Granite Counter Tops
Granite is the counter-top material of choice when there are no other things to think about – like money. It defines elegance in a kitchen. The beauty of the stone contributes to the beauty of even the most modest kitchen.
Holds up to heat, comes in beautiful colors, looks permanent and substantial.
Very Expensive, requires lots of maintenance, including periodic sealing, absorbs stains, can crack, limited range of colors available.
Engineered Stone Counter Tops
Engineered stone is composed of quartz particles. It is available in a larger range of colors than granite and has a nonporous surface that resists scratches. It’s easy to maintain, without the annual sealing required by natural stone. Brands on the market are DuPont Zodiaq, Cambria Quartz, and Silestone.
Resistant to stain and acid, easy to care for.
Solid Surface Counter Tops
Because solid surface counters are fust what they’re called, solid, any scratches can be sanded out. The counter-tops are custom made to your specifications by compaines such as Avonite, Corian, and Swanstone.
Comes in a rainbow of colors and patterns, seamless, stain resistant.
Vulnerable to hot pans and stains which can damage the surface, can be moderately expensive.
Ceramic Tile Counter Tops
Ceramic tile is durable and easy to clean. Add to that inexpensive and you’ve got a really good choice for counter-tops for the average home. Because it’s installed a section at a time, it can be done by most resourceful homeowners.
Takes hot pans, easy to clean, wide range of price, color, tecture and design.
Counter surface is uneven, tiles can easily chip or crack, grout lines become stained, custom designed tiles are very expensive.
Stainless Steel Counter Tops
For a really contemporary and industrial look for your kitchen, stainless steel is a good choice. They are heat resistant and durable. Because they’re constructed to your specifications, you can have a seamless counter-top.
Takes hot pans, easy to clean.
Expensive, noisy, may dent, fabrication is expensive, you can’t cut on it.
SoapStone Counter Tops
Soapstone is generally dark gray in color and has a smooth feel. It is often seen in historic homes but is also used in modern homes as both a counter-top and sink material.
Rich deep color, smooth feel, somewhat stain resistant.
Requires regular maintenance with applications of mineral oil, may crack and darkens over time.
Marble Counter Tops
Because of it’s extremily high price tag, marble is not often seen on most kitchen counter-tops. Marble adds a luxurious look to any kitchen.
Waterproof, heatproof, and very beautifull.
Marble requires constant maintenance, as it easily stains. Some new sealers retard staining. Expensive, porous, stains easily unless professionally sealed, can scratch, may need resealing periodically as per manufacturer.
Concrete Counter Tops
If you have counter-tops in unusual shapes, concrete may be a good couice, as they’re often cast right in your kitchen. The high price tag may be beyand most peopl’s budget. It is very improtant to have them sealed.
Heat and scratch resistant, can be color – tented, looks exotic and unusual, new treatments eliminates cracking, additives reduce porosity, new finishes are more decorative.
Mid to high range on cost due to custom work, craking is possible, can look somewhat industrial, porous but can be sealed.
Glass Counter Tops
Glass offers a sleek, modern style that doesn’t have to look like a bland glass tabletop. You can find various colors and different textures to give it some destinction. Glass counter-tops are sturdy enough to stand up to their role however you’ll still want to be sure you avoid dropping something large and heavy on them.
Laminates Cabinet Tops
Laminate counters bear trademarks such as Formica, Nevarmar, and Wilsonart. They’re made of platic-coated synthetics with a smooth surface that’s easy to clean. The pieces are cut to size and finished on the ends.
You can buy laminates in lots of colors, easy to maintain, durable, in-expensive.
Cons:Scratches and chips are almost impossibe to repair, seams show, and front edge choices can be pricey.
Composite And Recycled Materials Counter Tops
Composite and recycled materials deliver some interesting alternatives for counter-top selection. Some are made from recycled paper and combined with resins to from a surface that’s hard yet warmer than stone, and others are made from recycled glass held together with either cement or resin. The eco-friendly nature of these choices may also give you the satisfaction of having helped the enviromnent. Some of the companies producing recycled paper product using a phenolic resin, or products made from recycled glass, cement and plastics include: Richlite, IceStone, Vetrazzo, EnviroGlas, Paperstone, Squak, Mountain Stone, and EcoTop.
Wood Or Butcher Block Cabinet Tops
Wood counter-tops offer a beautiful warm look and are available in a wide range of colors and finishes. Hardwoods such as maple and oak are most often used as counter-top woods.
Easy to clean, smooth, can be sanded and resealed as needed.
Can be damaged by water and stains over time, scratches must be oiled or sealed according to manufatcurer’s instructions.