Countertops: From Luxury to Economy

From luxury to economy, countertops can influence the total design of your kitchen or bathroom. Before you make a decision, it’s a good idea to consider all of the pros and cons of each type of countertop material.

Natural StoneThe most common varieties of natural stone used for countertops today are; granite, quartz, marble, and soapstone. Even though each type of stone material has its own characteristics, most stone is durable. Due to its density, stone is generally scratch and stain resistant. However, you must seal and polish your counters regularly to ensure they retain their resistance power against scratching and staining.

Granite is the most prominent material used by both home owners and builders these days. Granite is durable, highly resistant to heat, moisture, scratches, and stains. Granite comes in numerous colors from gray speckled to black, pinks, blues and yellows, and of course a variety of earth tones. And due to the demand and popularity, granite slabs are reasonably priced. Of course, granite countertops should be installed by a professional.

Quartz countertops are known to be the most stain resistant of all natural stone products due to the fact that it is the hardest mineral in nature. Marble is one of the softer stones used for counter tops and for this reason is very susceptible to staining. Soapstone has been around forever, and is known to be resistant to acidic or alkaline materials. For this reason soapstone has been used for centuries in sculptures, fireplaces, tabletops and goblets.

Butcher Block Wood countertops have a timeless beauty and warmth that you can only get from actual wood. Butcher block is a favorite among chefs due to the fact that all counter surfaces can be used as cutting areas without dulling your knives.

Ceramic TileFor an artistic countertop, consider ceramic tile. This product is available in a wide array of colors, textures, patterns and shapes.

ConcreteConcrete is taking kitchen customization to a whole new level. No longer does this mean plain gray slabs--hundreds of colors and unique designs can be created to match your kitchen’s color scheme perfectly. You can add glass chips, bits of broken dishware and bottle fragments, and even fiber optic lighting.

Stainless SteelThe polished surface of stainless steel gives you a sense of being in a professional kitchen. Stains are usually not a problem, and these counters can take the high temperatures of hot pans without damage.

LaminateLaminate countertops are inexpensive and relatively easy to install. With a little bit of care laminate can provide many years of service. You can find laminates in almost any color and many textures.

Are you on a tight budget, or is the sky the limit? Whatever your circumstances, there is a product available that will suit your needs while improving look and feel of your space. From natural stone, to faux-stone laminate, the choices for countertops are numerous.