Rub a Dub Dub… Got Pups in Your Tub?

No doubt if this is your situation, you have had more than your fair share of sandy or muddy dog paws to contend with. Fortunately, with a few enhancements and tips, your bathroom can be ready for any dirty dog that comes its way. (Photo courtesy of Consumer Affairs.)

Dog_in_bath_Consumer affairscom

Here are 3 ideas to help make bath time for “Bowzer” more of a breeze!

1. If you’re building a new home or are already considering a bathroom, laundry or mudroom remodel, you might want to use the opportunity to install a dedicated dog wash station. Your designer will work with a plumber to install the proper basin or shower pan, drain and fixtures. A tile professional can help create a practical yet polished surround for your pet’s bathing area.

One of the first things you will want to consider when creating your plan is the size of your dog. If you have a large dog, a step-in shower is your best option. If you are a small dog lover, you will want to have a more tub-like design that you either lift your pet into or build steps or a ramp to help them easily access the tub. (Photos courtesy of The Bark, Home Channel TV, Pets Best and Houzz.)

dog bathIf you go the step-in shower route, it should be outfitted with at least a curb to keep water from splashing out. If you have a very well behaved dog you may be able to skip installing a glass or other type of panel to control splashes, but experts generally recommend adding a short shower curtain or glass wall.

Talk to your home designer about incorporating storage aspects into the design above and aside the shower area so everything you need can be easily accessible.

2. To make your pet’s bath time a safe and happy shared experience make sure to include a rubber mat in the bathing area and a non-slip rug for those wet paws, as dogs tend to be fearful of slippery surfaces. (Photo courtesy of The Dogington Post.)

bath_mat by The Doginton Post3. To make your existing tub more pet friendly you can affix a clip to the wall to help tether and keep your dog more stable during bathing. You can also install a flexible hand-held shower head or an adjustable height sliding shower head. Some sliding versions adjust low enough for your dog to feel like he has his own personal shower. (Photo courtesy of Total Living Concepts.)

dog-shower by Total Living Concepts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ready to make your bathroom more pet-friendly? We’re here to discuss your ideas. Call 314 Design Studios today to schedule a no-cost consultation (410) 643-4040, or feel free to drop-in at your convenience; we are located at 314 Main Street in Stevensville, MD 21666, and open from 8 am – 4 pm, Monday through Friday.

The Islands Have It! Form, Function … and Fun New Lines & Designs

It’s no secret that the kitchens that evoke the most convivial environments have at least one thing in common, a stylish island that offers both panache and purpose.

Today’s islands, indeed, offer all that and more. However, the earliest versions of kitchen islands were actually just work stations in the form of long narrow tables that were all about purpose and utility. With the appliances and plumbing fixtures of the day needing to be tethered to walls, the only place to situate them was in the middle of the room. They did the job of providing extra prep space, but that was long before our open floor plan living concepts created the need for work stations to have a makeover. (Photo above is from 314 Design Studio’s gallery of home projects.)

While some more pleasing attempts at “island living” were introduced in the ‘60s and ‘70s, today’s kitchen islands have their roots in those larger rectangular structures that took center stage in America’s kitchens in the ‘80s and ‘90s. And back then, in the land of the big, bigger and biggest, one might argue the primary purpose of an island was to help fill or connect space in the late 20thcentury’s largest kitchens.

It’s a beautiful thing now that we have come full circle and have figured out how to better use this wonderful device for productivity and gathering in a way that’s totally 21stcentury.

Customization Comes Home

Beyond being breakfast and homework central, islands have evolved in how they are laid out, what they are made of, how they are styled and constructed, and how they are situated within the kitchen space.

314island5Standard rectangular islands are still extremely prized and popular for the way they can accommodate a sink, a stovetop, a seating area and how they can provide a ton of extra prep and storage space, especially for those large countertop appliances and cooking accessories. (Photo above is from 314 Design Studio’s gallery of home projects.)

However, non-standard islands are making their mark on kitchen culture and making their way into spaces you wouldn’t necessary think would work for an island. These three newer trends do, however, because they were well planned for and well executed. So talk to your qualified design team if you’re planning a new home or just a new kitchen.

