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Renovating a kitchen is like cooking a gourmet meal. Take on too much, and the work can mushroom out of control, bust your budget and your patience. While we can't choose your recipes for you, we can help you focus your makeover or renovation on two of the elements that will give you the most bang for your buck; the countertop and a backsplash.

Whatever the size of the space, the kitchen countertops are where you will prepare meals for your family, entertain guests with a glass of wine in hand or simply chat with your children over breakfast. Choosing the right kitchen countertop can be tricky (and expensive!). Before splurging on such a big update, check out the pros and cons of the top kitchen countertop materials to help you select the right one for your space.

Because your kitchen countertop endures a lot of use, it should be above all practical, but that doesn't mean it can't be aesthetically pleasing as well. It's important to strike that perfect balance between style and function, which is why durability, visual appeal and ease of maintenance are among the top three guiding factors for choosing your right countertop. Before you start to shop for kitchen countertops, make sure you have a well-thought-out plan for your kitchen renovation. Consider how long you plan on living in your home, as well as the style of cabinetry and fixtures you plan to use. Also consider what types of upgrades are typical for similar homes in your area. As you remodel your kitchen, consider all countertop materials — everything from high-end marble countertops to granite, quartz and laminate — and then decide which one is right for your needs. Learn the pros and cons of each kitchen countertop material to help you select the right one for your space, because today’s countertop choices are more varied and exciting than ever!