What Makes a Good Countertop?

The right countertop should be stylish, durable, practical and economical. But there's more to it. You should also know if your choice of material fits into your kitchen, both aesthetically and practically. This Hometalker was unhappy with their original countertops, so they simply poured wet cement over them and sandpapered the dry concrete, creating a style they were happy with. Get tutorial here

What You Should Know About Countertop Materials

It's important to remember that choosing countertops is about more than pure aesthetics. As this eco-conscious Hometalker explains, you can choose a kitchen countertop that will boost your kitchen's all-important green credentials. Opting for a sustainable material such as concrete, ideally in a recycled form, can upgrade your kitchen while also reducing your carbon footprint.  Get tutorial here

Granite Countertops

Granite countertops are by far one of the most popular materials for kitchen counters, for good reason.Highly versatile and long-lasting, a granite countertop complements virtually any type of kitchen. This Hometalker also demonstrates how much value you can get out of them, using Xylene and granite paint to give a new lease of life to their decades-old countertops Get tutorial here

Quartz Countertops

If you want a sleek, minimalist and professional chef kitchen aesthetic, then quartz is the one for you. This project proves how the properties of quartz are perfect for those aiming for a minimal look and feel. The material is so strong that it can act as an overhanging breakfast bar without the need for unsightly supports, meaning that quartz countertops are ready to go from the start.  Get tutorial here

Concrete Countertops

The main benefit of concrete countertops is that they can give an expensive feel with a low budget. As Hometalker Doreen Cagno helpfully explains, one way to install concrete kitchen countertops is to cover an existing service by preparing it with a sander and some alcohol before pouring over wet cement. She started with Formica here and chose a "feather finish" gray concrete, going for 3-4 applications with light sanding in between each coat. The result is stunning. Get tutorial here

Butcher Block Countertops

Butcher block countertops are one of the hottest kitchen design trends in the world right now. They're versatile and give off a look of high quality and craftsmanship. Your choices are broad, with cherry, oak, bamboo, walnut, oak and maple being the standards. This Hometalker chose maple and opted to have a professional cut and install them, guaranteeing a gorgeous, classic butcher block style Get tutorial here

Marble Countertops

If you have a particularly sizable budget to play with, you can't do much better than genuine marble. Choosing high-end Cararra marble from Italy, as this stylish Hometalker has done, will run you up around $80 per square foot. However, the gorgeous results are definitely worth the price. In order to preserve this beautiful material, do as they do and prepare food using placemats and boards.  Get tutorial here

Stainless Steel Countertops

Stainless steel is an affordable, low-maintenance option that will make your kitchen look professional. Its durability is a key asset, as well as the fact that it is incredibly quick and easy to install. As these guys have shown here, steel countertops are also highly customizable. You can do as they have and simply superglue a quality piece of butcher block on top of the steel, for style and practicality.  Get tutorial here

Laminate kitchen Countertops

Laminate countertops are undoubtedly the budget option, but that doesn't mean they're bad. They may be cheap, but they last for years and can be very easily modified in just a few minutes. As this savvy Hometalker Elizabeth Joan Designs has shown, one layer of primer, one layer of paint and three top coats can transform even an old laminate countertop into a good-as-new, incredibly chic kitchen counter.  Get tutorial here

Choosing the Right Material for Your Kitchen

You've seen the most popular types of kitchen countertops, so now it's time to choose your own! This Hometalk emphasizes the need to visualize all of your favored materials in your kitchen before choosing one, considering carefully which look goes with your existing fittings. Make sure to physically touch any of the materials you're considering, as this is a surefire way to find out if it's right for you.  Get tutorial here

Installing Your Countertops

When it comes to installing countertops, you can pay a professional or you can do it yourself. If you're installing your own, your options are to either place new countertops over an existing one, or to remove an existing one and replace it with your own. This Hometalker has opted for the former, using measurements from the old countertop to cut new wooden ones to place over it with the aid of construction adhesive.  Get tutorial here

Making Your Countertops Work for You

Ultimately, your choice of kitchen countertop should be whichever feels right. Countertops should lasting decision, which is why you'll want to use quality material that you know will stand the test of time. As this happy Hometalker explains, their favorite thing about their solid surface countertops is how easy they are to clean, which has in turn improved their own quality of life.  Get tutorial here