History of Kitchen & Bathroom Countertops

The earliest noted countertop materials were wood and stone. As food preps began to move away from the fire pit or fireplace and into a dedicated kitchen area, countertops materials were made from the most abundant materials like stone and wood. By the time the 19th century rolled around, things had begun to change for cooking and food preparation surfaces.

The most popular countertop materials are:

  • Solid surface materials;

  • Natural stone. Marble. Granite;

  • Wood or Butcher's Block;

  • Bamboo;

  • Post-formed plastic laminate;

  • Self-edge or wood edge laminate;

  • Crafted glass;

  • Tile;

  • Cork;

  • Engineered quartz surfacing.

 

Think back to the Brady Bunch. Do you remember that bright orange countertop? It was Formica. Formica, still sold today, is universally accessible for its durability and ease of cleaning. A little Commit on a wine spill, and it vanishes before your eyes. Albeit not the current homeowner's go-to when updating or remodeling a kitchen or bathroom. There are a host of options available to anyone looking to update dated kitchen countertops. 

Today, buyers demand the look of marble, granite, quartz, and quartzite. The most significant difference between quartzite and quartz is that quartzite is a natural stone, while quartz is a human-made material. A quartz countertop is formulated and engineered with the same quartz crystals found in quartzite, but a human-made process binds the crystal with pigments, resins, and other materials such as glass pieces.

A solid-surface countertop is similar to glass, but are stain-resistant. It's a non-porous low-maintenance material. People love them because they are heat resistant. A solid surface countertops are resistant to temperatures of up to 600F degrees, so little fear of setting a hot pot on them. The downside is that solid surfaces may scratch reasonably easily. Solid surface countertops can resemble and mimic the appearance of marble, granite, stone, and other naturally occurring materials. Installation by a skilled craftsman will make the joints almost invisible.

Cork (laminate) countertops are an ultra-dense, durable, yet lightweight, cork material made from 100% post-industrial recycled cork grain. 

Bamboo is an environmentally friendly material. It is a renewable resource and looks very attractive and easy to care for. A common misconception is that bamboo is derived from wood, it's not, It's a grass.

Butcher's block only countertop material that can be used as a cutting surface. A butcher's block countertop won't dull your knives like stone or concrete counters. Cleaning a butcher's block countertop will require some extra care as the wooden material can dry out if improperly used or not cared for correctly. To keep these countertops looking their best, it's recommended to treat them with oil made explicitly for countertops. With proper care, your butcher's block countertop will last you for years to come.

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