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Choosing Your Kitchen Countertops

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Choosing Your Kitchen Countertops

The kitchen is often considered to be the heart of the home. It is an area that all family members will be spending a significant amount of time in and the area of a home that most people consider to be one of the most important in terms of design, quality and appeal. Countertops are one of the most noticeable and most used components of the kitchen. Choosing a countertop can be challenging – it is often one of the most expensive portions of a kitchen remodel. Read on to find out some of the characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of the most common countertops available.

 

Granite

Granite has reigned supreme in the kitchen design world for years.  Granite countertops are available in a wide variety of different patterns and colours. They require minimal maintenance and are easy to clean. They are also heat resistant which allows you to place hot pots directly on the surface. Granite countertops not only add an instant upscale appeal to your kitchen or bathroom, they are a timeless investment that gives your home lasting value.

Pros

  • Low maintenance
  • Heat resistant
  • Tends to increase a homes resale value
  • Stain resistant

Cons

  • Expensive
  • They can be porous. If you don’t seal your granite countertops, or the stone was poorly sealed from the start, there is a chance that liquids could be absorbed, creating long-lasting stains.
  • Likely to have visible seams

 

Quartz (Engineered Stone)

Quartz countertops are the most popular material being used today. They are engineered stone composite made from natural quartz put together with a resin binder. They are non-porous, durable and they do not need resealing. The style and colourings of quartz countertops is similar to granite and marble.

Pros

  • Mid range cost
  • Non-porous so resists stains even better than granite
  • Comes in a wide variety of colours and styles
  • No sealing needed

Cons

  • Seams can be more visible
  • Susceptible to heat damage – Quartz is heat resistant; however, the resin and polymer fillers are not.
  • Installation is difficult

 

Laminates

The surface, frequently referred to by the brand-name Formica, is plastic-coated and available in a range of colors—including surfaces that resemble granite. Today’s laminates offer hundreds of design options and are still much more affordable than most other materials. For DIYers, laminates offer one of the best choices for building your own countertop.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to install
  • Easy maintenance
  • Wide variety of designs to choose from

Cons

  • Not long-lasting
  • Susceptible to burns and delamination, especially from water damage
  • Difficult to repair

 

Marble

Marble countertops are a beautiful choice for a home’s kitchen with many shades and styles available. Bright white marble countertops are a popular pick. Marble countertops are cooler to the touch than other materials which is advantageous for working with dough. It is important to clean natural stone countertops, like marble, with a mild liquid detergent and water. Be sure also to seal marble annually. If your kitchen is prone to heavy traffic and food preparation, then a high-maintenance marble countertop might not be the best option for your kitchen surface.

Pros

  • Beautiful, elegant, high-end look
  • Great work surface for bakers
  • Can increase property value
  • Natural material

 

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Must be sealed regularly
  • Stains and scratches easily
  • High maintenance

 

Concrete

Concrete is not just for sidewalks. In fact, concrete countertops can be a great addition to any kitchen. These countertops are also fairly eco-friendly, making them an appealing choice to homeowners focused on environmental impact. Concrete countertops can even incorporate recycled glass, wood chips and other repurposed materials.

Pros

  • Extremely durable
  • Can improve resale value – as considered a premium surface
  • Can be custom sized and shaped

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Regular sealing is required to resist staining
  • Its excessive weight can tax cabinet frames and floors

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