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When you walk into your kitchen one of the first things you see is your countertops. We’ve heard many people bemoan their awful counters, wishing for something better. But you don’t have to be stuck with ugly counters! For a limited time, we are offering Countertops for Christmas, and we’re waiving our usual $100.00 consultation fee. This only applies to countertops, sink, and the fixtures that accompany the countertop project. Which means you’ll need to know a little about the materials available to you.
There are many countertop materials to choose from and they range in color, price, edge details, and durability. The market favorite right now is an engineered stone product called Quartz. But natural stone, laminate, Corian, and wood still remain viable options based on your preferences and budget.
Quartz counters: This is a stone product engineered from mining by-products (think re-purposing). They’re mixed with resin, poured into a mold, and subjected to high heat and pressure to simulate what the earth naturally does with stone. The advantage to this product is that you will have uniform color and pattern throughout the entire countertop. There are many manufacturers, such as Silestone and Caersarstone, who offer a wide selection of colors and a variety of edge details. However, very few choices currently exist that can accurately mimic the natural movement of stone.
Natural stone counters: There are many types of stone, often referred to as granite. These are large slabs of stone cut from the earth, and each is unique. While there are different types of stone such as granite, soapstone, marble, and slate, each piece will look different. Natural stone can include features like sediment flow lines and even gemstones in its matrix. The advantage over quartz is that the flow and pattern will be unique to your home: no one else will have the exact same slab of stone. Check with your contractor to learn about the maintenance of your type of stone.
Corian: This is a poured solid surface material with invisible seams. It’s durable in the sense that scratches and nicks can be buffed out or resealed making it look good as new. It’s not as heat resistant as stone or quartz but does come with integral sinks for ease of cleaning. It’s even possible to have a second color inlaid for aesthetic purposes. Corian is a good option for a budget that does not allow for stone or quartz countertops.
Wood: There are two very different reasons you might choose this material. One is beauty: the grain and movement of wood can make it a wonderful accent. The other is that wood can be an excellent kitchen worktop. The wood species and finish needs to be carefully considered to avoid mold and bacteria problems. Chopping or slicing food on a wood countertop will mar the surface and break the seal of applied finishes. When wood counters are used for food preparation a better choice for finishing is a renewable food-grade oil/paraffin mixture. They need to be oiled and often resurfaced to keep them both beautiful and functional. The woods used most often for kitchen counters are maple, cherry and walnut.
Laminate: This is not the mustard-colored Formica of the 80’s we all remember. It’s a product that is very affordable and comes in far more choices then you might realize. There are even luxury lines that reflect popular kitchen materials like marble in breath-taking detail. The disadvantage to this product is the lack of heat resistance found in the previous options, as well as the lack of stain resistance. Additionally edging options are limited unless the counters are fabricated in a production facility.
No matter what you choose, having a countertop installed is an affordable way to give your kitchen a face lift that will leave your friends and family wowed. It’s a project that doesn’t take a lot of time to complete and can help make your kitchen reflect your personality. Call us today to get started on making your choices! Our free consultation offer expires on November 23, 2016.