Wednesday 17 October 2012

10 hot kitchen counter-top materials

Posted by at 2:38 PM

Home decor is not unlike fashion. There are classics with looks that will last a lifetime and there are trends that come and go. Generally, the lifetime of kitchen decor is less than 10 years, so when creating your dream kitchen you want to consider a look that will last. There’s more to a counter upgrade than granite or marble these days. Wisconsin Homes currently offers high-end laminates, Dupont Corian and Zodiaq Quartz as options, however we can have your cabinets installed to accept many other materials on-site. Here are some other possibilities that are trending in kitchen design:

1. Poured Concrete
Poured concrete counters offer strength and style and are seemingly timeless in appearance. They offer a natural, organic look for those who are wanting such in their kitchens. Poured concrete can be tinted to be any color you wish. If sealed it is stain-resistant and can be cast and poured into any shape you desire.

2. Butcher Block
Butcher block offers a look that is elegant yet casual and environmentally friendly. Its soft surfaces mean that some maintenance is required, but nothing that will take up any significant amount of time.

3. Reclaimed Wood
Reclaimed wood is all the buzz lately. What is reclaimed wood? It’s simply wood that has been salvaged from older homes and barns that are about to be, or have been, slated for demolition. Reclaimed wood is a smart and attractive option, offering a look and feel that the newer butcher blocks can’t match.

4. Cork
It’s not just for wine anymore! Cork is a material that is growing in popularity in kitchens. It is dense, sturdy and lightweight. It is a sustainable product (another good choice for those of you who want environmentally friendly alternatives) that is resistant to water and heat and has antibacterial properties.

5. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel has an elegant, classy feel that's also modern. These counter tops are resilient to water, heat and germs. Over time they are susceptible to dings and scratches, and these surfaces show every little finger mark, but other than a regular polish and wash, these tops require very little maintenance.

6. Soapstone
Soapstone is a natural stone that’s quarried like granite. It’s a softer surface composed mainly from mineral talc, but the varieties used for kitchen counter tops are generally sturdier as they contain more quartz. This makes it a suitable option for a kitchen surface. The color is naturally gray and darkens with age.

7. Recycled Glass
With kitchen and design trends leaning toward more environmentally friendly choices, as noted above with the use of the reclaimed wood and cork, another option to consider is the recycled glass counter top. They are not only beautiful with many colors and options available, but they have a life expectancy of 50 years.

8. Pewter
Pewter is an alloy of several metals. It is fairly soft and not as sturdy as stainless. It will show nicks and dents, so one must take some care when working on this surface. It has a beautiful, gentler look compared with its more clinical stainless counterpart.

9. Slate
One tends to think of rooftops or walkways when one thinks of slate. A natural, fine-grained rock, slate is softer than granite but harder than marble. Slate has a naturally uneven surface that many find aesthetically appealing, and these naturally occurring dents make it hard to detect nicks and scratches that inevitably happen on well-used kitchen surfaces.

10. Quartz
Quartz is a plentiful, naturally occurring mineral. It is one of the most scratch-resistant minerals available, and because of this it is extremely easy to care for and clean. Wiping stains from its surface is easier than even granite, making it a very desirable choice for your kitchen counter top.