By Madeline Emilia. Countertops & Backsplash. Published at Thursday, January 18th, 2018 - 23:46:55 PM.
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.
Given the numerous shapes, sizes and colors available, ceramic tile is probably the most versatile option (it’s also proven to be timeless). There’s plenty of room to play with patterns while still maintaining clean lines: stack tiles in columns, stagger them, or lay them at an angle. Most tile requires minimal maintenance, just be sure to seal the grout so it doesn’t get stained or absorb water.
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.
Natural stone backsplashes have a distinctly different texture than tiles, and offer a contrast to smooth counters and cabinets. Stone is porous, however, which makes it harder to clean and more prone to chipping. An alternative to using smaller, stacked stones is to continue the same granite or marble used for the countertops all the way up the wall.
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