11 min 1.2k.

If the ques­tion is how to choose a coun­ter­top for the kitchen, you should con­sid­er the exist­ing options, pay­ing atten­tion to the main para­me­ters: type of mate­r­i­al, dimen­sions, wear resis­tance. In the case when the user is guid­ed only by the appear­ance, not tak­ing into account the prop­er­ties of the mate­r­i­al, the prod­uct soon los­es its attrac­tive­ness and has to be restored or replaced. Wood-based coun­ter­tops are select­ed espe­cial­ly care­ful­ly, because they con­tain mois­ture-absorb­ing com­po­nents. The cost of such prod­ucts will be low­er than wear-resis­tant ana­logues.How to choose a countertop for the kitchen

What should be the ideal countertop?

First of all, they select an option that will suc­cess­ful­ly fit into the inte­ri­or of the room. At the same time, tex­ture and col­or scheme play an impor­tant role. If you are con­sid­er­ing which coun­ter­top to choose for your kitchen, you should make sure that it meets the require­ments. The fol­low­ing para­me­ters are of great impor­tance:

  • mois­ture resis­tance, the low­er the lev­el of hygro­scop­ic­i­ty of the mate­r­i­al, the longer the prod­uct will retain its attrac­tive­ness and per­for­mance prop­er­ties;
  • strength and reli­a­bil­i­ty, if you install a coun­ter­top in the kitchen that is not resis­tant to mechan­i­cal dam­age, it is eas­i­ly deformed, it can cause injury, because a knife is often used in the cook­ing process, and unsta­ble struc­tures con­tribute to dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tions;
  • resis­tance to high tem­per­a­tures, if you pur­chase a coun­ter­top made of ther­mo­plas­tic mate­ri­als, changes will appear almost imme­di­ate­ly: the work sur­face is deformed, it can bend so much that it will be impos­si­ble to use it for cook­ing;
  • the work­ing sur­face should be char­ac­ter­ized by resis­tance to aggres­sive deter­gents, if you pur­chase a prod­uct that does not resist the effects of chem­i­cal com­pounds, stains may appear in the very first days of oper­a­tion, the struc­ture of the upper lay­ers of the coat­ing will be dis­turbed;
  • wear resis­tance, grad­u­al­ly the coun­ter­top is reg­u­lar­ly exposed to neg­a­tive fac­tors, hot dish­es, spilled liq­uids, high tem­per­a­tures, knife edge, as a result, the sur­face grad­u­al­ly los­es its attrac­tive­ness, wears out, small defects appear, in order to avoid these con­se­quences, it is rec­om­mend­ed to install prod­ucts with a high wear resis­tance lim­it.

They take into account not only the pros / cons, the avail­abil­i­ty of coun­ter­tops at a price also plays an impor­tant role. The most durable, wear-resis­tant, mois­ture-resis­tant prod­ucts are of high cost.

What are their sizes?

Before choos­ing a coun­ter­top for the kitchen, take into account its dimen­sions. The stan­dard thick­ness of such prod­ucts is 40 mm. How­ev­er, the require­ments for this para­me­ter are grad­u­al­ly chang­ing, and today users more often order work­tops with a thick­ness with­in 60 mm. The val­ue of this para­me­ter also depends on the type of mate­r­i­al. For exam­ple, the thick­ness of chip­board prod­ucts often cor­re­sponds to 28 mm. Work sur­faces that are char­ac­ter­ized by mois­ture-resis­tant qual­i­ties are more reli­able. Their thick­ness is 38 mm or more.

The width of the work­ing sur­face also plays a role. The val­ue of this para­me­ter depends on the height of the hang­ing cab­i­nets. For exam­ple, if the width is 65 cm, the bot­tom edge of the fur­ni­ture that is mount­ed on the wall should be at a lev­el of 47–50 cm from the sur­face of the coun­ter­top. It is impor­tant to posi­tion it cor­rect­ly. The instal­la­tion height of the prod­uct varies between 76–100 cm.

The combination of colors when choosing countertops

An impor­tant func­tion of the work sur­face is to cre­ate a har­mo­nious com­bi­na­tion of an apron, a head­set, and an inte­ri­or. In this case, pay atten­tion to the col­or scheme of the design ele­ments in the room. And the most impor­tant is the work­ing area. If the ques­tion is how to choose the col­or of the coun­ter­top for the kitchen, it is nec­es­sary to take into account what shades pre­vail in the inte­ri­or: warm, cold. For this rea­son, work sur­faces of dif­fer­ent col­ors should be pur­chased for white and col­ored kitchens. More­over, the com­bi­na­tion of para­me­ters is impor­tant: tone and type of mate­r­i­al.

