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How do I Choose an Island Countertop?

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  • Written By: Amy Hunter
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 August 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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If you have an island in your kitchen, the right countertop can make a great deal of difference in the appearance and function of your kitchen. Many people mistakenly believe that the material used on the island countertop must be the same material used in the rest of the kitchen. In reality, using a different material for the island than the rest of the kitchen is a great way to create a custom look without spending a great deal of money.

There are many different materials to choose from when picking your island countertop. While you want a material that coordinates with the material used on your other countertops, don’t worry about everything matching. Particularly if you are using natural materials, you will be surprised at how well two different colors and textures can look when used together.

If you are an avid baker, you may want to create a baking station with your island. Store your baking supplies and ingredients in the cabinets and on the shelves of the island. Unless you are exceptionally tall, ask that the island’s height be reduced several inches so that you can easily knead and roll out dough without standing on your toes.

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Marble is a great choice for a baking station island countertop, since it stays several degrees cooler than the ambient air temperature. The cool stone is the perfect material to roll out dough and shape cookies. By keeping the dough cooler, it does not get as sticky as it normally would. Since it is not as sticky, you do not have to add additional flour, which can make your baked goods tough rather than tender.

Butcher block is another excellent choice for an island countertop. A butcher block countertop allows you to chop directly on the counter. Butcher block countertops are very durable. The harder they are used, the better they look. Butcher block is made of wood, which is porous so it is important that you clean it thoroughly after each use.

There are a variety of solid surface materials that make a good choice for island countertops. These materials are typically very pricey, but for the smaller area of an island, can be affordable. Solid surface is popular in kitchens because it is durable and withstands a great deal of abuse. Some brands of solid surface material are Avonite®, Corian®, and Nevamar®. You can set hot dishes on solid surface countertops without causing any damage and the clean up is a breeze.

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