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When homeowners in Philadelphia or on the Main Line come to us about remodeling their kitchens, two of the top things they want to talk about are layout and countertops. A well-designed layout is, of course, necessary for the efficient use of your Philadelphia kitchen design, but it’s the countertops that people tend to notice first when they enter a room.

Many of our clients are families with active children and teenagers who already know they want to install kid-friendly counters for their kitchens. But while they want those counters to stand up to the wear and tear their children dish out, they’d also like a kitchen design that’s attractive and meets the needs of the adults. Solid surface and granite countertops are the often recommended choices for families with children. Even glass tops can be very durable. While laminates are less expensive, they will not necessarily stand up to the same level of wear and tear.

3 Things to Consider

Choosing the perfect countertop surface doesn’t need to be difficult. Think about these three things as you make your selection. While you may hear that you should take resale value into consideration, the ultimate goal should be creating a kitchen that works best for your family now.

  • Lifestyle. How does your family live today? Do you cook most of your meals at home or is your kitchen more for entertaining? Do you want a place for the kids to do their homework? Think about the level of maintenance you want to take on – some counters require more than others.
  • Budget. Though some countertop materials cost more than others in their raw form it’s often the labor that goes into the creation and installation that makes them more expensive. These includes edge details such as bullnose, or rounded corners, integrated drainboards cut into the stone. With concrete or solid surface, the options for creative design are wide open and though the material is cheap, the end result can be very expensive.
  • Appearance. What overall look do you want for your kitchen? Today’s countertops come in various shades and colors. Do you want a monochromatic look to your kitchen, or do you want counters that pop? And do you want a kitchen that reflects that architectural style of the rest of the house, or are you comfortable going out on a creative limb?

Making a Surface Choice

There’s a wide range of countertop materials to choose from. We’ve summarized the most popular choices here.

  • Solid Surfaces. Extremely durable and affordable, these countertops come in countless colors and may contain some natural stone, but they are artificially modified. Quartz is one of the most popular choices in this category. Materials like Corian are highly stain and scratch-resistant, as well as completely renewable and repairable.
  • Ceramic Tile. While not as popular as it once was, ceramic tile is still an affordable option for many families. It’s typically applied to a plywood substrate or over existing laminates.
  • Wood has become a very popular countertop choice. It’s affordable, durable and hygienic – a big factor for families with kids – and it’s perfect for chopping, slicing and dicing. It also instantly warms up your kitchen’s appearance.
  • Natural Stone. The name says it all. These countertops are composed of raw, natural materials that get shaped and polished. They include granite, soapstone, slate and marble. They also tend to be your most expensive options.
  • Concrete can be a very beautiful option and comes in a variety of surfaces and colors. Since cracking is often a concern, the counters are usually strengthened with rebar, wire mesh or fiberglass fibers.
  • Plastic Laminate. Better known as Formica, this surface is less durable but more affordable. Composed of kraft paper and resins, general purpose laminate for countertops is typically sold in sheets and laid over a wood base.
  • Glass. This option is gaining popularity and can create a striking look. It can be artistically done with patterns, colors, and even integrated lighting for a dramatic look.

Find the Perfect Fit

Can’t decide on just one surface? Don’t be afraid to mix and match. For example, marble probably isn’t exactly the best choice if you have active children – it stains and chips easily – but for people who love to bake, at least one marble surface is perfect for preparing pies and pastries.

At Cottage Industries, we’ll help you create the perfect Philadelphia kitchen design that accommodates your family’s needs. Schedule a conversation with us today to learn how.

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