completed cleansing the wooden countertop, make certain it’s fully dry.”
Q: Might we discuss concerning the professionals and cons of the most well-liked varieties of counter tops? I’d prefer to separate the model names from the precise materials. Let’s begin with the costliest: marble?
A: You see lots of Carrara white marble counters in high-end showrooms. Marble is a pure stone, and fairly stunning, however it might probably soak up stains and have floor harm from wine, vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice and different acidic meals.
Marble is ok for lavatory counters if chemical substances like acetone are stored away. And marble is nice for flooring.
Q: And the ever-popular granite?
A: Granite is a pure stone and nonetheless a superb product that’s in excessive demand. Granite also can stain and scratch, and since it’s porous, could be discolored. It could additionally present warmth marks. A sealer may help shield it and maintain it trying good.
Q: It’s described as pure; does that imply it’s environmentally appropriate?
A: Whereas it’s a pure stone, granite is mined, milled and machine-polished in Italy and Portugal, after which shipped as slabs to the U.S. All of the gas utilized in transport just isn’t precisely earth-friendly.
Q: Really classic kitchens nonetheless have counters lined in small tiles and lots of grout to maintain clear. Are these nonetheless put in?
A: Sure, they’re, though the tiles are a lot bigger than the outdated clay tiles, so that you see much less grout.
The porcelain in counter tops is tile. Porcelain tile is available in sheets, 4 toes by 8 toes, the identical measurement of stone slabs. It’s thinner than granite or quartz and is exceptionally gentle, so that you don’t want a subsurface to help its weight.
The set up is extraordinarily vital; I might fear that it may break earlier than it’s put in. It holds as much as acids, chilly and warmth. You possibly can minimize immediately on it, and it gained’t boring the knife. It could include veining to resemble marble.
One other fashionable countertop materials is chrome steel, particularly in industrial kitchens. Stainless-steel home equipment and counters go collectively and look good. Stainless-steel is straightforward to wash. However it might probably scratch, too.
Q: And people water spots! Quartz has been talked about these days as the most well-liked sort of countertop. Does it deserve the acclaim?
A: It does. Quartz is a man-made product, named for the primary mineral utilized in it, which is the toughest and most ample materials on Earth. Quartz and different minerals are combined with resin to provide a stable slab that’s sustainable and recyclable. It seems to be like pure stone.
The quartz slabs are about the identical thickness as granite however are a lot lighter they usually are available in each shade you possibly can consider. It may be made with giant patterns that by no means seem like flaws, in contrast to pure stone. It’s water and warmth resistant.
Quartz has a shimmering high quality. When there’s a selection between granite and quartz, purchasers often select quartz. I inform individuals who need the perfect, true white countertop that they need to have a look at quartz.
Q: Is Corian a quartz product?
A: Corian was the primary model title for engineered-stone, solid-surface counter tops, again within the ’70s and ’80s. It was made with quartz minerals and resins and at first solely got here in white, cream and grey. It has gotten higher over time and is available in many extra colours. They nonetheless make nice sinks out of Corian to go along with the counter tops.
Catherine Gaugh is a contract author.
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