Shape Shifters

Playing with shape is the primary way islands are changing the kitchen landscape. Consider this Pentagon-shaped version. (Photo below is courtesy of Houzz Magazine.)

photo credit houzz magazineBy adding a triangle-shaped portion of marble to a rectangle portion, you create a more interesting aspect of design to the kitchen. In addition to the extra seating this approach provides, it adds a wow-factor to the room’s aesthetic that a rectangle alone just can’t do.

Talk about conversation starters, the room below with its angled island and contrasting color combo, creates great flow for foot traffic and appeals to the eye as it surveys the layout of the room. (Photo below courtesy of convencionviahispania.org.)

islandviaconvencionhispanaorgThis design makes the most of the existing space without sacrificing flow or style. Indeed, both wine and appetizers are all that are needed to get a party started when you have a sensibly styled showpiece like this one.

There is also something to say for subtlety in design. We love the way the island below curves and moves so well within a limited space, making the room’s layout all the better for it. (Photo below is from 314 Design Studio’s gallery of home projects.)

314island3

It’s also a winner when it comes to extra storage, entertaining space and a dual-level approach to the countertop allowing for simultaneous prepping, conversation and noshing to be going on. Exactly what you want and need your kitchen to do!

Excited to get started? Call us today to schedule a no-cost consultation (410) 643-4040, or feel free to drop-in at your convenience; we are open 8 am – 4 pm, Monday through Friday.314 Design Studio is located at 314 Main Street, Stevensville.

 

 

Three Reasons To Create an Outdoor Shower Oasis

Days out on the boat, fishing dockside with the kiddos, and afternoons by the pool are wonderful Chesapeake endeavors that are best followed up with a refreshing shower once back on dry land. Here are three reasons why you may want to re-think where you are taking that shower.

  1. IT’S PRETTY PRACTICAL

With all the attention being paid to our alfresco living spaces, it is only logical—and at times, more practical, to have that facility incorporated into your outdoor living scheme. Not to mention, all the sand and other land particles that WON’T make it into your house, if they’re washed off outside first. #lessmess!

outdoorshower5
(Photo courtesy of apartmenttherapy.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2IT HAS ZEN PROPERTIES

Beyond convenience, installing an open-air shower as a complement to your adjacent outdoor living areas provides another chance to feel more in harmony with nature and enhance your sense of well-being with its inherent spa-like vibe.

outdoorshowerspa
(Photo courtesy of apartmenttherapy.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. IT ENHANCES VALUE

Creating an outdoor shower experience on your property, can also give you an opportunity to flex those creative bones and style a space that adds to the overall aesthetic and enhances your property’s amenities and value.

outdoor whole bath
(Image courtesy of House Beautiful)

NEED MORE INSPIRATION?

With the variety of materials including treated real woods, stacked stone and amazing composite products that mimic the look of natural materials, you will have many options when it comes to designing the space.

From rustic, to moody, to modern there are many ways to provide for both the privacy you will want to have with the aesthetic you find most pleasing.

showers

Want to discuss your ideas for an outdoor shower project with an expert? Our talented team of certified designers can help you assess your needs and then combine them with the right materials, fixtures, and creature comforts specifically designed for outdoor living spaces. Call us today to schedule a no-cost consultation (410) 643-4040, or feel free to drop-in at your convenience; we are open 8 am – 4 pm, Monday through Friday.

Outdoor Kitchens That Offer Sizzling Summer Style

Before you know it, summer will be here—and you know what that means when you live on the Chesapeake Bay—letting the good times roll outside and enjoying sun, fun, family and friends!  We’ll bet you cannot wait for fresh-caught Maryland Crabs and BBQs! While your appetite may well be ready for your first crab feast, can you say your outdoor space is? Fundamental to good Maryland living is enjoyment of outdoor living and entertaining.

While outdoor design trends may have started with a simple charcoal grill and a beverage cooler, outdoor living spaces evolved in the mid-2000s as a most-wanted home feature, with many new home builds featuring outdoor kitchens integrated into patio and deck floorplans. Today’s outdoor kitchens are “next level” offering even more options with new materials, appliances and aesthetics to rival even our most urbane interior kitchen floorplans.

