Kitchen Countertop Materials Comparison Shopping For Your Renovation

Kitchen Countertop Materials Comparison Shopping For Your Renovation Project

I was helping my daughter having her kitchen remodelled recently. She was having problems trying to​ decide on a​ new countertop material. Walking through the​ counters area in​ Home Depot gave her a​ few ideas, but she was still undecided when the​ time came to​ choose a​ month later. I decided to​ write out a​ quick comparison of​ all the​ materials and​ costs for​ her and​ when I was done I thought other people might find it​ useful as​ well, so here goes.

Most people are familiar with laminate countertops. (Formica is​ one brand name.) They’re a​ thin surface of​ high-pressure laminate applied to​ a​ thicker base of​ plywood or​ particleboard. Pluses: the​ standby, available in​ literally hundreds of​ patterns and​ colors, laminates are the​ least expensive (next to​ tile) and​ durable, requiring less upkeep than tile. Minuses: Easy to​ scorch with hot cookware, the​ use of​ layers in​ their construction makes it​ tricky to​ repair chips, show scratches, especially lighter colors, so not usable as​ a​ cutting surface. Less durable than natural stone or​ solid surface; use with under mount sinks is​ not recommended. Cost: $25 to​ $50 foot

Solid surfacing, (brand names Corian, Fountainhead, Avonite and​ Surrell) a​ newer countertop material, is​ durable and​ mimics the​ appearance of​ natural stone materials like marble or​ granite. Pluses: Gives seamless surfaces, easy to​ care for. High impact resistance, easily repaired, nonporous and​ seamless, so won't trap dirt, collect bacteria or​ stain; easily. Minuses: May melt from hot pot; looks non-natural in​ some color schemes, licensed contractor required for​ installation and​ repair work. Cost: $60 to​ $110 per foot.

Natural woods. Used in​ butcher-block style arrangement. Maple, oak and​ other hardwoods, make durable and​ elegant countertops. Pluses: Good surface for​ cutting foods; scratches easily repaired by sanding; easy match with wood cabinets and​ floors. Minuses: Requires a​ finish to​ preserve appearance, may scorch with hot cookware, allows bacterial growth, so needs regular cleaning. Not practical for​ entire countertop – good for​ small sections. Cost: $50 to​ $75 per foot

Granite. Popular for​ their elegant and​ rich look, natural stone countertops will last longer than most kitchens. Pluses: Adds to​ value of​ home, hard durable surface, very heat resistant. Minuses: very expensive, requires care since it​ is​ porous and​ must be sealed periodically, grease will stain. Cost: 60 to​ $200 per foot for​ granite $60 to​ $130 per foot for​ marble (stains easily and​ not recommended for​ food prep countertop)

Ceramic or​ Porcelain Tile: This is​ the​ countertop material my daughter was replacing. While the​ counters were in​ pretty bad shape, refurbishing was an​ option. Tile has a​ comforting, classic look and​ is​ inexpensive.. Pluses: Easy to​ clean up after a​ mess. More heat resistant than laminates solid surfaces, inexpensive, unless you are thinking about custom or​ hand-painted tiles. Minuses: Can chip and​ crack easily; needs regular maintenance to​ keep bacteria out of​ grout. Scrubbing grout. Cost: $10 to​ $25 per foot.

So, what countertop material did she choose in​ the​ end? for​ it’s reasonable cost and​ reparability, Corian got the​ nod for​ the​ new kitchen. We found a​ color that was very close to​ a​ granite look and​ we also liked the​ ten year warranty.

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