One of the major reasons for working with a custom home builder such as Rainey Homes is that you can design the custom kitchen you’ve always dreamed of. A custom home builder can offer you a wide range of options for kitchen floors, cabinets, sinks, countertops and more.
Depending on your tastes, you can choose countertops made of granite, manufactured stone, tile, wood or even stainless steel, and floors made of ceramic or porcelain tile, hardwood or laminate. Although there’s no single right answer, there are advantages and disadvantages to each. A custom home builder can walk you through the opportunities and challenges of each.
Granite is at the cutting edge of fashion when it comes to kitchen countertops. It offers natural beauty with an extensive range of colors and patterns to match any taste and décor.
Granite is strong and heat-resistant. You can put a hot pot on it without worrying about scorching it, and it can bear a lot of wear and tear. You can even chop veggies on it without damaging the countertop — although you will dull your knife blades.
Natural granite is porous, though, so you have to have the countertop professionally sealed or it could stain. And even though granite is one of the strongest materials for countertops, it can chip if you drop something hard and heavy on it. Once chipped, it’s impossible to repair, and it’s expensive to replace.
Manufactured-stone materials come with a range of brand names, as your custom home builder will explain. They’re often made to resemble granite. They can be made to virtually any shape and configuration you desire without seams between individual pieces like with granite. Yet they’re not as strong as granite, and you cannot place a hot pot directly off the stove onto manufactured stone, as you can with granite.
You can use hardwood for a butcher-block look to your countertops. You can chop directly on them. They are susceptible to staining, water damage and scorching.
Floors: Tile, hardwood or laminate
For many people, tile is an obvious choice for kitchen floors. Durable, water-resistant and easy to clean, ceramic tile comes in almost limitless colors and patterns. Ceramic does not support molds or allergens.
Its disadvantages include being cold and hard on the feet. Some people complain that ceramic tile causes them foot and even back pain after standing on it for extended periods of time while cooking and washing dishes. Another weakness of ceramic tile is that it’s relatively easy to chip. Dropping a plate or a metal pot from a countertop onto the floor can chip off the surface, leaving an obvious mark.
Porcelain tile is stronger than ceramic, and the color and pattern penetrate deeper than with ceramic, so any damage is less noticeable. Grout—the softer material between tiles—must be sealed and resealed periodically or it can become moldy, which will allow water to seep under the tiles and weaken the installation.
Several Rainey Homes developed by a custom home builder feature hardwood floors in the kitchen. Hardwood has a warm beauty that is impossible to match with any other material. Yet wood is a porous material that can be susceptible to water damage and stains if not sealed and maintained properly. It’s also easier to dent and scratch than ceramic or porcelain tile.
Woods such as oak and ash are strong and durable, and they have a grain pattern that can hide or obscure minor scratches and dents. Solid hardwood flooring can be sanded down to remove damage and then refinished several times.
Installing hardwood flooring can take significantly longer than ceramic or porcelain tile, which adds to the cost. Replacing damaged pieces also takes longer.
To prevent stains and water damage, hardwood must be finished with a strong and durable coating, and it will eventually need refinishing. Hardwood also requires regular maintenance and cleaning to retain its beauty and finish.
Finally, wood will expand and contract with the seasons and the humidity level. Over years, this can cause the individual pieces to separate.
Laminate flooring is a man-made alternative to hardwood flooring. Today’s laminates are almost indistinguishable from hardwood. They’re less expensive than natural hardwood and more resistant to water and staining. They will not expand and contract to the same extent as natural wood, either.
Talk to your custom home builder about whether laminate might be the best choice for your custom kitchen.
Making the right choice
All kitchen materials have their advantages and disadvantages. Making the choice that’s best for you depends on your own tastes and how heavily you will use your kitchen from day to day. Talk to the team at Rainey Homes, your custom home builder in North Salt Lake Utah, about making the right choices for your dream kitchen.