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The kitchen is one of the most of the used rooms in the house. If your renters are fans of home-cooked meals, they spend considerable time in the kitchen. Besides, this room is also an avenue for friendly meetups, informal conversations, and family gathering. Moreover, in the kitchen is usually a place for work and study, since there are fewer distractions, and your residents will spend the vast majority of their time here. Due to the constant exposure of this room, there is a risk of accelerated wear and tear. Renovating the entire kitchen is a costly endeavor and may not be the most prudent thing especially when you are on shoestring budget. However, there are minor renovations that can freshen up your kitchen and won't break the bank, such as new countertops. Countertops can increase the value of your rental and the perception of your property. Most potential tenants consider this a significant perk, especially who are seeking long-term lease. Countertops’ durability and functionality can make a difference for the potential renters.
It is a common misconception that high-end countertops imply a high-end price. Many old affordable neighborhoods built with cheap materials, which can wear out fast. Multiple older homes throughout Los Angeles that sharply display this trend as countertop surfaces reveal noticeable cracks and ultimately start peeling as time goes by. However, this is not the case anymore. There are plenty of materials that are affordable and yet durable and aesthetically pleasing.
There are numerous countertop materials you can choose from, and all of them have unique qualities. Let's break it down based on cost, appearances, and maintenance.
Quartz and Solid Surfacing
Choose quartz and solid surfacing if you prefer the care-free and low maintenance option. Quartz is one of the most enduring countertop materials. It resembles natural stone and withstands stains and scratches. Unlike other materials, it does not require sealing. Alternatively, manufactured solid surfaces comes in different colors and textures and also don’t require meticulous maintenance. However, both materials are susceptible to scratches and heat and can be expensive.
Granite, Soapstone, Marble
These are natural surface materials that display character and authenticity but may require considerable upkeep. Every countertop like this is unique, with stone patterns and aristocratic vibe. They need sealing at least once a year. Nevertheless, those materials are quite durable. Soapstone resists stains and even extreme heat but may crack due to age. Marble also can tolerate heat but can stain easily. Granite is almost immune to wear and tear. Those materials are not cheap, but you can get this high-end vibe at a lower price by purchasing it straight from the manufacturer. Those materials can be a good countertop option if you market your property in the luxury market.
Tile and Laminate
If you are looking for budget-friendly options, tile and laminate can be right for you. Tile countertops are relatively cheap plus you can assemble them by yourself and save on contractors. There are large arrays of tiles available so you can customize to the needs of your kitchen. For instance, you can pick large tiles and reduce the grout lines to prevent moisture from getting in. Furthermore, when one of the tiles breaks or cracks it’s easy to replace it. Porcelain tiles are impervious to heat, scratches, and stains. One of the huge drawbacks is that tile countertops are susceptible to moisture.
Laminate countertops are another budget-friendly low maintenance option. Laminate countertops offer a wide range of colors and patterns, also they are easy to clean. Still, this material is not very durable. It is widely considered an outdated material since it is easily burned, stained, and peels off after prolonged usage. What is more important is that it looks cheap and can cause irreparable damage to the perception of your property.
Stainless Steel, Wood, and Concrete
There are also some unconventional materials that are usually used in non-residential kitchens, but they can be a good fit for your vision of the kitchen. If you are looking for the non-traditional materials, you should look into stainless steel, concrete, or wooden butcher block. However, you have to take into account that those materials come at a high price and require serious maintenance. Since stainless steel and concrete are used in the professional kitchens they both can survive heavy use. Additionally, stainless steel is resistant to temperature. Nonetheless, stainless steel is one of the most pricey materials and can exhibit fingerprints and dents. Concrete block, on the other hand, demands serious upkeep and can crack and stain easily, unless regularly sealed.
Butcherblock is one of the artistic countertop options. It looks great, but it is very vulnerable. It has to be constantly refinished and sanded down to reduce scratches. It also requires oiling to protect the surface from damage and water. Butcherblock is paramount to accelerated wear and tear.
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