When replacing your countertops, whether kitchen or bathroom, you have a multitude of choices. But which one is right for you and your space? Some of the most popular are granite, ceramic tile and laminate. Here is some information about different material choices so you can make the best decision for your space.
When Granite was first used for countertops, it was as expensive as marble. However, as the material is being used in more homes and businesses, the cost is starting to come down. Don’t get me wrong, it is still considered an expensive purchase, but you can find beautiful granite at affordable prices. Granite will elevate your kitchen or bathroom. It will increase the value of your home. Granite comes with over 3,000 color choices, does well with heat, and if sealed properly, makes it almost maintenance free. Just keep in mind that if the stone is not sealed correctly, it will absorb stains or can crack.
Ceramic tile is a great alternative to granite if you are on a budget. It is easy to maintain, clean and is extremely durable. It comes in all shapes, colors and style, at the same time allowing you to be creative. Unlike granite, you can install the counter-tops yourself. Ceramic can tolerate the heat well and are easy to clean. While you do have grout lines and potentially uneven surfaces, you can choose a tile that is not raised and install it with small gout line to minimize this effect. Make sure you get a good sealer for the grout. Choose a grout color that won’t show stains or age. Unfortunately, nothing is perfect. Ceramic tiles will chip or crack.
Laminates, Solid Surface and Butcher Block
All of these choices can give you a beautiful countertop. They offer a price range more in line with a smaller budget and can be easily installed. All are easy to clean and maintain. Laminate and solid surface counters come in a wide variety of colors. Laminate can chip. It will show scratches where as a solid surface does not have this problem. It can, however, stain. Butcher block can handle the scratches. They must be oiled and sealed. It can be stained and damaged by water over time. Butcher block is made from beautiful hardwoods like maple and oak. If taken care of properly, it will give your kitchen or bathroom a warm, rustic look and feel.
Stainless steel in kitchens has been all the rage. If you are going for the professional kitchen look, this is perfect for you. No longer do you have to worry about sitting hot pots and pans on the counter and scrambling for a pot holder to put under it. Stainless steel is heat resistant. It’s very durable, easy to clean and custom made to fit your kitchen perfectly. Stainless steel does have its drawbacks. It is rather noisy to work on. If you are not careful, it can dent and can be rather pricey to purchase.
True luxury is marble. It is very expensive and high maintenance. One thing you don’t see a lot of is large surfaces in marble. It is perfect for smaller areas such as an island or breakfast nook. Marble can stain but new sealers can slow down the effects. Mable is heat resistant, waterproof and of course, beautiful. Be careful or it will scratch. Marble does need to be professionally installed and sealed.