In other words, grab your biggest crab pot and get ready for your next summer on the Chesapeake with these outdoor kitchen innovations.

crabs
(Photo ©2017 Lisa J Gotto)

Material Maneuvers

While granite remains widely popular when it comes to indoor countertops, and stone is a wise choice for outdoor surfaces due to its durability, an innovative material that blends the glamour of the former with the weather-resistant qualities of the latter is now available in the composite category. This outdoor-rated composite is called DEKTON and is known for its strength and style. DEKTON withstands high temperatures, and resists stains and dinging from heavy utensil use. It provides the long-term durability aspect that is a necessity for enduring outdoor use.

Dekton-Outdoor-Kitchen
(Photo Courtesy of DEKTON)

Those first-generation outdoor kitchens rarely strayed from using stainless steel when it came to outdoor cabinetry, and with good reason. Like stone, it is one of few options that is both weather- and termite-proof. But manufacturers have added marinegrade polymers and teak options to the mix.

The marine-grade polymers are durable, easy to clean and come in variety of colors for customization and the use of teak can bring the woodsy warmth so many homeowners desire in a kitchen—even an outdoor kitchen.

brownjordan3
(Photo Courtesy of Brown Jordan)

Appliance Advancements

What is the biggest must-have item in the outdoor kitchen marketplace right now? The pizza oven! More than just a way to accomplish a quick meal, the pizza oven is giving families a unique, new way to connect and create fun quality time. Outdoor pizza ovens come in a variety of materials and sizes, free-standing and built-in, and in every type of style from modern to rustic. Other items that families are asking for and are available now are smokers, flat cook tops, and better storage options. Industry leaders predict the next big trend will be outdoor heaters; a great item to have for those cooler Bay breezes and to extend outdoor kitchen use beyond the summer season. The objective is to provide more options that appear less obtrusive and blend better with our outdoor kitchen surroundings.

Best-outdoor-pizza-oven-2016
(Photo Courtesy of Kalamazoo)

Appetizing Aesthetics

Creating a seamless transition from the inside of your home to your outside property is the priority in aesthetics today. Design and build options are available that open up a space so much that you can walk through the front door of a home and see a vista of the outdoors uninterrupted by drywall. Imagine your Bay area home providing that type of view.

To achieve uninterrupted site lines between indoor and outdoor spaces, 314 Design Studio experts recommend level floors with seamless room transitions and utilizing flooring materials suitable for indoor or outdoor spaces.

marca-corona-externo-1
(Photo courtesy of marca-corona)

Today’s porcelain floor tile options that mimic wood and stone provide the option for opulence because they look just as beautiful indoors as they look outdoors. Both wood and stone-look options are available in many varieties to complement any décor and help create the wow factor of the seamless look.

pool house
(Photo courtesy of Curtis Martin Photography for Lundberg Builders)

This four-season, 500 square foot Cape Cod style pool house was designed by architectural designer, Bob Moreland and built by Lundberg Builders. The exterior mixes a stone front facade and vinyl siding to match the original home, a custom-built cedar outdoor shower and attached storage area. The interior includes a cozy wood burning fireplace with a stone tile chimney facade, a limed-oak ceiling, porcelain ceramic tile flooring for durability, and a LaCantina folding wall system. The folding wall system is a fantastic way to connect indoor spaces to your outdoor living space. 

Do you have an idea for an outdoor kitchen and living space you would like to discuss with our designers? Our talented team of certified designers can help you assess your needs and then combine them with just the right materials, appliances and creature comforts to create a space that not only maximizes function and form but also blends substance with your unique sense of style. Call us today to schedule a no-cost consultation (410) 643-4040, or feel free to drop-in at your convenience; we are open 8 am – 4 pm, Monday through Friday.

 

 

Warm AND Well-Appointed: 5 Ways to Cozy Up to Your New Bathroom

Carrara marble, ceramic tile, natural stone—all the beautiful materials that create today’s most appealing and sophisticated bathrooms—are also all the things that can leave your space feeling cold and austere if you’re not careful. Fortunately, there are plenty of options and work-arounds you can discuss with your bath designer prior to construction or remodeling to ensure you are creating the warm and inviting sanctuary space you need with all the materials and finishes you want.

