How to Select a Countertop?
Building a home or remodeling a kitchen requires many decisions which will affect the way you live and the resell value of your home. Countertops are one decision that can make the kitchen more sellable and more livable. First decide how much money you want to budget for your kitchen hardware as well as the layout of the kitchen. After that has been decided, let's explore the options for your countertops.
Granite Countertops - 1st Choice
Having lived with granite countertops for the past ten years, I would call this my ultimate choice. They shine, clean well, have not stained, and hot pots can be set on them without worrying of burning. When walking into a home with granite countertops, one immediately sees beauty and granite comes in many colors. They are also easily available at your hardware stores in premade slabs or if you want you can use tiles which after having granite tiles I would not recommend due to the grout changing color and not keeping up with the luscious richness of the granite.
Granite is the most popular natural stone and countertop due to its versatility and top performance values. Granite is one of the most hardest and strongest materials in nature.
True granite does not stain and is a lifetime countertop in your kitchen. It does come in a satin finish for those who do not like high shine. Some styles of granite never need sealing.
True granite will continue to astound you to the rough abuse it will withstand. A granite countertop is nearly impossible to scratch with a knife and you can cut your veggies on it if you you don't mind getting your knife dull.
Granite generally goes from $10 a square foot to approximately $20 a square foot.
Granite is an obvious choice for our household and seeing the homes in our neighborhood knowing which ones have granite versus laminate the granite homes always sells over the laminate countertops.
Tile and Grout Countertops - 2nd Choice
Tile and grout is usually placed on top of a plywood countertop. Hot pots can be placed on tile and not damage it, however, tiles can chip and grout will discolor and is hard to care for.
Due to the durability of the tile, I would make this my 2nd choice but would prefer this in a bathroom over a kitchen since there should not be damage from utensils and kitchenware in a bathroom.
In the years that we have had kitchen tiles, some have chipped meaning you need to cover it up or actually replace the tile which is a timeconsuming and messy task since it means chipping away the tile and bringing out the materials needed for placement of the tile and putting new grout in which will not match the older grout.
If you have hard water, you will have big problems with your grout turning white if you chose a colored grout.
My suggestion is if you cannot afford all granite in your home is for granite in the kitchen and tile and grout in the bathrooms.
Corian is known to be your solid surface countertop. It has more of a flat look and not too shiny but is stronger than your laminate counter top and will hold up longer however, it will scratch which can be fixable with sand paper but also may be noticeable. Also you must use trivets as you cannot place a hot pot on it.
Corian has come out with beautiful colors but they are known to be soft countertops which in turn will soften the blow to your dishes but also easily dents and scratches the countertop. Dents are generally not fixable.
Personally, I would not buy it after seeing it in my relatives home how scratched it was and a hot pot burnt mark. They thought it was suppose to be tough and able to withstand a pot. Do your homework on this one. Take home a free sample and do some trials on it.
If you are not staying in the home for long and willing to use trivets for your pots and cutting boards for all your foods and you are careful about what you set on your top these will serve you well for a few years. This is generally a wooden counter with a plastic paper type pattern system that is glued on top that comes in different brands and a array of colors and styles. Laminate will scratch, dent, and cut easily from knives or utensils or rough treatment. Holes are easy to happen with these as well. They are not made to last a lifetime. Plan on spending between $7 - $20 a square foot.
We had laminate for many years in various homes before having granite and I will never go back to laminate even if it costs more upfront.
The laminate countertop makers will have you to believe that a granite countertop is not worth the money. I would highy suggest if you are considering to laminate your countertop to check the price of granite and weigh the costs and beauty appeal.
Do Not Use Marble Countertop in your Kitchen
Marble countertops look beautiful but need to be polished and they cannot withstand the daily use of a kitchen. They will etch and get dull in a kitchen.
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