Kitchen and Bath Countertops

Whether you areĀ building a new home, remodeling your kitchen or just updating some features, the countertops are one thing that will make a big difference in the overall appearance. There are lots of options on the market for kitchen countertops. Our list of top picks gives the pros and cons on several choices so that you can make an educated decision.

Granite Counters
Granite is the countertop material of choice. It defines quality and elegance
in a kitchen. As the use of granite becomes more widespread the price has come down.

Pros: holds up well to heat, comes in a wide range of colors, will last a lifetime, has a high value to home buyers.
Cons: expensive, but becoming more affordable, requires some maintenance, some stones absorbs stains if not sealed, can crack if stressed or improperly installed.

 

Solid Surface
Because solid surface counters are just what they’re called, solid, any scratches can be sanded out. The countertops are custom-made to your specifications by companies such as Avonite, Corian, and Swanstone.

Pros: comes in a rainbow of colors and patterns, seamless, stain resistant.
Cons: hot pans and stains can damage the surface, can be moderately expensive.

Ceramic Tile
Ceramic tile is durable and easy to clean. Reasonably priced and a really good choice for countertops for the average home. Because it’s installed a section at a time, it can be done by most resourceful homeowners.
Pros: takes hot pans; easy to clean; wide range of price, color, texture and design.
Cons: counter surface is uneven; tiles can easily chip or crack, grout lines become stained.

Laminates
Laminate counters bear trademarks such as Formica, Nevamar, and Wilsonart. They’re made of plastic-coated synthetics with a smooth surface that’s easy to clean. The pieces are cut to size and finished on the ends.
Pros: you can buy laminates in lots of colors; easy to maintain; durable; inexpensive.
Cons: scratches and chips are almost impossible to repair, seams show, not very attractive.

Stainless Steel Counters

For a really contemporary look for your kitchen,heat resistant and durable stainlessĀ steel is a good choice. Because it’s constructed to your specifications, you can have a seamless countertop.

Pros: takes hot pans, easy to clean.

Cons: Expensive, noisy, may dent, fabrication is expensive, you can’t cut on it.

Concrete Counters
If you have countertops in unusual shapes, concrete may be a good choice, as they’re often cast on site. The high price tag may be beyond most people’s budget.
Pros: heat and scratch resistant; can be color tinted, looks exotic and unusual, new treatments eliminate cracking, additives reduce porosity, new finishes are more decorative.
Cons: mid to high range cost due to custom work, cracking is possible, can look somewhat industrial, porous but can be sealed.

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