5 Tips to Remove the Headache of Choosing a Kitchen Countertop

Whether remodeling an old home, or starting from scratch, choosing the perfect kitchen countertop is often a a homeowners most difficult decision.  Following these simple steps should help you find the perfect surface for that dream kitchen!

1. Budget Correctly

Often choosing the right surface for a kitchen countertop just comes down to the budget.  More often than not we find that homeowners have not budgeted appropriately when they plan their build or remodel.  In the budget countertops typically come after things like flooring, trim, cabinets, appliances and windows. By the time you get to choosing your countertop you are already over budget on all of the other aspects of your home and you need to do the countertops as cheap as possible.  In my opinion, the kitchen countertop is one of, if not the most important aspect of your home, so make sure you budget accordingly!  Typically the level 1-3 granites that most builders specify just won’t do it!

 

If you budget for a countertop like Typhoon Bordeaux on the left it will have a much greater impact on our kitchen than the St. Cecilia on the right (even with very similar cabinets!)

2. Prioritize the Countertop

The kitchen has become the focus of most homes in American over the past decade.  This puts your kitchen countertop front and center in your home! The kitchen is often the first thing people notice about your home, and the countertop is the focus of the kitchen.  We continuously see homeowners prioritizing things like the cabinets and flooring over their countertops.  While this might be the norm, we would say that it isn’t correct.  The countertops should be the artwork and the focal point of your kitchen.  Most people will never notice the type of wood you used for your cabinets or flooring, but they will always notice the beautiful artwork on display in your kitchen! So, when making your budget make sure you make the most used surface in your home one of your top priorities!

A unique surface such as Vetrazzo can change the feel of an entire house!

3. Understand the Different types of Material

The standard material for countertops over the past 10 years in the United States has been granite.  It is great because it is durable and relatively cheap.  But, don’t get stuck only looking at granite.  There are lots of other choices out there like Soapstone, Marble, Recycled Glass and Quartz.  Each surface has different pros and cons, from price to durability.  Because these surfaces aren’t granite, they can add a lot of character to your kitchen that will make your home stand out amongst the rest!  For more detailed information about the different countertop surfaces check out our Stone Guide!

Have you considered a surface other than granite such as marble or soapstone?

4. ENLIST THE HELP OF A PROFESSIONAL

I know we all love to design our own homes, but there are just too many options for any homeowner to sort through all of them.  Because of this, we would highly recommend enlisting the help of a professional when picking out your countertop.  We would typically advise asking your architect or interior/kitchen designer.  There are hundreds of different types and styles of granites, marbles, and quartz products.  Your architect or designer is going to know your taste and budget, so they will be able to point you in the right direction.  As much as we love builders and general contractors, they typically aren’t your “go to” for design help.  Get someone who can “think outside of the box” to help you choose the perfect countertop for your home! Let us know if we can help you find a professional!

5. DON’T OVERTHINK IT

About a year ago we were working with an interior designer who was choosing the countertops for 4 different clients at one time.  He had chosen what he wanted in about 30 minutes total (for all 4 clients!). We asked him “How do you make all of the decisions so fast, and keep everybody straight?” His response was this, “There are only so many different shades of brown, white or gray for cabinets.  At the end of the day, most things will work, you just have to know your clients tastes and pick one they will like”  This is some of the best advice we have heard.   If you like the surface you picked out, and you think it looks good, then it probably does!  Spending one more hour looking at it, or taking a trip to one more warehouse will probably only add to the confusion!  If you love it, take it before somebody else does!