|KNOW YOUR COUNTERTOP MATERIALS:
There 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.
2) 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 colors. 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.
4) 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.
5) Ceramic Tile
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 homeowners.
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 pricey.