For a white kitchen

In this case, it is rec­om­mend­ed to use stone coun­ter­tops. Use nat­ur­al, arti­fi­cial mate­r­i­al. Suit­able stone and wood. For a white kitchen, it is rec­om­mend­ed to pur­chase a black or gray coun­ter­top. If a wood­en work sur­face is cho­sen, the shade of the cut of the mate­r­i­al must be tak­en into account. For exam­ple, for white glossy fur­ni­ture, you should pur­chase a coun­ter­top made of light-col­ored wood. The con­trast of snow-white facades and a dark work sur­face will not pro­vide the desired effect.

For colorful kitchen

For a beige head­set, a coun­ter­top in a shade close to dark wood, choco­late col­or is more suit­able. If the facades are light, you can install a coun­ter­top in this col­or scheme. Thanks to this, the room visu­al­ly increas­es. A gray set should be sup­ple­ment­ed with the same work sur­face, it is allowed to choose a prod­uct a cou­ple of tones dark­er / lighter.

If the facades are black, it is not rec­om­mend­ed to install a coun­ter­top of the same shade. For a head­set made in light col­ors, you can choose a col­ored work sur­face. Con­verse­ly, when the facade is bright, it is advis­able to install a coun­ter­top in neu­tral shades.

For a two-tone kitchen

When deter­min­ing which work sur­face to choose in the case when the facades of the head­set are made in two shades, one should be guid­ed by the rules:

  • cab­i­nets of the upper row in one shade, and the low­er row in anoth­er, then the table top should be the same col­or as the facades on the wall, you can still choose a tone so that the work sur­face con­trasts with the floor cab­i­nets;
  • select an inter­me­di­ate col­or between the upper and low­er cab­i­nets;
  • if the facades are made in neu­tral and spec­tral shades, it is not rec­om­mend­ed to focus on the work sur­face.

Types of countertops, their pros and cons

Of the exist­ing options, prod­ucts that meet all require­ments are more often used. These include a work sur­face made of nat­ur­al stone, and an arti­fi­cial ana­logue is also used in many cas­es. If the ques­tion is decid­ed which coun­ter­tops are best for the kitchen, nat­ur­al wood is con­sid­ered. How­ev­er, in this case, it is impor­tant to choose a mod­el from a suit­able breed. Ceram­ics and glass are attrac­tive, but also have their draw­backs.

There are oth­er options for kitchen coun­ter­tops: MDF, wood, lam­i­nat­ed work­tops. The met­al coun­ter­part is rarely used at home. This option is more com­mon in cater­ing estab­lish­ments, because it does not require spe­cial care, it is resis­tant to mois­ture.

Laminated — cheap and decorative

Con­sid­er­ing what mate­r­i­al work sur­faces are made of, it should be remem­bered that this option is based on a not entire­ly safe chip­board. It con­tains sub­stances harm­ful to the human body, in par­tic­u­lar formalde­hyde. Lam­i­nat­ed coun­ter­top has a rather com­plex device:

  • inside the chip­board-plate is char­ac­ter­ized by mois­ture resis­tance;
  • the work­ing sur­face is sheathed with high-pres­sure plas­tic, kraft paper, poly­mer glue is used to fix the lin­ing;
  • from the side of the room, a round­ing is pro­vid­ed, which elim­i­nates the pos­si­bil­i­ty of acci­den­tal injury, and from the side of the wall, the work­ing sur­face is closed with a PVC edge;
  • at the bot­tom there is a drop out­let.

Note the low cost of the prod­uct. Such a coun­ter­top is not suit­able for all styles of kitchen, because it has a sim­ple appear­ance. The advan­tages include the fol­low­ing:

  1. sim­ple instal­la­tion;
  2. the man­u­fac­tur­ing process does not take much time;
  3. a wide range of designs, excel­lent in col­or.

There are more dis­ad­van­tages to such coun­ter­tops:

  • Chip­board does not tol­er­ate the effects of col­or­ing sub­stances: wine, cof­fee, tea, juices, even con­tact with untreat­ed tap water can adverse­ly affect the con­di­tion of such a work sur­face;
  • if water gets on an unpro­tect­ed chip­board, the prod­uct will swell in this place;
  • this type of coun­ter­top is unsta­ble to high tem­per­a­tures, so it is not rec­om­mend­ed to put hot dish­es on it;
  • short ser­vice life (in most cas­es 5 years);
  • the prod­uct rel­a­tive­ly quick­ly los­es its attrac­tive­ness;
  • the pres­ence of harm­ful com­po­nents.