  1. The Extra Benefits of Soaking & Whirlpool Tubs

While a hot bath in a traditional tub is surely a relaxing and rejuvenating experience, upgrading to a soaking tub allows you to submerge several more inches of your body in pure warm, aquatic bliss. Many homeowners have embraced this trend just for the enhanced opulence these tubs add to a room, but when you factor in the additional depth per soak, you gain the max benefits of form and function from your fixture.

Soaking Tub
314 Design Studio designed this client’s master bath with a modern soaking tub

Jetted or whirlpool tubs are another option with added benefit. Although they have been around for some time, the latest iterations of these fixtures create more than just a balmy, bubble bath. Today’s models offer options like hand-held shower features, waterfall lights and even luxury cushioned headrests. In-model heaters can also make sure you don’t have to run additional hot water while you’re enjoying your hydro massage. What will they think of next? Optional TVs? Oh, yeah—they already have that!

314 Design Studio created this master bath with whirlpool tub
314 Design Studio created this master bath with a modern whirlpool tub with a curved tiled surround and bench. The fireplace adds ambiance and warmth
  1. The Power of the Steam Shower

Isn’t any shower with hot water a “steam shower?” Surprisingly, no. A steam shower combines the best of the shower experience with the benefits of a sauna. The enclosed and controlled environment of the steam shower produces water vapor that surrounds the body with the help of a humidifying steam generator. The health benefits of steam showers are numerous. They include increased circulation, cleansing the body of toxins, enhanced recovery from exertion, and stress management. Steam showers can also improve the complexion by opening your pores to promote clear skin.  Remember the last time you had sore muscles and then think about how much better you would have felt if you had a steam shower to step into for instant relief.

Photo courtesy of Kohler - Steam Shower
Photo courtesy of Kohler – Steam Shower
  1. Bane of Thrones

Knowing that your porcelain god could be ice-cold when you need to use it in the middle of the night can send shivers up your spine. Fortunately, the evolution of our home thrones has been quite dramatic—a far cry from earlier versions of seats with plastic cushioning —today’s models offer smart technology with quiet-close lids, flushing and freshening devices, and wonderful, glorious warmth; some 20-plus degrees above room temperature, if you like. Prices vary widely depending on which features are must-haves for you, but warmer experiences are possible for less than $200 per throne.

LumaWarm fitted toilet seat photo courtesy of Brondell
LumaWarm fitted toilet seat photo courtesy of Brondell
  1. Heated Towels = Happy Bodies!

Europeans have known this concept for years; even modest hotels abroad offer this as a standard bathroom appliance. When it comes to home appointments, these handy accessories have expanded to include a variety of finishes and sizes, and offer wall-mounted or free-standing styles. While you will need to exercise extra care with young children in the home, in general, towel warmers are specifically designed to operate at a maximum temperature between 100 and 150 degrees to provide the best towel-drying benefits without being a fire hazard.

shutterstock_heated towel rack - resize
Heated towel rack

Every Blissful Step

Talk about happy feet! Heated floors provide an extra heated layer between the ground and your ten tootsies which can be a game changer in winter. Even  in warmer climates, cold tiles can be an issue—it’s just the nature of the material. Heated floor systems, which are either electrically based or use hydronics (heated water circulating through a system of tubing in the floor), are energy efficient and can actually help save money over time. Cost per square foot varies per region, but you can ask any homeowner who included this feature in their build budget, and they’ll tell you, it was worth every penny.

Photo courtesy of Postroika
Photo courtesy of Postroika

Want to create a bathroom that is as comfortable and convenient as it is beautiful? Our talented team of certified designers can help you assess your needs and then combine them with just the right materials, fixtures and creature comforts to create a space that not only maximizes function and form, but blends substance with your unique sense of style. Call us today to schedule a no-cost consultation (410) 643-4040, or feel free to drop-in at your convenience – we are open 8:00 am -4pm Monday- Friday.

 

5 Kitchen Design “Must Haves” for Holiday Entertaining

We asked some of the region’s best hosts for their favorite kitchen design ideas for holiday entertaining.  Significant planning is required for flawless, memorable parties for guests and hosts alike. Having a kitchen that is designed to support guest interaction, food prep, storage and serving top the list.

