When choosing a kitchen countertop, you should consider several factors, including the cost, whether you want to match your countertop to your cabinets, whether the countertop you're considering is heat-resistant, and the maintenance and care required with certain types of countertops. If you wish to install your kitchen countertop yourself, you should also choose something with easy assembly.
If you don't mind spending more money to upgrade, consider a granite or stone kitchen countertop. This material can complement most any decor, while providing an elegant look to your kitchen. Stone and granite countertops will be extremely durable and long lasting. Keep in mind however, these materials will require routine maintenance and the use of sealants to preserve the finish and prevent damage from moisture. Glass countertops can also look very elegant, and are easy to clean and coordinate with almost any decor, although they have a potential for cracking.
It's often best to choose a kitchen countertop to match your cabinets. If your cabinets are black, you may want to avoid countertops with contrasting colors. Countertops in dark gray or charcoal will complement black appliances and cabinets nicely.
If your appliances are stainless steel, consider installing steel countertops as well. These are generally easy to clean and disinfect, and can look very stylish in most contemporary kitchens. Keep in mind that stainless steel countertops tend to scratch easily, therefore making it necessary to use cutting boards on coungtertops when preparing food.
A new kitchen countertop should be heat resistant to minimize the risk of unsightly scorch marks. Some materials absorb stains more easily than others, so inquire about this as well. Stain and scratch resistant materials are a must for a frequently used kitchen. If you have children or teenagers, consider a countertop with easy to clean material such as tile. If you choose tiled countertops however, consider having them professionally installed, as installation can be a tedious and complicated task.
Before choosing any style of new kitchen countertop, check consumer reviews and ratings. Learn which materials have the highest quality ratings, and weigh the pros and cons carefully. If you have questions about a particular countertop material, research it online or visit a showroom for advice. You may also want to consult an expert to help you decide which countertops will complement your style of kitchen best or take an online virtual tour from a home improvement company. This can give you a clear picture of how the designs and materials will look when installed.