One of the most defining furnishing in the kitchen is the countertop. However, to choose a countertop that matches your kitchen interior is no simple feat! At ted iD, we know how painful the decision making process can be hence, the decision to write an article to help new homeowners like you make a more informed choice.
For an interior designer, selecting the right materials is an important aspect of our job. A great amount of consideration goes into choosing the right materials, so as to achieve the desired aesthetics and practicality. Countertops are typically made of different materials like wood, stone or metals. Today we will cover some of the most popular requests for countertop materials.
1. Solid surface
Solid surface is a man-made material comprising of a combination of different components, which includes bauxite, acrylic, epoxy and polyester resin. It was first introduced by the American conglomerate DuPont, in 1967.
This material is generally non porous unlike other materials, of which one instance is wood. This means it requires no sealing and water proofing to a certain extent. It is also easily maintained and comes in several colour combinations, making it one of the most flexible options to work with design wise.
Solid surface can be scratched if something sharp is used with deliberate force. Their resistance to certain stains is highly dependent on quality. Typical high-end options are non-porous to a certain extent and are stain resistant. But it should be noted that stains left on your solid surface for an extended period of time may result in a permanent mark. This is dependent on the quality of the solid surface that homeowners have opted for.
One of the most common minerals on earth, quartz is used often enough for countertop construction. Quartz comes in many varieties and some options are used for ornamental purposes.
Quartz is a very hard material, making it highly scratch resistant. It is also non-porous, giving it several benefits like requiring no sealing and a water-proof nature. Quartz is also easily maintainable and its crystal-like look is consistent, without limiting design flexibility.
In terms of heat resistance, quartz lacks the durability of granite. Quartz is also rather expensive and that should be a factor to take into consideration for your interior design. Most commercial quartz countertop are also not 100% natural as they are made out of composite and this will ultimately affect its quality and price.
Granite is a very common material used for countertop. It mainly comes in colours like white, grey or pink. This colour is derived from the granite's composition.
Granite is strong and hard which makes it resistant to scratches. Unlike quartz and solid surface, granite has swirls and vein like patterns due to its characteristics. This gives it a unique feel but it affects its consistency in looks.
Granite is porous and it requires sealing in order to maintain its cleanliness and prevent bacterial growth. Granite is also costly but not as expensive as compared to quartz. Its prices are also affected by factors like location of harvest and labour cost instead of the composition.
4. Phenolic Panels
Phenolic Panels is a relatively new material in the market. It is a man-made material that utilizes wood based fibers as its main ingredient. It originates from Italy and is managed locally in Singapore by Kompacplus
Phenolic Panel is known to be water proof, flame resistant and easily maintained. It is also non porous and prevents bacterial growth. Phenolic Panel can also be tailor made to look like a wood panel for aesthetic purposes.
Phenolic Panel is a relatively new product and it is uncertain if there are any side effects from use.
In general, each countertop has its pros and cons. However, it should be noted that all countertop are known to be heat resistant up to at least 90 degrees Celsius (trust us on this and do not try this at home). Exposure to temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Celsius will result in a burnt mark that is slightly faded or darker. This is universal for all materials including hard materials like granite.
For selecting a countertop material, it is important to understand what the different materials are capable of before committing to a purchase. If you are interested in getting your countertop done by a professional, feel free to contact us for a non-obligatory consultation here
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