KNOW YOUR COUNTERTOP MATERIALS:
are lots of options on the market for kitchen countertops. Our
list of top picks gives the pros and cons of each choice so that
you can make an educated choice when you remodel your kitchen.
1) Granite -
The beauty of the natural stone contributes to it's
popularity. It has a one-of-a-kind, natural surface that
has almost luminous look. It's sanitary -
bacterial contamination is not a problem. Formed
by heat and pressure it can take the heat of a pan or
heating element unlike quartz. It requires very
little maintenance and is easy to clean with warm water
and mild detergent. Weekly clean to preserve
sealer with Dupont Revitalizer Premium Cleaner &
Protector or Pledge All Surface Cleaner works well also.
Soapstone - Check out this site
Soapstone Slabs -
Engineered stone is composed of quartz partials.
It is available in a larger range of colors than
granite and has a nonporous surface that resists
scratches. It's easy to maintain. Quartz countertops are the new
worry-free alternative to granite. They are stronger than granite, require
no resealing, are highly resistant to scratches
and stains, and come in a huge variety of
A Gift of Nature Quartz is
found in great abundance in the earth—it is
second only to water as the most common
mineral-based form on our planet. It is naturally hard and
scratch resistant. Quartz even ranks a 7.0 on Moh's
Hardness Scale, which is used to measure the
scratch-resistance of a material. Only diamonds, ranking
10, topaz, and sapphire are harder than quartz. Quartz
counters are really rock with an attitude—they are
manufactured with nearly 100 percent quartz.
Industry-wide, all quartz countertops are made with 93
percent quartz or they cannot claim the hardness,
durability, or impermeability of a true quartz surface.
The prescribed mixture results in a product that is
non-porous, exceedingly durable. One negative
associated with quartz is that it is not as resistant to
heat as granite. Hot elements such as a crock pot
can damage quartz unless protected.
Color and Appearance
Adding pigments to raw quartz in the production process
creates colors to suit nearly any kitchen scheme.
Although the true look of high-end granite still eludes
the quartz-countertop industry, the number of options
available and the consistency and uniformity in any
given slab make up for any shortcomings.
Pros: resistant to stain and acid; easy care.
Solid Surface -
Because solid surface counters are just what they're
called, solid, any scratches can be sanded out. The
countertops are custom-made to your specifications.
Pros: comes in a rainbow of colors and patterns;
seamless; stain resistant.
Cons vulnerable to hot pans and stains which can damage
the surface; can be moderately expensive.
Ceramic tile is durable and easy to clean. Add to that
inexpensive and you've got a really good choice for
countertops for the average home. Because it's installed
a section at a time, it can be done by most resourceful
Pros: takes hot pans; easy to clean; wide range of
price, color, texture and design.
Cons: counter surface is uneven; tiles can easily chip
or crack; grout lines become stained; custom-designed
tiles are very expensive.
Laminate counters bear trademarks such as Formica,
Nevamar, and Wilsonart. They're made of plastic-coated
synthetics with a smooth surface that's easy to clean.
The pieces are cut to size and finished on the ends.
Pros: you can buy laminates in lots of colors; easy to
maintain; durable; inexpensive.
Cons: scratches and chips are almost impossible to
repair; end finishing and front edge choices can be