When you think of designing your ideal gourmet kitchen, you should give serious thought to what type and material you’ll need for your gourmet countertop because the kind of cooking you’ll be doing will and should determine the countertop you’ll need. Also, you should keep in mind that your gourmet countertop should be designed with the fact that it will be heavily use.
There are many options for the gourmet cook to choose from, but only a few stands up to the slicing, dicing, spilling and staining of a gourmet cooks habits. Many gourmet cooks prefer stainless steel countertops, the material of choice in gourmet restaurants. Other durable options include natural stone, stained concrete and for the environmentally-minded, recycled glass. Butcher block can add value and old-world charm, and bakers will love marble countertops for rolling out pastry dough for pastries.
Remember, every countertop surface has drawbacks, whether it is the susceptibility to burns or scratches, or require sealing and other more costly upkeep. Some forward thinking gourmet cooks may use several types of countertops in their kitchens. For example, a cook could have a stainless steel countertop with a butcher block island and one section of marble for pastry prep. Consider if important to take a good look at the choices that are available for the gourmet cook and their advantages and disadvantages:
The first to come to mind is the granite countertop. It by far the most known and popular. Consider if popular for its elegant and rich look. Granite will usually last longer most gourmet kitchens, because it has the ability to withstand heat and scratches. Granite the most costly of the basic gourmet countertops. Although granite countertops will add value to your home it will require a sealer to prevent staining, because it is porous. You might think of using granite tiles in place of a massive slab. It is also important to not use your granite countertop as a cutting board because it will bull the finish and ruin your knives.
Tile has a comforting, classic look and is inexpensive. Consider if easy to clean up after a mess. Glased ceramic and porcelain tile has been popular in gourmet kitchens for decades. It comes in many colors, shapes and designs. Tile can be small as a square inch and as large as six square inches. Tiles are durable and also have some of the same heat and scratch resistance qualities as granite. Porcelain tiles are more durable and the hardest fired type of tiles.
Some drawbacks to tile is that it can chip easily, more of an investment than it’s laminate alternative and the grout con be an issue. Grout can very easily stain. Tile will require more maintenance to keep it looking new.
When we think of concrete we think of sidewalks and driveways. But concrete is not only use for these purposes. It makes for beautiful gourmet countertop. Concrete is pigmented and can be polished into a smooth and shiny surface that resemble any natural stone. A Concrete countertop can be molded at a factory or cast on site. Because it’s porous it needs to be regularly sealed to resist stains. It can be made into any shape or any thickness.
Concrete is heat and scratch resistance. It can come in any color and textures. Some if the issues with concrete is that not only does it needs to be sealed but it also needs to be waxed every one to three months to prevent stain and water damage. These and a few others not mentioned makes concrete countertops more expensive.
A restaurant would probably be the first that comes to mind when it comes to a stainless steal gourmet kitchen countertop. However, there is a reason most restaurants use this material. Durability, stain and water resistance, low maintenance, and it can come in a myriad of sizes and shapes.
Stainless steel is easy to clean and you don’t have worry about putting a hot plate or pan on the surface and damaging it. Many however, don’t like the “industrial” look to stainless steel. It can take sizable investment to install. Cutting on it can leave marks and it’s easy to dent. NOTE: Consider if important to make sure the surface is at least 18 gauge and has eight to ten percent nickel in it.
Sometimes called butcher block countertops. Maple, oak, and other hardwoods, makes a durable and elegant gourmet countertop. A wood countertop is usually made from strips of maple or oak that has been glued together. Just about any hardwood can be used in making countertops.
Bamboo countertops are the latest trend! Wood counter material has a warm, beautiful look that can come in a variety of shads and textures. Consider if perfect for the cook who wants to cut directly on the surface of their counter. Keep in mind that wood is not very hard and can easily burn, scratch, or dent. It can warp or turn black near sinks from regular water contact. It too requires regular sealing.
Formica is the most common name for laminate courters. Consider if made of a thin layer of plastic glued to particleboard of wood. Laminate counters call for a more monetary investment. They are lightweight, available in an endless array of colors and patterns. It is very stain-resistant and. As a plastic material, it is easy to clean. It generally comes pre-formed and should be easy for the do-it-yourself to install.
Laminate counters are not heat or scratch resistant but they stain resistant. Don’t use abrasive cleaners because they can make the surface dull scratch the surface. Also, the color and pattern can fade over time.
While this post is in no way a complete list of countertop materials, these are the most popular and most widely used. Installing your gourmet kitchen countertop is only one step in designing your ideal gourmet kitchen. However, it is considered the biggest step by far by many a gourmet cook. Your kitchen makes a statement about your kitchen and your overall home comes into play. This is true because many feel the kitchen is the focal point of your home.
Once you have the ideal countertops install in your gourmet kitchen, they can really make those cabinets, flooring and prestigious appliances stand out! We’ll be addressing those in the future.