KitchenKitchen Countertops

With more choices than ever in materials, colours and designs, these are exciting times for Toronto residents looking to remodel their kitchen. Even though realtor ads continue to advertise granite as the crown jewel of kitchen countertops, there are enough options to consider if you want to think beyond it.

As a countertop shopper, this translates into more opportunities to venture into unexplored design turf.

Today, we take a look at 5 lesser known countertop materials that are silently making an appearance in kitchens around the world. And guess what, homeowners are loving their choices.

Wood

There’s nothing novel about using Wood as a countertop material. It was once the de facto choice until granite came in and conquered the world. However, wood has been making a comeback of sorts as people no longer consider the high-gloss finish of natural stone as a prerequisite for an attractive kitchen. There’s nothing like a wooden countertop that’s aged gracefully with all its imperfections to show.

Pros

Wood is a renewable material and also an aesthetic choice. You can choose from a variety of colours and designs and it will seamlessly blend with your cabinetry. Also, it is a lot more economical than stone countertops.

Cons

It is prone to scratches and stains. But a quick sanding and some regular oiling can keep the countertop in top shape for years.

Stainless Steel

For many years, the use of stainless steel countertops was limited to commercial kitchens in Toronto. Not anymore. Custom made stainless steel countertops are becoming increasingly common in household kitchens. It has everything going for it. Its heat and scratch resistant and has a uniform surface that’s easy to clean.

Pros

As mentioned above, Stainless steel is a no-brainer. You can install and forget about it. Wipe it with a cloth once a day and you are done. No frequent sealing, sanding and polish required. Not to forget that it provides a very contemporary look to the kitchen setup.

Cons

It is not an economical choice since it is custom made for your kitchen. Also, be prepared to put those ear plugs on, as the sound of your pots and pans clanging against the stainless steel countertop is not exactly music for the ears.

Recycled Glass (Terrazzo)

Terrazzo is not entirely recycled glass. Traditionally, it was recycled marble chips cast into concrete to create an extremely hard and durable surface, which was later polished using grinders. In recent times, many companies have replaced the marble with recycled glass which makes for an extremely attractive surface.

Pros

Recycled glass countertops are extremely easy to clean. This makes it a low maintenance option. Also, it is a green material.

Cons

The glass maybe impervious to stains. But the concrete between the glass pieces is porous and can get stained, especially with red wine or mustard. If you choose a cement based recycled glass surface, it will need frequent sealing.

Zinc

Like Wood, Zinc was commonly used for kitchen countertops in many parts of the world, including Toronto, in the bygone era. It is now making a comeback thanks to its matte look which is a favourite with designers and homeowners.

Pros

Zinc develops a dark grey patina (colouring due to oxidation) with use. This makes it look extremely attractive in any kitchen set up. Since it is a soft metal, it can easily be detailed into any shape. It is also non porous and anti-bacterial.

Cons

It’s an expensive choice. And if you do not bother about the Patina, you can always opt for stainless steel which provides more advantages over Zinc at a reduced price.