Countertop Choices - Whats Best For You?


Post Date: 2008-9-18 19:14:05

Countertops represent one of the largest surfaces in your kitchen. They are also the surface you will probably interact with the most - from sorting the mail to preparing food to cleaning up. There are a wide variety of surfaces available - laminate, solid surface, engineered stone and natural stone. Each of these surfaces has different characteristics, colors and cost. There is no perfect surface - each individuals style, lifestyle and budget will affect their choice. What follows is a quick review of the options and their benefits and drawbacks.

Laminate: Is the least expensive countertop option. Color selections cover a wide range. Laminate counters generally show the most wear and tear - they will scorch with a hot pot and can be cut by knives.

Solid Surface: Goes by names such as Dupont Corian庐 and Avanstone庐. Colors selections are consistent and choosing from a sample board is safe since there is little variation in color due to the manufacturing process. These are man-made products that offer a consistent coloring and seamless appearance. These surfaces will burn and scratch similar to laminates but light scratches may be sanded out of the surface. Entry level prices for solid surface counters are more than laminate and generally just a little below natural stone. Upgraded colors and edges quickly bring the prices of solid surface into the range of natural stone.

Natural Stone: Comes in many varieties with granite and marble being the most popular. Granite and marble are very different stones with granite being the most commonly used in kitchens. Granite resists heat and is difficult to scratch. Most fabricators seal their stone before or during installation which greatly reduces its propensity to be stained. Marble is more commonly used in bathrooms where wear and tear is generally lighter than kitchens. Natural stone comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns and every slab is unique so your counters can fit your taste. Entry level granite prices are competitive with solid surfaces and generally less expensive than entry level engineered stone.

Engineered Stone: Goes by names such as Caesarstone庐, Dupont Zodiaq庐 and Silestone庐. These are man-made products composed largely of quartz. They have many characteristics of natural stone in terms of scratch and heat resistance and the appearance of seams. Their colors and patterns are generally more consistent than natural stone owing to their man-made origins. Engineered stone generally has the highest entry level prices of the materials covered here.

When comparing options consider youre the style, lifestyle and budget. Consider which material will give you the look you are trying to achieve and how you use your counters will match up with the strengths and weaknesses of each surface. When comparing costs, be sure to compare complete bottom line prices for each option. Each fabricator and installer may have a different way of calculating your price so trying to compare linear foot or square foot prices may not give you an accurate picture of the total cost.


Author: Jeff_S_Lyons


Keyword: Countertop