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.
If you’re looking for a countertop that develops a rich, blue-toned patina, zinc is a good option. Zinc reacts over time with water, oils and citrus. The reactions are what create the beautiful, rich patina that is the metal’s signature. Zinc countertops are best left in their natural, matte-finish state.
Do you really need a one? Not really. But you’ll inevitably get that wall dirty while cooking or washing dishes, and an easy-to-clean surface can make messes easier to wipe up, especially if your stove doesn’t have a one built in. And almost any type of material can work–from bamboo to corkboard–as long as it’s properly sealed.
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.
While countertops, flooring and cabinets are generally places to keep it simple, the backsplash is a good place to inject some personal style, whether that’s with a mosaic feature or a bold color. And since that wall literally connects the countertops with the cabinets it’s also a place to tie everything together.
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