There is a wide variety of available options when it comes to choosing a kitchen counter top. There are seven materials that are more popular than the rest, however, and the following is a list of those top picks, as well as the pros and cons associated with each one. With this list, you can make an educated decision when it comes to remodeling your kitchen counters.
Granite Counters – When money is not an issue, Granite is the counter top material of choice. It defines elegance, and is extremely beautiful. Granite can contribute to the beauty of even the simplest kitchen. Granite holds up well to heat, looks permanent and substantial, and is available in a wide variety of colors. The downside to Granite is that it can be very expensive, requires a great deal of maintenance and can absorb stains.
Engineered Stone – Quartz particles are used to create Engineered Stone counter tops. These counter tops are available in a much larger range of colors than Granite, and the surface is nonporous meaning that scratches can be resisted. It may be expensive, but it holds up very well without needing annual sealing, and resists stains, acid and scratching very well.
Solid Surface – Scratches can be sanded out of Solid Surface counter tops, and they are custom made to your specifications by a wide variety of companies, including Corian and Swanstone. These countertops come in a rainbow of patterns and colors, are seamless and stain resistant. However, they are also vulnerable to hot pains, and tend to be moderately expensive.
Ceramic Tile – These counter tops are durable and tend to be extremely easy to clean. They are inexpensive as well, which makes them a great choice for the average home’s counter tops. They are installed one section at a time, making it easy for the average homeowner to complete on their own. They can handle hot pans, but are susceptible to stained grout lines, chips and cracks.
Laminates – These counters bear trademarks like Formica and Wilsonart. They are made of plastic coated synthetics that have smooth, easy to clean surfaces. You can buy these laminates in many colors, and they are durable, inexpensive and easy to maintain. However, scratches and chips are near impossible to repair and seams tend to show between cut pieces.
Wood / Butcher Block – These countertops offer a warm and beautiful look, and can be found in a lot of different finishes and colors. Maple and Oak are most often used for this purpose, as they are harder woods. These counter tops are easy to clean and can be resealed and sanded as needed. They can unfortunately also be easily damaged by water and stains over time.
Stainless Steel – Stainless Steel counter tops provide for a contemporary and industrial look. They are durable and heat resistant, and are seamless because they are custom constructed based on your own specifications. Stainless steel counter tops can handle hot pans well, and are extremely easy to clean. Unfortunately, they also tend to be expensive, and you cannot do any cutting on them.
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