When it comes to kitchen islands, the versatility and function they can provide is reason enough to want one. While some islands simply add extra counter/prep space and storage, a lot of islands can serve as an additional dining area for your family and friends.
Some islands even have sinks or stoves installed inside, which can truly transform the way your kitchen looks and open up space in other areas for added cabinetry and appliances. From permanent islands (which are built into the floor of your kitchen) to mobile islands that can be moved and adjusted, the possibilities are virtually endless.
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The Guide to Choosing The Best Top For a Kitchen Island
The wide variety of kitchen island surfaces below will help you transform your kitchen:
1. Granite Countertops
Granite countertops are the ultimate choice for anyone with a modern style. They are always unique (you will never find another slab exactly the same) and very strong.
Granite offers interesting colors and textures. Neutral granite is more expensive so if you are on a budget look for color options that might not seem obvious.
Pros of Granite Countertops:
- Natural and beautiful
- Very unique
- Resistant to heat, scratching, and (when sealed) stains
Cons of Granite Countertops:
- Needs to be sealed and maintained
- Can be expensive
2. Quartz Countertops
Quartz is the best option for anyone who loves granite but isn’t in a situation to handle maintenance or spend time thinking about their counters.
It is not porous and therefore more sanitary as well. We recommend choosing a round edge top which can prevent chips. Quartz is a blend of resin, minerals, and color.
- Wide range of colors and patterns (can look like granite or marble)
- Heat, scratch, and stain resistant
Cons of Quartz Countertops:
- Chips have to be repaired by a professional
- Not heat PROOF (can handle up to 150 F)
- Some of them can scratch (hard to repair)
3. Laminate Countertops
Laminate has become popular in commercial applications but is found rarely in luxury homes. It is usually layers of plastic glued to a surface like particleboard.
It is inexpensive but also can look cheap. Laminate is very versatile and can be designed to look like higher-end materials. It can also be installed over existing laminate.
Pros of Laminate Countertops:
- Inexpensive, easy to install
- A never-ending variety of colors and patterns
- Durable, it is stain and heat resistant
Cons of Laminate Countertops:
- Doesn’t increase the value of a home
- Can be damaged by a knife.
4. Stainless Steel Countertops
Stainless steel is found in restaurant kitchens across the country for a reason. It offers a beautiful sleek sophisticated look yet has faded in popularity in homes.
Stainless steel is a great countertop choice even if it isn’t on-trend. It will show every smudge so you will need to wipe it often. When purchasing a countertop choose something that is one piece including a sink. This makes cleaning a breeze!
Pros of Stainless Steel Countertops:
- Maintenance-free and indestructible
- Very hygienic, resistant to heat, stains, and moisture
Cons of Stainless Steel Countertops:
- Can be scratched
- Easily dented
5. Wood and Butcher Block Countertops
Natural wood offers a warm, natural look that just doesn’t compare. The warm tones combined with the beautiful texture can really add to the look of a home.
Butcher block needs continuous care. You will need to apply mineral oil regularly and it needs to be sanded and refinished every 10 to 20 years. Adding varnish can prevent stains.
Pros of Wood/Butcher Block Countertops:
- Easy to repair and install
- Homebuyers love them
- Stains can be prevented or “fixed”
- Scratches can be easily removed with sanding
Cons of Wood/Butcher Block Countertops:
- The porous wood can absorb spills or condensation
- Needs to be refinished
6. Limestone Countertops
Limestone is a highly abundant naturally occurring material. It is most usually white (or off-white) and made from calcium carbonate. Due to how bountiful it is often found in commercial applications.
Pros of Limestone Countertops:
- Very popular and elegant
- Heat resistant
- Distinct texture
Cons of Limestone Countertops:
- Very easily scratched and stained
- Requires attention and maintenance
- Can change color