Designing Kitchen Countertops For Improved Kitchen Aesthetic

We all have, at least most of us, dreams of a kitchen probably made from marble countertops like those fancy kitchens from YouTube videos. Marble is like every woman’s dream of a beautiful kitchen but we never look out for other options that could be better.

There are so many options to choose from. From raw wood to zinc to concrete. Kitchen countertops are the best place to add your ultimate design touch to make a statement in your kitchen.

Just because you don’t spend much time in the kitchen doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put much effort in designing it. The following information will equip you with all you need to know about how to go about designing a kitchen counter-top.

Height and Dept of a Kitchen Counter

Before we get to the materials, you need to know the standard measurements of the kitchen counter-tops. The standard counter height is 34-36” but it can vary based on your size and preferences.

Counter height is the measurement from the floor to the top of your counter-tops. Most times you are supposed to factor in your height. Other things you should also consider while choosing your countertop height are:

  • Height of your family,
  • How you use them,
  • Location of your counter-tops and
  • Handicap Accessible counter-tops and cabinets

The standard depth is 24” and again this will vary based on your size, appliance depths and details of the splash-back and cabinet. The measurement allows for an overhang of about 1-1/2 inches past the cabinet front frame so that if a liquid roll off the counter, it will prevent it from spilling into the drawers.

Kitchen countertop materials

Choosing the right countertop that suits you can be tricky especially if you are considering looking at all the above options. You may specifically want marble but do you know there are different types of marble?

What about quartz and quartzite? What are they anyway? These materials vary from strength to high maintenance or low maintenance. Before you invest on the different kinds of options for materials, you should consider the following:

  1. Color and design (What theme you are going for)
  2. Size and shape of material. In terms of thickness, length and style of edge slab.
  3. Durability and ease of maintenance. (Put in mind how will use the top)
  4. Also the initial and maintenance cost.

Let’s get into the materials now.

Tiles

You may have considered this for your back splash but they can actually work as kitchen countertops too. These are for all you who prefer a retro style.

Pros: 

  • Heat and scratch resistant
  • gives an exotic look
  • the decorative choices are wide.

Cons:

  • DIY is not possible; you have to get a professional to install them
  • Susceptible to cracking
  • Costs are high due to the custom work done.

Stainless Steel

If you are going for an industrial or contemporary look then this would be a good choice. They are heat resistant and durable. They can also be constructed to be seamless since they can be designed to your specifications.

Pros:

  • Durable and resilient to almost anything. They are not only aesthetically pleasing but water, stains and heat have nothing on stainless steel. You won’t have to worry about mold or stubborn stains when a “kitchen” accident occurs.
  • Impervious to heat damage
  • Good choice for modern kitchens
  • Easiest of all materials to clean.

Cons:

  • Can be noisy: Imagine a scenario where children start tapping on it or when you put your glass utensils on it. There will always be that impact noise that comes with it.
  • Stainless steel scratches easily and that wouldn’t be as pleasing due to the marks left.
  • Low maintenance yet high maintenance. They may not stain but they do leave smudge marks and fingerprints despite thorough cleaning and if you are one to notice the small details, then that would be tricky.

Quartz

This is an engineered stone that contains 93% pf quartz particles and other minerals that are shaped into slabs and bound with resins. So, it is really not the mined quartz but it still works right?  It is available in a bigger range of colors compared to granite and marble.

Pros

  • You can DIY
  • It is easy to maintain and no sealing is required.
  • The slabs are uniform
  • Can be custom-fabricated to suit your need.
  • It resists stains and impervious to heat and acid

     Cons

  • The counter-tops get heavy
  • Expensive

Granite

This is one of the hardest natural stones and are on the pricier side compared to Marble.

Pros

  • Impervious to heat
  • Very strong and durable
  • It has a wide array of different colors going up to 3000.
  • They are maintenance-free when treated with new sealers

Cons

  • Since the stone is porous, it will require sealing to avoid stains.
  • DIY is impossible
  • Tends to crack when under pressure or when installed haphazardly.
  • Knives get dulled when you cut on it
  • The slabs may have imperfections

 Soapstone

Most people who choose soapstone like that historic touch as their home theme. It can be used as the countertop material and the sink too. Over time it takes an antique-like patina that can be very attractive in certain kitchen themes.

Pros

  • It has a deep rich color
  • They are stain resistant
  • Impervious to heat
  • Any damage can be sanded out
  • Offer a modern historic look

Cons

  • DIY is impossible
  • Must be treated constantly with mineral oil
  • It can suffer from scratches and get unattractive
  • May darken over time.

Picking the right kitchen counter stools

Let’s assume you are all done. You already chose the material you want for your kitchen counter tops and now you want some stools. There is quite a handful to consider when picking kitchen counter stools because they aren’t as standardized as dining room tables and chairs.

Consider the few pointers below:

  1. Appropriate height

You do not want it to be either too high or too low. This would occur if you fail to match the kitchen counter height with the stool. Make sure you measure your countertop’s height and measure 12 inches below the underside of the counter to get your perfect stool that is if your counter-top is 36 inches.

Do not assume it will automatically fit. Check the product measurements online. If the stool has soft cushioning, it will be lower than expected so remember that too.

  1. Comfort-ability

You want your chairs to be comfortable so that your significant other or someone else can give you some “tea” as you cook. That won’t happen if they are not comfortable.

For comfort pick stools with a bit of cushion in the seat and the back. Consider wipeable materials like crypton fabric or leather. Also, pick a stool with a footrest.

Unlike the chairs in a dining area where one can rest their feet on the floor, counter-top stools will need a footrest so that they won’t feel uneasy when the feet dangle. Backless stools are a no no! They may look chic but comfort is priority.

  1. Child-friendly

This is solely for the people who have children around. For a family-friendly kitchen, pick stool that could work for kids too. Consider choosing ones with backs, padded considering the wipeable materials because children are more likely to make spills.

  1. Choose ones that go with your room decor most preferably

Countertop stools are not just for sitting on but could also work as decor. Choose a stool that will suit the overall look of the room. Avoid picking stools that will clash with the room style. We’re trying to make that kitchen look admirable and amazing.