One of the standout (for good or bad) features of a home is the kitchen countertops. While name brands and trendy stones have made their way to top of mind choices for homeowners or potential buyers, it is important to investigate three key questions, as their answers may help pave the way for a better counter top choice. There are a plethora of options in countertops, and the choice can be easily overhwleming and cause many to stick with the ‘knowns’ of today’s kitchen culture. However, those might not be the best fit for everyone. What type of countertops to look for or install in a home can be narrowed by answering the following questions:
1) What is the budget?
2) How is the kitchen area used?
3) What is the goal for the ‘look’ of the kitchen or home?
Budget may determine material in a remodel or build project and should also bring about expectations for the potential homebuyer. Depending on the scope of the project and the budget, replacing countertops will transform a kitchen, but it is important to keep within the value of the home and not break the bank. There are enough options out there that it is not worth blowing the budget or overbuilding a home simply to have the name brand product. This aligns with expectations for potential homebuyers as well. Certain tiers of homes will more often than not have tiers of build quality. Set your expectations appropriately. Chances are, you will not find the latest granite slab and slate kitchen in a 1950’s bungalow.
Depending on lifestyle, kitchens are actually used in a variety of ways. While they are still a focal point of a home, it often does not make smart buying sense to spend extra on expensive countertops if takeout boxes are more prevalent than knives. Certain products will also perform better under different scenarios as some are designed to be scratch resistant, heat resistant, or easily repaired. Some will require more maintenance than others. Lifestyle should align with the investment into the project.
No matter what the current trend product on the market for kitchen countertops, it is not worth risking aesthetics for a name, brand, or trend. If the remodel does not include changing the country style cabinetry, don’t attempt to modernize it with euro-flair counters. Work with what you have. Certain countertop products will give you similar ‘looks’ but at different prices- like the sparkle and shine of natural stone but don’t want to pay the price? Look into a quartz product for the same look at a fraction of the cost.
Once these questions have been pondered, then take the time to shop the products and the features they offer. It will be less overwhelming to narrow the choices!