Kitchens are an essential and perhaps the most domineering part of the human milieu. May it be a home, a hostel, a club or an eatery, kitchens will always hold special significance simply because food and appetite are indispensable to human existence!
As humans, we tend to be fussy about how our kitchens will look as kitchen aesthetic, look and feel are important to us. Usually, in constructions of a building or renovations of a house, kitchens are almost always uplifted to look and feel better. Apart from the look and feel, the fundamental traits of a good kitchen are functionality and accessibility, cleanliness and hygiene, durability and affordability.
Due to globalization, modern living trends since the last century demand Western-style kitchens which are usually an arrangement of assembled unit cabinets covered with a running countertop work surface.
Kitchen worktops are the most utilized component of a modern kitchen thus demanding maintenance and durability. It is also the surface which comes in contact with you most often while working in a kitchen, hence the look and feel is important. Kitchen countertops is the working surface which can sometimes touch our raw edibles while cooking a sumptuous meal and thus, it is imperative to ensure cleanliness and hygienic conditions perpetually as well.
Choosing the right material to lay a kitchen top can be quite overwhelming. There are many options available for designing a kitchen working top which includes marble, granite, wood, quartz, concrete, ceramic tiles, laminates and stainless steel.
Concrete countertops are more suited to an industrial environment. They can be poured on site or fabricated off-site and installed later. They are costly and messy to mount. The price is more than $100 per sq. ft.
Stainless steel working tops are more suited for heavy duty work environment such as restaurants or hostel kitchens. Some people who like the metallic look prefer stainless steel working tops for their home kitchens but it is also an expensive preference.
Laminates and ceramic tiles are considered old fashioned nowadays but low-cost alternatives for customers preferring price over style.
Wood is the oldest material to be used in a kitchen for many purposes including serving as an old time table top used for preparing and eating home cooked meals. With the increasing global focus on deforestation, availability of good quality wood has become a rarity. However, in the modern world wood is an expensive fad. The price is around $100 per sq. ft.
Marble is resilient and sturdy but a luxury. If you are building a mansion and you love cooking, marble can be your steep choice. The price is more than $120 per sq.ft.
Two of the most popular choices for kitchen working top out of a number of available options considering durability, style and affordability; are granite and quartz.
1. QUARTZ COUNTERTOPS
93 % crushed natural quartz mixed with color pigments and plastic resins makes quartz kitchen countertops. It is a non-porous material that can provide hygienic and easy to clean working surface. Beware while purchasing a quartz product as the quality varies. Ensure that you are getting 7% binders/pigments and 93% natural quartz for a countertop that is more resilient to coloration. As quartz is a man-made material it is available in a large range of colors and designs. Quartz kitchen tops does not need any special cleaners and are considered low maintenance. However be more vigilant if you have selected lighter color options. It is a trendy and stylish alternative with high to medium range cost, if you prefer an always glossy look. Quartz is also not very viable with heat and has a low heat resistance which makes it an incongruous addition in the kitchen setting. The price range is around $70 per sq. ft.
2. GRANITE COUNTERTOPS
On the other hand, Granite is a natural material which is ideal for countertops. Granite being a natural product is sliced into slabs and quarried into blocks, polished and treated with a sealer that makes granite stain resistant. This treatment enables it to resist stains for 10-15 years but avoid using abrasive or rough cleaner for daily cleaning purpose, instead try only stone cleaner. It resists heat, scratches and stains. Since it is non-porous in its fully finished form, it also protects against mold and mildew. The final surface can be finished in a range of options from matte to high gloss. The cost ranges between moderate to high depending on availability, origin and finish.
It is found mainly in Pakistan, China, India, Italy and South America. Italian granite is famous in the world for its high quality. Internationally, the price is around $40 per sq. ft. In Pakistan, a typical granite kitchen working top of 30 sq. ft. including granite cost, sink and stove cutting, edge rounding, slab fixing and finishing will be in the range of 30k to 45k PKR provided the granite originated from Pakistan or India.
If you choose a granite kitchen working top, it will be a win-win situation for both you and your wife. It will be easy on your pocket and she will be proud to show it off due to its chic look and feel.