1) Practical Design Layout – Open floor plan concepts offer sight lines that connect the kitchen to dining and serving areas so hosts can still enjoy their guests while preparing foods.

Open floor plan kitchen
Open floor plan kitchen

2) Ample Work Areas – Have you ever noticed how everyone wants to gather in the kitchen? A large island is a host’s work-horse that adds essential space for food prep and serving. Island stools offer guests seating while keeping them away from kitchen traffic and congestion and the danger of hot dishes and pans coming out of the oven.

Kitchen island with seating
Kitchen island with seating

3) Attractive Built-Ins– Buffets, sideboards and strategically placed cabinetry can be built-in to offer room for laying out a spread of utensils, plates, appetizers and desserts with plenty of room for decorations and the personal touches that make a space inviting. Glass fronted cabinetry offers a pretty place to display china.

Custom cabinetry
Custom cabinetry

4) Themed Organization –Design your kitchen to create serving “stations” such as a coffee station, breakfast bar, or cocktail bar that corral items by theme – specific utensils, serving ware, stemware, barware, small appliances and ingredients for convenient all-in-one access. Below is a whole room designed for a client who loves to enjoy their impressive collection of wines with their guests.

Wine cellar
Wine cellar

5) Butler’s Pantry – A butler’s pantry keeps the mess out of sight and allows hosts more room to store larger sheet pans, serving trays, or seasonal china instead of having to pack it up and haul it out for each use. It’s also a great place to store canned goods and other pantry staples and provides more utility space for mixers and other large appliances. Budget permitting you could even include a second dishwasher and/or a utility sink to wash dishes and prepare cut floral arrangements!

Butlers Pantry
Butlers Pantry

With virtually endless options, designing a kitchen can be a daunting process to undertake on your own. With years of experience and hundreds of happy clients served, our certified kitchen and bath designers can help you bring your ideas to life with less stress. Whether you are looking for the latest top-of-the-line trends and features or you need value engineered options, from concept to build, we will guide you in selecting the right countertops, cabinetry, appliances, and finishes to create a practical and beautiful kitchen. Call us today to schedule a no-cost consultation (410) 643-4040, or feel free to drop-in at your convenience – we are open 8:00 am -4pm Monday- Friday.

314 Design Studio Wins What’s Up Magazines Best Of the Eastern Shore Readers Poll

boes17

314 DESIGN STUDIO WINS WHAT’S UP? MAGAZINE’S BEST OF EASTERN SHORE 2017 READER’S POLL FOR ‘BEST KITCHEN DESIGNER AND KITCHEN AND BATH REMODELING’

June 5, 2017- 314 Design Studios, a boutique kitchen and bath design studio, has won What’s Up? Magazines Best of the Eastern Shore 2017 readers poll for ‘Best Kitchen Designer and Kitchen and Bath Remodeling’. The kitchen and bath design studio are well known for their exceptional designs, extraordinary customer service and unparalleled craftsmanship. They have also recently won the ‘Best of Houzz Design and Customer Service Award’. Winning these awards further confirms 314 Design Studio is a company with the highest standards of craftsmanship and industrial excellence.

The company designs and remodels kitchens, bathrooms, closets, laundry rooms and other spaces throughout the Eastern Shore, Annapolis, Kent Island and other areas. They have two kitchen and bath showrooms located in Stevensville and Annapolis, MD. There you can view a selection of fine cabinetry, countertops, knobs and more.

Every year What’s Up magazine asks their readers to cast their votes for the best businesses, law firms, spa services and medical professions by submitting an online ballot on whatsupmag.com. The winners will be honored at the annual Best Of Party held on June 15.

About 314 Design Studio

Our clients receive the finest personalized service from an experienced design team who will help turn your vision into reality. Whether you want to create a new space or simply beautify an existing one, our designers will assist in transforming your kitchen, bath, home office, library or any room in your home into the space you have envisioned.

Our studio is filled with samples of fine cabinetry, tile, countertops, fixtures and accessories. We are proud to support the work of local artisans and craftsmen and are the exclusive representative of quality cabinet lines.

Tips for Designing the Best Outdoor Kitchen

11949438_910185912379855_6409190968605643571_nThe most efficient outdoor kitchens are ones that are just as functional as indoor kitchens. Some outdoor kitchens can be very simple; only having the essentials.

