When you choose your countertop, select a color and texture that compliments your cabinetry, floor or paint selection. Don't be afraid to combine two or more countertop materials in one kitchen. Complimentary colors or textures on adjacent surfaces can create visual interest.
Remember also that it pays to select a material that will withstand years of use without extraordinary maintenance requirements and is easily repairable should an accident occur.
Countertop Options: Granite Countertops Granite is…well…hard as a rock. Though costly, when buffed to a shine it creates a smashing look for kitchen counters. It is also riding a crest of popular style that began over 10 years ago. With granite tops, the experience and expertise of the fabricator is vitally important.
Marble Countertops Granite, marble, and limestone, all popular for countertops, are beautiful natural materials. In most areas, you'll find a great selection of colors and figures.
Quartz Countertops Quartz countertops are created from pure natural quartz, the hardest non-precious stone found on earth. Because it is a man made product, quartz is twice as strong as granite and is nonporous. These qualities render quartz resistant to stains from juices, food coloring, coffee, tea, wine, nail polish and felt tip markers. No sealing, polishing or reconditioning is required.
Quartz countertops offer amazing colors, incredible durability, effortless maintenance and increased home value.
Ceramic Tile Kitchen Countertops Glazed, porcelain, quarry, or mosaic. Ceramic tile kitchen counter tops are versatile, practical, and available in a myriad of different colors, shapes, patterns, and finishes. Whether you want to create a design-savvy look, an upscale appearance, a country flavor, or artistic ambience, ceramic tile kitchen countertops can be the right choice for a work surface that’s high in style and low in maintenance.
Solid Surface Countertops Solid surface countertops offer seamless acrylic faces with seams that are only visible from the underside. With solid surfacing, sink and counter materials can be integrated to create a fluid, graceful line. Solid surfaces come in a rainbow of colors, patterns, and styles, including stone and glass look-alikes. They are stain and heat resistant, with more edging and border options than natural stone. Scratches are easily softened with a non-abrasive scrubbing pad.
Laminate Countertops Laminate countertops are economical and come in a host of colors and patterns, but they are not built to last. Laminate is not scratch or heat resistant, but it is stain resistant. For a nominal cost, manufacturers such as Wilsonart and Nevamar will upgrade a surface to extend the life of the laminate.
Concrete Countertops The virtue of concrete is its versatility. It can be creatively adapted to any setting or any style — modern or traditional. Its hardness, strength, and mass express the timelessness of natural materials such as granite and marble. Its plasticity allows a wide range of details to be incorporated into designs, from hard-edge contemporary to ornate traditional. This versatility makes concrete universally appealing as a finish material, not just for structural applications.
Wood Countertops The quality of the countertop edge treatment is important. As an example, a solid surface counter is easy to clean and repair and will take years of use. It might look terrific with a wood edge to match the cabinets, but the wood will not withstand constant exposure to water and household chemicals like the solid surface material. Restrict the wood edge to an area such as a freestanding hutch and use matching or contrasting solid surface material for the front edge.
Consider combining quality decorative materials such as tile, granite or marble with solid surface. Many fabricators can create custom designs for a spectacular visual effect without compromising durability and easy maintenance.
When there are budget constraints, it makes sense to use the highest quality material for the counter areas that will sustain the greatest amount of use, specifying other materials to less often used areas.
Stainless Steel Countertops Stainless steel countertops are not very elegant and look "cold". They do not absorb stains, oils or odors, but it will scratch easily and scratches cannot be repaired.