Choosing Your Next Countertop

"Corian Countertop"
Corian Countertop

The options available in the market for countertops are numerous. The constant demand for new materials increases the diversity of colors, textures and prices. A short summary of the most requested materials will help you to decide the material for your next countertop remodeling or replacement. The materials listed below will give you a good idea of what types of countertops would be most suitable for your kitchen or bath remodeling job.

Marble and Granite:

Extracted from nature, marble and granite slabs are available in many different variations of colors, tone and texture. The resistance and other characteristics are also, not identical. Because granite is more resistant to stains and scratches, it is  one of the most suitable materials for kitchens and barbecue grills. Marble, more porous, less resistant, especially to stains and easily scratched by metal, is usually used in bathrooms. The white marble, however, is one of the most used countertop materials in Europe. The stains and small open porous are appreciated there.

Slate:

High strength, non-combustible, low porosity and low sensitivity to atmospheric agents, the slate is virtually smudge-proof and highly suitable for outdoor use. It may be used with or without application of mineral oil, which will give the stone a more glossy finish.

Concrete:

Easily molded to the desired format, the concrete countertop can get different textures and colors by adding pigment, aggregates and layers of epoxy. It is necessary use a sealant because, as the time pass, the top may become greenish. Concrete tends to work resulting in cracks in the material after several years and normal usage.

Tile:

Tile countertops can become very decorative by using different colors and patterns. The tiles are highly resistant to moisture and some options are also quite resistant to heat. Grout parts however, can create mildew. These countertops require a wooden base for its preparation.

Stainless Steel:"stainless steel countertop"

Extremely resistant to stains and corrosion and highly durable, stainless steel is suitable for use where a modern or a restaurant style is desired. It is easy to clean but easily show scratches and finger marks.

Solid surfaces :

Created by coating industries to compete with natural materials, Corian ®, CaesarStone ®, Silestone ®, among others, are compounds with a high percentage of quartz or other minerals bonded together, and, in some types, mixed with high quality acrylic. Easy to maintain, these materials are highly resistant to stains, scratches and chipping, and have a wide variety of colors.

Wood:

Visual cozy, wood gives a timeless look to any kitchen. It is a counter that requires a daily cleaning with a solution of water and white vinegar, especially after used to cut meats directly on it. A periodic application of oil is recommended. The aging process associated with the scratches produced by day-by-day use, give beauty to the piece.

Laminates:"Laminate Countertop"

Resistant and easy to maintain laminate countertops are undoubtedly the most economical for any indoor area. The material is made from a thin sheet of plastic glued to a cardboard, plywood or MDF for added stability. They are available in various patterns and colors. New patterns and edges details are recreating this kind of tops and making it more attractive to the consumers.

Here is a chart of countertop materials that are readily available for your next kitchen or bath remodeling job and includes their benefits at a glance:

 

Solid Surface

Quartz Tops

Base Material

Acrylic

93% quartz

Scratch Resistant

no

Stain Resistant **

Crack Resistant

Heat Resistant

no

Resistant to Common Household Cleaning Products ***

Low Maintenance

Nonabsorbent and Nonporous

Mold and Mildew Resistant

Color Consistency

Residential Warranty  (average)*

15 years

10 years

Allow for a large variety of edges profiles

yes

Feel to the touch

warm

cool

Finishes

Polished

Polished; honed; textured

Colors Available

Many

Many

Antimicrobial Protection

yes

Seamless Appearance

medium

Renewable & Repairable

Difficult/none

Offer Integrated sink

no

Requires Sealer

no

no

* Warranties are usually honored to the first owner only, if the installation is done by an authorized installer and has restrictions that vary from manufacture and product. Commercial applications are subject to special warranties by manufactures. The number of years for warranty vary according the manufacturer.

** The stain resistance vary. Some materials are more resistant to some stains than others. See manufacture specs or ask your product rep for detailed information.

*** Some very strong products will affect any surface material. Check the material specs for details.

Not all manufactures of quartz surfaces will offer all the textures. Colors may vary from 48 to 70+ depends on manufacturers and collections. Products have similar composition, but the finish , warranty and cost, can vary considerably. Ask your supplier for recommendations.

One Response

  1. Thank you Kelsey! Informed customers always make the best decisions!

Leave a Reply