However, some outdoor kitchens require a professional designer for assistance in design and installation. Regardless if you choose to hire a professional or not, here are things to keep in mind when designing your outdoor kitchen.

  1. Select low-maintenance materials and equipment
    Be sure the materials you choose are designed to withstand the elements (extreme heat, snow, heavy rain and wind) and are easy to clean and maintain. Known for its durability, high quality stainless steel is a popular choice because it is easy to clean, corrosion-resistant and durable. The products you choose will need to be able to withstand temperature changes, as well as be waterproof.
  2. Extend your living space
    Installing an outdoor kitchens provides you with a place to cook and entertain your family and friends. Be sure to plan for shade and shelter in case of rain, as well as to make things more comfortable in the hot summer months. You can incorporate an umbrella in seating areas or a pergola to provide more shade. Many homeowners are even installing outdoor ceiling fans to provide more comfort during the hot days of summer. Also consider incorporating a fire pit to create a warm spot for the cooler evenings and months.
  3. Add well placed lighting
    Adding outdoor lighting can help your outdoor space be more inviting for your guests, truly making this retreat an extension of your living space. It will also help make food prep and cooking easier and much safer. If you have incorporated a pergola in your design, a light can be installed from the ceiling. You can also consider installing light fixtures behind the work space or incorporating pole lights. Lighting not only extends your time outside, but provides safety for walkways, cooking areas and staircases.
  4. Choose your location wisely
    There are several factors that need to be considered when choosing a location for your outdoor kitchen. You’ll want to assure smoke from the grill doesn’t go back into your home. With this in mind be sure to put the grill in a place that is a proper distance from your home. Another consideration is whether or not the view from inside your home is important to you and your family. If so, consider putting the outside kitchen at an angle so the view isn’t blocked. It’s also imperative to consider the other areas of your yard that are already established. Do you have children or pets? The hot grill shouldn’t be placed next to children’s play equipment or an area your pet is prone to play in. Finally, consider placing the outdoor kitchen in close proximity to your indoor kitchen. Sometimes there are occasions when you may need to use both kitchens simultaneously. It also makes hauling everything from the indoor kitchen outside, and back inside again much easier.
  5. Choose reliable appliances
    The appliances you choose to have outside will need to be even more durable than the ones that are normally used for inside kitchens. Stainless steel and ceramic appliances are durable and require low maintenance.

By choosing the right appliances and materials, considering the location of your outdoor kitchen and your families needs, you can extend your living space and provide an all inclusive spot to entertain. Depending on the size of the space that you have available, it may be best to call in a professional for advice and suggestions.

Celebrate Earth Day in Your Home

Sustainability and being Eco-friendly are two topics that are becoming increasingly popular. With Earth Day approaching quickly, most communities have events planned to help remind us that it is everyone’s responsibility to work together to sustain our planet.

While these events are fun to take part in and a helpful reminder, you may wonder what else you can do in your own home to celebrate Earth Day everyday. Read on for ideas to be more Eco-friendly in your home.

pexels-photo-296230Plant a tree. A 10-year-old tree absorbs about 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, according to the Urban Forestry Network. It may take a while to reap the full rewards from planting a tree, but there is no better time then today!

Start a backyard compost pile. Composting is “the act of intentionally allowing organic matter, including coffee grounds, food waste, grass clippings and shredded newspapers, to decompose and turn into fertilizer or soil amendment.” Composting helps reduce landfill waste, improves the soil by adding nutrients and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Fix something instead of purchasing new. Repairing something rather than replacing it is always better for the Earth and your wallet. By repairing something in your home you are saving resources and materials by not purchasing new. 

If you’re not the handiest person, consider taking your broken item to a professional, or calling a handyman to help!

Spring Clean in an Eco-friendly way.  Most aren’t aware that you earth-blue-planet-globe-planet-41953can make almost every cleaning product that you use in your home. This makes for a natural, chemical-free product that doesn’t cost you anything. Check out this website for cleaning product recipes! 

Conduct an energy audit of your home. Most people turn off lights when they leave a room or unplug things that aren’t in use, but do you really know how much energy your home uses?  Check here for information on conducting an energy audit. 

