They say the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where friends naturally gravitate to during parties and celebrations. It’s where family gathers to share stories around food. Our eyes (and stomachs) are naturally drawn to the kitchen – and it’s easy for our countertops to become a prime focus.
Kitchen counters take a beating. They handle everything from chopping and cooking, hot pots and pans, and accidental spills. You need a countertop that’s not only durable but represents your style in the most complimentary way. If you’re looking to update your countertop, we have some tips and advice on trends to help you pick the most suitable countertop for your lifestyle.
Quartz continues to remain the strong front runner in the choice for kitchen countertops due to its strength, durability,
low-maintenance, and wide range of veins and colours. It’s also
non-porous and doesn’t need regular resealing, making it resistant to stains.
“We do see people choose granite, but the maintenance is a lot higher,” agrees Shannon Rosa
of DSK Kitchens in Hamilton. “It needs a lot of care, and when it comes to marble, it’s just generally a poor choice for kitchens. Quartz offers a wide price range, lots of colour varieties, and the veined look of natural, organic stone that so many homeowners want.”
“Designs vary as well,” she says. “And while lighter greys are popular right now, there are lots of colour and veining options as well. Some people like a more delicate look, while others want something a little busier. It’s all personal preference!”
Quartz also comes in numerous colours, patterns, and finishing techniques that replicates the look of natural stone. While granite is still popular, it’s also porous, meaning liquids such as water, wine, and oils can seep through the surface and cause staining. Dangerous bacteria can also breed, making the surface unsanitary. The porous problem can be fixed by sealing the granite surface with a non-porous sealant, but it does wear off with time and usage.
“Another material I see being used more often now is porcelain,” says Bonnie from Emerald Kitchens and Design in Hamilton. “It’s certainly not as common as quartz or granite, but I do see it from time to time. Quartz, of course, is popular because there’s no regular maintenance, just wipe with a cloth and water.”
When it comes to finishes, polished is still the most popular, but there are others to consider. A honed finish is matte and generally has a low sheen and a smooth surface. A leathered finish is a newer style that has recently become more popular. It offers a soft sheen with less gloss, retaining the stone’s natural colour while giving it a more sophisticated look. It also hides fingerprints and water spots which may be appealing to some homeowners.
Colour considerations include beige or “greige” (grey and beige), browns and light blues, ash greys, off-whites and all neutrals in general. These different finishes and colours create an interesting compliment and contrast with the rest of the kitchen, including walls, cabinetry, and backsplash. While you’re focusing on countertops, don’t forget the sinks.
Integrated sinks are a popular choice and are constructed from the same material as the countertop, and by blending the two together you can create a smooth flow from the working surface to the sink. Not only is this visually attractive, but it also makes cleanup much easier. No break also means a smooth and efficient wipe down of the cooking and preparation area.
And don’t neglect the importance of the backsplash. When installing a backsplash, it’s usually a four-inch high slab of countertop material on the wall with paint or tile above, or maybe some decorative tiles.
Whatever you choose to reflect the heart of your home, make it personal and a space that you’ll feel comfortable in and proud to share with family and friends. After all, you’re sure to spend a lot of time enjoying it.
By Allison Dempsey
DSK Kitchens – DSKkitchens.ca
Emerald Kitchens and Design – Emeraldkitchens.ca
Stone On The Go – stoneonthego.com
ACF Surfaces – acfsurfaces.com
Stonex Granite and Quartz – stonex.ca
J.K. Countertops – jkcountertops.ca