As a cooking operation platform, the countertop is used very frequently in the kitchen, and it is also very easy to get oily stains and water stains. Therefore, cabinet countertops should be of good quality and at the same time be relatively easy to clean and maintain.
So what is the best kitchen countertops material?
Commonly used countertops include natural stone countertops, granite countertops, artificial stone countertops, fireproof countertops, stainless steel countertops, and acrylic countertops.
Next, let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of several common countertops and their purchasing skills!
The best kitchen countertops material
1. Natural stone countertop
Advantages: rich color, soft texture, natural and diverse texture, easy to cut or engrave.
Disadvantages: Due to the natural formation, the micro-loose cracks are easy to break. Because the stone is a porous material structure, if sewage or sewage penetrates during production, transportation, or construction, it is difficult to clean and easy to crack.
In daily cleaning, it is inevitable that some residues and dirt will be filled into the cracks as the rags are wiped, becoming a hotbed for bacteria.
Natural stone in the long formation process in nature, due to the presence of heavy metal substances will have more or less certain radiation, which may cause harm to human health.
2. Granite countertop
Advantages: Granite has high density, high hardness, and the surface is very wear-resistant. It is also one of the materials often used in home decoration. Compared with natural marble, granite has better anti-bacterial regeneration ability in materials that can be used for kitchen countertops.
Disadvantages: Natural stone as a countertop material is usually not long, so if you want to make a long overall countertop (especially U-shaped and L-shaped countertops), there will definitely be seams, and these seams are also easy to hide dirt.
3. Artificial stone countertop
Advantages: The artificial stone is rich in texture and color, comparable to stone, and it is non-toxic and non-radiative, easy to clean, and can truly achieve seamless stitching. It belongs to economical environmental protection and sanitation materials.
Disadvantages: Artificial stone belongs to the processing industry, and the technical requirements are not high. Many inferior products produced by small enterprises flood the market and damage the interests of consumers. Some mid-range and low-end products also have problems with discoloration, poor aging resistance, and oil stains.
4. Fireproof board countertop
Advantages: using MDF as the base material, and the surface is covered with a fireproof board, which has better impact resistance, wear-resistance, and scratch resistance.
Disadvantages: Most of the materials used to manufacture fireboard countertops in China are low-cost density boards, which cannot provide effective guarantees in terms of performance and environmental protection.
Due to the length limitation of the fireproof board and natural stone, it is impossible to achieve a perfect seamless joint.
These gaps are naturally a “hotbed” of bacterial contaminants.
5. Stainless steel table
Advantages: The advancement of processing technology has given this material a new look, such as surface drawing, embossing, etc. It has a stylish appearance and is favored by young urban consumers. Moreover, due to the characteristics of stainless steel, the surface is very easy to clean.
Disadvantages: People often use steel balls and other cleaning sanitation. Other metal utensils or ceramic utensils will add many scratches to their stylish appearance. These scars cannot be repaired, so the stainless steel countertop will become more and more spent.
Therefore, special care must be taken when wiping the surface of this stainless steel tabletop family.
Advantages: hotbed seamless stitching, changeable shapes, diverse and soft colors, easy to repair if problems occur. After using it for too long, it can be polished again as bright as new.
Disadvantages: The hardness is slightly worse and the quartz stone, such as rough objects, rubs on the table, which is easy to destroy the brightness of the table.
The high-temperature resistance of the composite acrylic is about 90 degrees, and the high-temperature resistance of the pure acrylic is 120 degrees. However, it should not be exposed to overheated objects for a long time.
Tips for buying countertops
1. The thickness of the stand
The thickness and strength of the countertop of the artificial stone cabinet are directly related, and the thickness also involves the cost. If 10mm thick wool board is used, after processing and grinding, only 8mm thickness remains, which will cause some artificial stones to be easily cracked and deformed.
When purchasing, be sure to understand the thickness of the artificial stone. The national standard for the thickness of the blank sheet needs to be 12.7mm, the finished product should be 12mm thick, and the low-cost cabinet countertops are usually only 8~10mm thick.
2. Look at the product brand, price, and after-sales
When buying countertops, if economic conditions permit, it is best to choose products of well-known brands, so that the quality of countertops will be more guaranteed.
And products produced by small brands or small workshops are prone to quality problems. Generally, the price of a medium-sized artificial stone is about 1,000 yuan per linear meter. Products that are too cheap are not recommended.
3. Small methods for product quality inspection
The high-quality cabinet countertops have the same front, cross-section and back sides, no pores, uniform color, and no plastic-like texture on the surface.
The high-quality cabinet counter panel feels delicate and smooth to the touch, with silk, no astringency, and no obvious unevenness; while the poor quality cabinet counter panel will appear slightly rough.
Countertop cleaning method
1. The kitchen countertops made of artificial stone and stainless steel should not be wiped with hard scouring pads, steel balls, chemical agents, or steel brushes. Use soft towels, soft scouring pads with water or brighteners, otherwise it will cause cabinets Scratch or erosion of the countertop.
2. The kitchen countertop made of the fireproof board can be cleaned with a household cleaner, wiped with nylon brush or nylon ball, then wiped with a damp and hot cloth towel, and finally wiped with a dry cloth.
3. The soft stone cloth should be used for natural stone countertops, and toluene-based cleaners cannot be used, otherwise, it is difficult to remove white spots.
When cleaning scale, strong acidity toilet powder, dilute hydrochloric acid, etc. cannot be used, otherwise, it will damage the glaze and make it tarnish.
4. Avoid knocking or impacting on countertops such as washbasins or gas stoves. Where two countertops meet, avoid long soaking of moisture.
Cabinet countertop maintenance method
1. The hot pot and hot water bottle should not be directly contacted with the kitchen countertop. It is better to be placed on the pot rack.
2. Avoid touching the countertops and door panels of cabinets with sharp objects during operation to avoid scratches.
No matter what kind of countertops you choose, you should cut vegetables on the occupation board. In addition to avoiding leaving knife marks, you can also achieve better cleaning and hygiene.
3. The countertops of general materials have bubbles and gaps. If the colored liquid penetrates into them, it will cause pollution or discoloration. Therefore, fuel or stain should be avoided to be placed directly on the countertop of the cabinet.
4. The erosion of chemical substances is not allowed for many materials.
For example, if the stainless steel countertop is exposed to salt, it may rust. Therefore, you should also pay attention to avoid placing soy sauce bottles and other items directly on the countertop.
5. The artificial board kitchen cabinet should avoid the accumulation of accumulated water on the counter surface for a long time.