From MDF: eco-friendly and beautiful

At the heart of such a prod­uct is an MDF sheet. The com­po­si­tion of the mate­r­i­al does not con­tain harm­ful com­po­nents. MDF is pro­duced by press­ing wood-shav­ing raw mate­ri­als, which avoids the use of resins con­tain­ing formalde­hyde. From above, the plate is sheathed with the same high-pres­sure plas­tic as in the case of the pre­vi­ous­ly con­sid­ered option (from chip­board).

There is anoth­er dif­fer­ence between the mate­ri­als of this type. Thus, MDF is char­ac­ter­ized by a denser struc­ture, which allows the prod­uct to be used for a long peri­od with­out loss of prop­er­ties. The advan­tages of such coun­ter­tops include rea­son­able cost, resis­tance to the for­ma­tion of fun­gi, mold. There are also dis­ad­van­tages of the MDF board:

  1. with reg­u­lar and pro­longed con­tact with water, the coun­ter­top is deformed;
  2. low resis­tance to high tem­per­a­tures;
  3. MDF prod­ucts are sub­ject to mechan­i­cal stress and are rel­a­tive­ly eas­i­ly deformed;
  4. coun­ter­tops of this type, as well as coun­ter­parts from chip­board, do not tol­er­ate con­tact with col­or­ing liq­uids (cof­fee, wine, tea, etc.).

From natural stone: luxury and durability

Mate­ri­als avail­able for pro­duc­tion: gran­ite and mar­ble. At the price of such prod­ucts are supe­ri­or to exist­ing ana­logues. The mate­ri­als are wear resis­tant. They with­stand the effects of chem­i­cal com­pounds, aggres­sive sub­stances, show resis­tance to mechan­i­cal stress, tol­er­ate changes in humid­i­ty lev­els, tem­per­a­ture changes. Prod­ucts made of nat­ur­al stone com­pete with wood­en coun­ter­parts, but their prop­er­ties are many times supe­ri­or to them.

A stone coun­ter­top has been used for decades, while it does not fade, is not exposed to ultra­vi­o­let radi­a­tion.

In addi­tion, fun­gus does not form on the stone work sur­face. These items do not require reg­u­lar main­te­nance. It is enough to wipe the sur­face with a damp cloth from time to time. Despite all the advan­tages, coun­ter­tops made of nat­ur­al stone are less pop­u­lar than their coun­ter­parts made of wood, MDF. The rea­son for this is a large num­ber of short­com­ings:

  • high cost of prod­ucts, which is due to the use of spe­cial equip­ment for work­ing with the mate­r­i­al, the com­plex­i­ty of the process;
  • a small range of designs, if the stone is nat­ur­al, you will have to choose from the shades of mar­ble / gran­ite avail­able in nature;
  • in the case when non-sol­id mate­r­i­al is used, joints will be vis­i­ble;
  • this type of coun­ter­top does not absorb most col­or­ing sub­stances, how­ev­er, par­tic­u­lar­ly aggres­sive com­pounds can still leave marks on the sur­face;
  • the thick­ness of the stone is sig­nif­i­cant, so such coun­ter­tops are heavy, this para­me­ter must be tak­en into account when choos­ing cab­i­nets for a kitchen set (the design must be rein­forced);
  • in case of expo­sure to sig­nif­i­cant loads, the work­ing sur­face is deformed with­out the pos­si­bil­i­ty of recov­ery.

Artificial stone is a great alternative to natural

Among the exist­ing prod­ucts of this group, acrylic and agglom­er­ate ana­logues are of good qual­i­ty. The first of the options is made from alu­minum tri­hy­drate, while min­er­al chips are used. Acrylic resin binds frac­tions of raw mate­ri­als. The advan­tage of this mate­r­i­al is the abil­i­ty to obtain the desired shade, which is achieved by adding a col­or­ing pig­ment.

The advan­tages include increased strength, the absence of seams, which makes it pos­si­ble to make a coun­ter­top of any shape. The com­po­si­tion does not con­tain harm­ful sub­stances. Acrylic coun­ter­tops have many dis­ad­van­tages:

  • sus­cep­ti­bil­i­ty to mechan­i­cal, chem­i­cal attack;
  • intol­er­ance to high tem­per­a­tures;
  • com­plex­i­ty of instal­la­tion;
  • high price.

