When choosing the right countertop material for your kitchen, bathroom or bar area, you have a wide variety of choices. And a wide variety of price points! Educating yourself on the options and their costs – both initial investment and lifetime value; will be an effort most worthwhile. In this article, we will outline the various options, and show you how granite can be a high-value option, without the high price. Have a look at Countertop Store to get more info on this.
Let’s start with laminate. Laminate countertops are your basic, low cost countertops. Typically made of a plastic laminate material glued to a pressed wood surface, laminate countertops offer a seemingly limitless array of color and pattern options. Today’s laminate can even mimic the look of natural stone with photographic representations of granite, and edges that are similar in style to those you see on natural stone countertops. But because laminate is the lowest priced countertop option, it has its limitations. Laminate is easily damaged, and not easily repaired. Knives and other sharp objects can scratch or gouge laminate, and heat from hot pans and dishes can scorch or bubble its surface. Since laminate is like a veneer, there is no room to buff out damage. Laminate countertops will not last a lifetime, either. You should expect to need to replace laminate within 10 to 15 years.
Solid Surface Countertops
Next we have synthetic solid surface countertops. The most widely known solid surface countertop product is Corian. Solid surface countertops are composed primarily of plastics with flecks of glass, plastic and other materials to provide color and pattern variations. While solid surface countertops do not look like natural stone, the do provide a seamless look. Because solid surface countertops can be custom fabricated to near any size and specification, long or oddly shaped countertop areas can be covered with one solid piece. Solid surface countertops are scratch and scorch- resistant, and can be repaired if damaged. Many people believe that solid surface countertops are a ‘step below’ granite from an aesthetic perspective, and therefore its pricing may surprise you. Pricing for solid surface countertops; starting at about $40 per linear foot; is actually higher than many granite styles!
Somewhere in between natural stone and synthetic countertops is engineered stone, or quartz countertops. DuPont’s Zodiaq countertops are a popular quartz countertop choice, and are available in stunning color and pattern variations. Quartz countertops are composed of ground quartz which is blended with coloring, synthetic and other materials to form a unique, natural look not found in solid surface countertops. Quartz countertops are pricey, though. With pricing starting at about $45 per linear foot, it too is actually higher in price than some granite.
Recycled Glass Countertops
A new countertop option that is gaining popularity is recycled glass countertops. For homeowners choosing to ‘go green’, recycled glass countertops not only look good, but feels good! Recycled glass is exactly what the name implies. Used glass of all types and colors is broken and ground, and combined with adhesive agents and coloring to form one-of-a-kind colors and patterns. But because there are only a few recycled glass countertop manufacturers; and the product is in high demand – pricing is on the high side.
And finally, we have our personal favorite – granite countertops. Granite’s elegance is second to none. Walk into a kitchen with granite countertops and you will immediately take notice. Because granite is natural stone, its color variances and random patterns are unmatched by any man-made material or process. Shopping for granite is fun, too. To choose the right granite for your home, you can visit quarries and showrooms that have large slabs to see. By viewing the granite slab in its entirety, you can see wide patterns and variations not visible in small swatches. Granite is highly durable and resistant to staining, scratching or scorching. Granite can be repaired n some cases, unless the damage is deep or cracked throughout. Granite is a solid value, too. Because it is considered by most to be a luxury item, granite countertops will add resale value to your home. And what most people don’t realize is that this ‘luxury item’ can actually cost less than other less expensive-looking materials.