If you love the idea of granite, but want a more uniform finish, quartz may be a good option. It’s man-made, so can be customised to your exact colour scheme, and is also durable and easy to clean.
However, it’s still an expensive choice, and may be slightly less heat-resistant than granite.
Laminate is one of the most affordable kitchen countertops available, and is extremely popular. It can be designed to look like more expensive materials and - depending on quality - can be relatively scratch and heat-resistant.
However, it’s nowhere near as durable as a stone finish countertop. Issues with wear over time may include peeling, and it will burn or melt under direct heat. Laminate also scratches easily, which can become unhygienic.
If you want to buy a laminate kitchen countertop, make sure to see (and feel!) it in person first.
Wood can be a beautiful and stylish option for a kitchen countertop, and comes in cheaper than stone, but it requires more maintenance than any other option.
You’ll need to oil your surfaces bi-annually to protect them from stains and damage, but if you’re happy to put the time in - and you’re ok with a few scratches here and there - you’ll find that a wooden countertop can age beautifully over time.
A modern option that has grown in popularity over the last few years, glass countertops can add a stylish, contemporary twist to any kitchen.
Glass countertops are durable, heat resistant and can be produced in any colour, although you’ll need to wipe them frequently to keep fingerprints at bay.
More commonly found in commercial kitchens than in home, a stainless steel kitchen countertop can nonetheless be a cool twist on a modern set-up.
Stainless steel countertops are strong, easy to clean and heat resistant, but they can look a little cold and clinical unless you have a clear vision of how you want to integrate them into your overall kitchen design.
Whatever your dream kitchen looks like, an experienced architect can help to guide you in making bold, beautiful choices that work for your home.
What is the most affordable countertop?
Laminate is probably the most affordable kitchen countertop. However, in exchange for this price tag, you will find that laminate kitchen countertops won’t stand the test of time as well as other, more expensive, options - such as granite countertops.
Many people use savings to fund their renovation, but if you’re finding your budget tempting you to cut corners or use cheaper materials, it might be worth exploring your finance options. Try booking a consultation with a specialist broker to see if you’re funding your project in the right way.
What is the easiest kitchen countertop to maintain?
You can find easy to maintain countertops at both ends of the budget spectrum. For those on a budget, laminate countertops are pretty easy to care for day to day and can be cleaned with just soap and water. Unlike some of their stone counterparts, they don’t require special sealers or polishes and can be replaced relatively cheaply (should you need to).
For those with a little more money to spare, another easy to maintain investment would be quartz countertops. As a man-made material, it is less porous than natural stone and therefore isn’t as liable to absorb bacteria in your kitchen. They won’t stain from spilled wine or oil, and don’t require any specialist cleaning supplies. Not only this, they’re incredibly durable and will stay with you for years to come.
If you're undertaking a kitchen extension or large-scale renovation, you can get expert advice for your project by booking a free consultation with our team.