Choosing the right countertop can seem like a daunting task – there are so many different types and colours to choose from! With seemingly endless choices, it’s important to consider style, functionality and price in your final decision, so here’s a quick read with tips for finding what will work for your new home!

When searching for a countertop, it is important to consider the overall look and style of the space you are creating. Elements like cabinetry, flooring and other materials will impact the colour of the countertop that you choose. The countertop can be the finishing touch that brings all of these materials together, or it can be the focal point that sets the tone for the rest of the materials in the space.

Another element to consider when on the hunt for the right countertop is how the countertop will be used and the level of maintenance you are looking for in a surface – you might want to choose a different countertop material for your kitchen island than a kids bathroom!

At our Design Studio, we offer three broad categories of countertops to choose from: laminate, granite, and quartz. Keep these considerations in mind while deciding which material will work best for your space!

Laminate

Laminate countertops are made up of a fiber core, with a picture of textured paper laminated on top.

Laminate countertops have come a long way in the patterns, textures and colour they use to recreate the look of a solid surface countertop. Some are so realistic when they are installed you have to touch them to know they aren’t a granite or a quartz – allowing you to achieve the consistent look of natural stone without the price tag.

At the lowest price on this list, laminate is a great surface to have, however it can be easily scratched or burned and can be susceptible to water damage.

Granite

Granite is a natural stone cut in slabs directly from quarries. Because granite is mined directly from the earth in places all around the world, each piece is unique and tells its own story. There is a great deal of beauty in the variation of colours and patterns these natural minerals create.

Granite is resistant to moisture, but is a porous surface that needs to be sealed yearly to prevent potential staining. It also tends to be slightly less expensive than quartz, and comes standard in all of our single detached homes!

Quartz

Quartz countertops are man-made products that use high heat, pressure and a bonding agent to fuse particles of quarried quartz rock together.

Quartz traditionally tends to be more of a consistent colour and look than granite; however, in recent years, quartz has also gone through an evolution and now has many styles and colours that emulate the look of natural stone. Some even argue it looks better than the real thing without the maintenance! Another benefit to quartz is the unique elements, like sparkle or colours like copper, blues or purples, that can only be created with man-made products.

It is also a moisture resistant material. Quartz products are non-porous and virtually maintenance free, but they can come at a higher price.

Top questions to ask yourself when choosing your countertops:

  1. Do you like light, dark or something in between?
  2. Do you like a minimalist look or do you prefer lots of pattern and movement?
  3. Where will this countertop be used, and how often are you going to be using the space?
  4. How much maintenance are you willing to do, and how often?
  5. How much do you plan on spending on your new counters?
  6. If you’re building a new home, what comes standard and what is an upgrade?

Selecting the right countertop will require you to consider these three areas in conjunction with one another – style, functionality and price. It is a good idea to rank them in order of importance as this will help you to narrow down to the type of countertop you are looking for. From there you can find the style and colour that suits your home best!

Whatever room you are working on or budget you have set aside for countertops, this is a great place to add personality to any space.

Feeling overwhelmed? Visit our Design Studio for inspiration or book a one-on-one tour to learn about the products available to Activa home buyers. The Design Studio is located at 155 Washburn Drive, Kitchener, ON, N2R 1S1. Open hours are Wednesday 4:00-7:00pm, and Saturday/Sunday 12:00-5:00pm. Telephone: 519-570-4211. Fax: 519-743-4714. For more information visit http://activa.ca/design-studio