Agglom­er­ate is an arti­fi­cial gran­ite, mar­ble or quartz. The basis of the mate­r­i­al is raw mate­ri­als in the form of small chips made of nat­ur­al stone, and the binder is epoxy resin. Due to the com­po­si­tion of the prod­uct, they are dis­tin­guished by increased strength. The mate­r­i­al is resis­tant to mechan­i­cal stress, high tem­per­a­tures, but is more expen­sive than ana­logues made of nat­ur­al stone, wood and oth­er prod­ucts.

Wooden — naturalness and environmental friendliness

This type of work sur­face can improve the design of a small kitchen and a large room. Qual­i­ty prod­ucts are made from wood, which is durable, resis­tant to mois­ture. These include the fol­low­ing species: bam­boo, wal­nut, oak, ash, beech. When decid­ing which coun­ter­top is bet­ter for the kitchen, you should take into account the pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive qual­i­ties. The first ones include:

  1. envi­ron­men­tal friend­li­ness, due to the absence of harm­ful sub­stances in the com­po­si­tion;
  2. attrac­tive­ness, accord­ing to this cri­te­ri­on, wood­en work sur­faces are supe­ri­or to most ana­logues;
  3. a long peri­od of oper­a­tion, pro­vid­ed that the cor­rect care of the prod­uct has been pro­vid­ed;
  4. it is pos­si­ble to restore the coat­ing, while the coun­ter­top is sub­ject­ed to grind­ing.

Reg­u­lar removal of the top lay­er of the wood­en work sur­face leads to a grad­ual decrease in the thick­ness of the prod­uct. Oth­er dis­ad­van­tages:

  • wood is not a heat-resis­tant or refrac­to­ry mate­r­i­al, which means that it is bet­ter not to place the coun­ter­top close to the source of fire, to the stove;
  • even reg­u­lar and prop­er care can­not guar­an­tee that the tree does not deform dur­ing pro­longed con­tact with water;
  • reg­u­lar­ly chang­ing lev­els of humid­i­ty and tem­per­a­ture changes have a detri­men­tal effect on the sur­face of the tree, as a result, the mate­r­i­al dries out, cracks appear;
  • such coun­ter­tops need con­stant care, because they are exposed to col­or­ing sub­stances;
  • if the work sur­face is con­stant­ly in con­tact with water, liq­uid lingers on it, then a fun­gus will soon appear.

Metal countertops: shine and durability

Stain­less steel is used. This option looks bet­ter in a high-tech kitchen. For an inte­ri­or in a clas­sic style direc­tion, it is bet­ter to choose a dif­fer­ent mate­r­i­al. The met­al is not sub­ject to mechan­i­cal stress, mold, and is easy to care for. In addi­tion, the coat­ing does not need to be renewed reg­u­lar­ly, as it remains attrac­tive for a long time.

Glass top — the epitome of style

In this case, tem­pered glass is used. It is a durable, wear-resis­tant mate­r­i­al. Looks spec­tac­u­lar. In terms of attrac­tive­ness, such struc­tures often sur­pass ana­logues made from nat­ur­al mate­ri­als (stone, wood). Tem­pered glass does not scratch, it tol­er­ates the effects of tem­per­a­ture extremes, changes in humid­i­ty lev­els. The main dis­ad­van­tage is the high cost. For this rea­son, glass tops in most cas­es are char­ac­ter­ized by a small area, they are used in com­pact rooms.

Ceramic coated countertop

This option is more often used in coun­try-style kitchens. These are spe­cif­ic prod­ucts that are char­ac­ter­ized by insta­bil­i­ty to mechan­i­cal loads. At the point of impact, a chip imme­di­ate­ly appears, which is dif­fi­cult to restore with­out los­ing the attrac­tive­ness of the work­ing sur­face. When decid­ing which coun­ter­top is best for the kitchen, ceram­ic mod­els can be con­sid­ered pro­vid­ed that prop­er care is pro­vid­ed, as dirt quick­ly clogs into the seam joints.

Designer tips for choosing countertops for the kitchen

First, they are deter­mined with the dimen­sions and mate­r­i­al of the prod­uct. It is rec­om­mend­ed to study not only the char­ac­ter­is­tics of the coun­ter­top, but also reviews, thanks to which the user can obtain infor­ma­tion about the oper­a­tional para­me­ters of the prod­uct. To choose the most suit­able option, you should focus on the inte­ri­or of the room, on the design of the work­ing area of ​​the kitchen, in par­tic­u­lar the apron.

So, it is not rec­om­mend­ed to use a work­top of the same col­or as the upper / low­er cab­i­nets, as well as the wall between them. In this case, the cor­ners and tran­si­tions will be smoothed out, the kitchen set will lose its attrac­tive­ness.