Heat resistance: One of the considerations when choosing a countertop material is the heat resistance when you are cooking. You shouldn’t put hot pans directly on countertops. Using a trivet between the pan and the countertop surface is a good idea. Natural stone materials and concrete can endure heat better than plastic laminate that can leave a scorch mark. Ceramic tile countertops can take heat, but may crack due to rapid temperature changes. To be certain, do not place heated pans on countertops, stainless steel is one of the few countertops that can endure heat.
If you’d like to break up all the straight lines in a contemporary kitchen, add a little curve to your countertop design. A curve, especially in the seating area, creates an inviting, communal place where it’s easier to sit and have a face-to-face conversation with each other.
Butcher Block: Wood product, best used for islands away from water sources/sinks. Medium durability – can absorb stains because wood is porous. Color is chosen by different wood stains, moderate to high in price. Tile: Durable if taken care of properly. Porcelain tiles can chip, crack or break if items are dropped on the counter. Grouting can also chip and discolor. Price is based on how expensive the individual tiles are. Can get expensive with hand painted and imported tile.
Add another dynamic by creating variation in the height of your island. Using the island for multiple purposes, like eating and food prep, will both maximize the utility and make it feel like two totally different spaces. For example, add an appliance to one level (like a sink or stovetop) and create a breakfast bar on a higher tier.
The biggest real estate for a focal point is behind the stove. Create focal points by changing up the pattern or color scheme of your materials, whether that’s laying tile at an angle or mixing and matching complimentary colors. And if you’re on a budget, splurge on that stove-top wall and use a less expensive material everywhere else.
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