How To Choose a Countertop For Your Kitchen And Not Regret The Decision

For almost 60 years, the choice of kitchen countertop coverings was limited to laminate panels (Arborite) and ceramic tiles.

Over the past 20 years, Corian has become a high-end synthetic material and has led to the introduction of a multitude of other products: granite, marble, concrete, wood, bamboo, stainless steel, and finally quartz.

Today, quartz has established itself as a high-end contemporary material offering the best quality/price ratio as well as a vast choice of colors, but for more economical renovations.

The good old molded laminate countertop and ceramic have certainly not said their last word.

Finding the perfect countertop is complicated because there are many materials that are manufactured and all have advantages and disadvantages.

Do you know what they are?

What is The Best Kitchen Counter Height?

Do you know what the ideal kitchen height is? There is no exact answer, but we will explain how to calculate the height of the countertop.

At the market level, certain standards have been established regarding the height at which a countertop should be installed.

However, these measurements may not be ideal for everyone. Not all people have the same height, and even if they have the same height, there are different preferences when it comes to working.

The ideal height of a kitchen worktop has to be calculated from somewhere. The most common is 90 centimeters. Which is determined by:

• The most common kitchen unit is 70 cm high.
• The standard measurement of the legs or plinths is 15 cm.
• The countertops have a maximum thickness of 5cm.

These are not fixed numbers. We can find different heights of kitchen furniture: 72, 76, or 86cm, and even custom-made.

Most kitchen furniture legs that are marketed today are adjustable, allowing different heights, usually between 12 and 20cm.

This element will be the one that will give us the most play in finding the right height for the kitchen countertop or the one we like the most.

As for the thickness of the countertop, it is also variable, but within very small measures. Laminate or chipboard countertops are marketed with thicknesses between 3 and 5 centimeters.

The latest models of HDF (High-Density Fibreboard) have much lower thicknesses, between 1 and 2 centimeters.

With granites and especially with technical quartz countertops or technological surfaces it is more or less the same.

Should a Kitchen Island Be The Same Height As Counter?

The height of the island is the same as that of the base units (90 cm), although if you want to create a bar area, you can raise the height up to 1.10 m.

The worktop can be extended by 25-30 cm. The countertop can be extended by 25-30 cm.

And a useful fact is that the distance between the seat of the stool or chair and the bar should be 25 cm.

If you are preparing a kitchen reform project and you have enough space, opt for one of the essential elements in the kitchens of the XXI century, the kitchen islands, a piece that has become an indispensable, multifunctional and decorative element.

We tell you what are the keys to install a kitchen island, which measures to take and make the most of its capacity and design.

Before deciding the measures of the kitchen island, the type of storage or materials, you should specify what will be the main function of the kitchen island:

if it will be used primarily for cooking, to integrate the water area as the main element, as a daily dining room, even to create a piece to socialize, as the real heart of the house …

We must take into account all this to determine the measures of the kitchen island, which will determine its design.

Actually, the kitchen islands can become the main element, from which will turn the final distribution of the entire space, so, as soon as you have defined its functions, you can decide the dimensions and measures of the kitchen island, as well as the ideal design:

if you want to install the water area and appliances, you will need an island of larger dimensions, while if it is to be used as an office area, with stools or high chairs, you will have to give priority to the seating area.

How long Does It Take To Install The Kitchen Countertops?

There are different factors that affect when calculating the time it will take to be ready a kitchen since a design and a budget is approved.

As an example, a complete renovation of a kitchen of about 15 m² with medium or high-quality finishes lasts between 5 and 6 weeks.

The kitchen renovation usually requires between 10 and 15 working days, although unforeseen events can always arise.

So that it does not take longer than necessary, agree on the deadlines with the company of reforms and insist that they put it in writing, along with the economic penalties that would suppose the possible delays.

What Countertops Add The Most Value To A Home?

Some are simple and inexpensive changes and others involve more work.

Decide how much work you will do to the kitchen based on your budget and how long you expect to be in the house.

But either way, keeping the kitchen updated makes it more attractive to you and to a prospective buyer or tenant if you sell it.

A renovated kitchen and bathroom will increase the value of the house and make the price a little more justifiable upwards.

Quartz is a natural stone.

Quartz countertops are industrial agglomerates of quartz crystals and color pigments, impregnated with approximately 3% resin, which form a panel that varies in thickness from 3/4″ to 1-1/4″ (18 to 30 mm).

For kitchen countertops, a thickness of 1-1/4″ (30 mm) is recommended because thinner panels are more fragile to impacts.

Because they are industrialized and homogeneous, they do not have structural weaknesses like marble and, unlike granite, their design and color can be controlled and uniform.

Less porous than marble and granite, which require regular repolishing and sealing, the beauty of quartz countertops is more durable and maintenance-free.

Because quartz panels are machined, they can be made in various sizes up to 10 feet (3 m), without any joints.

Larger sizes are possible, but the panel becomes more susceptible to breakage during handling, so this is not recommended.

Joints are thin and inconspicuous because they can be colored to match the color of the panel.

When a joint must be made in a countertop including a sink, it is preferable to make it in the middle of the sink to avoid creating a zone of structural weakness.

For the same reasons, corner joints are not made at 45 degrees as with pre-molded laminate, but at 90 degrees.

Quartz countertops come in different looks and colors. They can be of a uniform color or imitate granite and marble.

Being an agglomerate of very fine crystals, their finish is ultra-smooth, and their design very contemporary.

It is used extensively to make kitchen islands with a “tomb” design where the top and sides are continuous.

Quartz panels in shades of white are still the most popular.

Because the panel is homogeneous and structural, it is especially popular when placed over an undermount sink where the countertop surface overlaps the sink.

Light shades are possible because these panels are not very porous and in normal use situations, quartz crystal agglomerate does not stain, is antibacterial, and does not release volatile organic compounds into the air.

It is easy to clean with soapy water.

Quartz cannot be repaired. At least, any repair remains apparent. Although it is more flexible than marble or granite, a weak countertop or unstable floor can cause it to crack.

Quartz does not stand up well to hot pots. When a hot pot is placed on quartz, white circles form that does not fade away.

Quartz countertops remain a relatively expensive high-end product compared to other durable alternatives like ceramic.

Finally, quartz panels are very hard, but should not be used as a cutting surface, nor should any other material.

by Lisa Wilson

Without the internet, Lisa would never have discovered upcycling. She used wisdom from other people’s blogs to begin her upcycling journey, then she started writing her own!