Switch to Energy Star-rated bulbs. Some options can use 75 percent less energy and last 10 times longer than your standard bulbs. on average you could cut $30 off of your electric bill.

Run a full dishwasher whenever possible. Doing this could use half of the water and energy of washing the same dishes by hand. 

Have another? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Your Guide to the most Popular Kitchen Countertop Materials

Get details and costs on top counter materials to help you narrow down the choices for your kitchen

Choosing  a kitchen counter is no easy task with so many available choices. Since this surface area takes up a large amount of the kitchen, it ends up having an impact on many of the other choices you have to make when remodeling or designing a kitchen.

Below are some of the most popular counter top materials, and the pros and cons of each.

Clark-18Soapstone Kitchen Counters
This material is resistant to stains, chemicals and bacteria, and is a durable and natural choice for a kitchen. Although it is considered to be on the expensive side at $80 to $100 per square foot, it is considered to be a lifetime investment.

Granite Kitchen Counters
Granite has always been one of the most popular choices for kitchen counters. With plenty of character, including unique grains, colors and customizable finishes, it is also considered to be extremely durable. It  can cost as low as $50 per square foot but prices can go up quickly with more exotic slabs and difficult installations.

Copper Kitchen Counters
Although it is not a common choice it is surprisingly easy to clean and maintain. This is considered  a “living” surface, as it reacts to different substances, creating a blend of matte reds, browns and greens. It costs at a minimum $100-per-square-foot.

Engineered Quartz Kitchen CountersDSC00338
Engineered quartz comes in just about every shade possible, so it is perfect for anyone who wants a unique or custom look. This product combines ground quartz, resin and pigments for a very durable result. It is pricey at $95 to $105 per square foot.

Tile Kitchen Counters
This is one of the more affordable choices starting at $30 per square foot. Available in stone or ceramic, it is extremely durable and is one of the few choices that is completely DIY.  Maintenance can be difficult, but choosing a darker grout can ease this burden.

Zinc Kitchen Counters
Although not a popular choice in modern times, this metal has a warmth that has made it stick around for many years. The tone of this metal darkens with time, adding patina. Its antimicrobial properties make it a smart choice for a cooking space. This material starts at $100 per square foot.

Houzz.com
Houzz.com

Recycled Paper-Based Counters
This ecofriendly choice has surprising durability considering it is made entirely of paper.  It is typically mixed with resins and pigments and looks very similar to soapstone, and averages between $40-80 per square foot.

Plastic Laminate Kitchen Counters
This option can work with most designs because it has so many customizable edges and finishes. One of the cheaper options it ranges from $8-20 per square foot. It’s one downfall is that it is not very durable and may need to be touched up or replaced more often then some of the other choices.

a5012de300088c6d_3742-w400-h400-b0-p0--kitchen-countertops
houzz.com

Recycled Glass and Cement Kitchen Counters
One of the more pricey options starts at $100 per square foot, but is growing in popularity because of the unique combination of glass and cement.  This option is ecofriendly, durable and customizable.

Stainless Steel Kitchen Counters
This choice is nonstaining, heat resistant and easy to clean, and is a top choice for chefs. Starting at $80 to $90 per square foot installed means it’s more affordable than most stone counters, too.

Solid-Surface Kitchen Counters
Although not very popular, this miracle material has the ability to imitate just about any look without the same maintenance or price tag. Prices range from $50 to $100 per square foot, depending on the manufacturer.

Wood Kitchen Counters
A personal favorite, this option offers a unique, warm and long lasting countertop. The cost varies depending on the type of wood you choose, but one of the most popular choices, a butcher block, tend to range from $30 to $85 per square foot.

NEW HOUSE
314designstudio.com

Marble Kitchen Counters
Marble counters are always in style offering a classic look however it tends to scratch and stain easily. Marble is known more for the patina it develops, than for its durability. The cost typically ranges from $70 to $100 per square foot.

Concrete Kitchen Counters
Pigments, stains and dyes can create concrete counters with color and visual texture, making them fairly easy to customize . With the right sealer, a concrete counter can be well worth its cost — averaging between $100 to $150.

Source Houzz.com