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Choosing the Right Kitchen Countertops

» Kitchen
» Outdoor Kitchens
» Kitchen Cabinets
» Remodeling


Overview

Published: 01/30/2018 by Home Pros Guide

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There are important factors to consider when making a selection for a kitchen remodel such as the material's durability, maintenance and, of course, cost.

Granite, the top choice in countertops, is available in a variety of shades such as blacks, whites, greens, corals and beiges, and no two pieces are exactly the same. Granite is available in two finishes. A polished finish results in a shiny look and often darkens the appearance of the stone, while honing is soft and matte. Costs for granite depend on many variables, including color, finish and origin of the stone.

Other natural stone materials, like marble, limestone and soapstone, are softer than granite and require delicate use and greater care. All stone countertops must be sealed periodically.

Solid surface countertops have a lot of appeal. They come in countless colors, are seamless, resist stains and scratches can be buffed out. One word of caution, though: Hot pans can damage solid-surface countertops.

Concrete countertops, which can be completely customized with pigments, are gaining popularity. Concrete is available in several different finishes: trowel (smooth), ground (sanded to expose the sand aggregate) and pressed (a tool is used to reveal marblelike veining). To keep a concrete countertop looking its best, it's advisable to seal them up to four times per year and wax with a paste every two to three months.

Wood countertops, like butcher block, instantly warm up a kitchen. They are easy to clean and any scratches can be sanded out. Water damages butcher block quite easily, though, so wood countertops must be oiled frequently to seal the surface.

Laminate is the most affordable countertop material on the market and comes in an array of colors and designs. Laminate can scorch if a hot pan touches the surface and has a reputation for scratching easily.

If you can't decide on just one material? Then mix and match surfaces, you can use a different material on islands than the rest of the countertops to differentiate the space. Another option is to inset another material into a countertop for specific tasks.

Before making a decision on countertop material you should find a professional that can help you to make the decision based on what is better for your kitchen design.