Whether you're building a new home or remodeling your existing kitchen or bath, your countertop choice is one that needs to last for years. With so many countertop options available, consult the experts to help you make the best selection for you.
When considering the many different countertop options available, there are many factors to consider. Think about your design, functional, and budgetary needs in terms of the following elements:
- Durability. Consider how tough you are on your countertops and how long you need them to last.
- Easy maintenance. Countertops have varying degrees of porosity that will affect their resistance to stains and heat.
- Safety. Some countertop choices are naturally resistant to mold, others can include an extra layer of Microban antimicrobial protection. Corners on your counters are also a safety consideration, especially if you have children in the house.
- Style. Most countertop varieties come in a wide selection of colors, styles, and textures. Natural options, such as granite and stone, offer fewer color options than man-made counter choices.
- Cost. Like many things in home improvement, you get what you pay for. There is a large range of prices among countertop options. To make sure you're maximizing your available budget, consult with a countertop specialist.
Types of Countertops
There are dozens of different countertop varieties, but here are the most common:
- Natural stone. Granite and other natural stone countertops are very popular and considered fairly high-end. Granite is the most durable with a hardness rating second only to diamonds. They typically require a special sealant to keep them virtually maintenance free.
- Engineered stone. Engineered stone countertops are made of 93% quartz particles with non-porous properties that make them easy to maintain and resistant to scratches and stains. These countertops are growing in popularity and are available in a large variety of patterns and colors.
- Solid surface. Stylish solid surface countertops are available in a vast amount of colors, patterns, and styles making them particularly popular for unique color applications. They are stain resistant, but can be damaged by heat.
- Ceramic. Ceramic countertops are a less expensive countertop option that is durable and easy to clean day to day. Over time, tiles can chip, and grout can become stained, so ongoing maintenance is necessary to maintain the beauty of ceramic tile countertops.
- Laminate. The least expensive countertop option, laminate countertops come in a variety of colors, patterns, and grades which make them an affordable and stylish countertop option for many homeowners.