Kitchen countertops are hard-working surfaces that more or less act as the kitchen’s workbench. Choosing the perfect countertop can be a challenge, but your options have never been quite as diverse. From wood to stone to tile, countertops have become as revolutionary and stylish as the kitchens they cover. New developments and old-world charm combine to bring you the best in functionality and design. But determining the perfect countertop depends upon your lifestyle as well as your cooking habits.
With a little bit of leg work you once in a while come across a single all-in-one supplier that does everything from fabrication to installation, as well as direct marketing. As you are here on our website you have already done the right thing. Weston Kitchen and Bath is a company that provides expert fabrication and installation. This is your best bet for quality, service and low prices. Below are just a few of the types of countertops available for your next kitchen remodeling project. The key selection criteria is one of personal taste. There is a vast array of colors and visual textures available, including stone with “movement” – large scale variations in color and pattern. The popularity of colors shifts with the times. Reliable favorites which seem to defy trends are black, dark green, browns, subtle reds, silvers and yellow/golds. Blue is becoming popular (and expensive) as are stones with more movement.
GRANITE- $40-$150 (80 colors available at $40 a sq. ft.)installed PROS-Timeless, natural style -Heat and scratch resistant (great for baking preparation) -High value to home buyers -New sealers almost maintenance free CONS-Can chip and crack if stressed-Knives dull if you cut on it -Stone absorbs stains if not sealed -Visible Seams (filled with an epoxy)
MARBLE- $50-$150 installed PROS-Hallmark of elegance -Heat resistant -Best used for vanities and fireplaces CONS-Can scratch and stain(best if used on low traffic areas, vanity top) -Expensive -Chips easily -Susceptible to acids
SOAPSTONE- $75-$150 installed PROS-Resists heat well -Small scratches can be repaired -Truly organic (no sealers or manmade materials) CONS-Easily scratched and nicked -Needs maintainece -Visible seams
LIMESTONE- $60-$100 installed PROS-Resists heat well -No heavy veining CONS-Very porous and stains easily (best if used on low traffic areas) -Very soft, chips easily
LAMINATES-$10-$30 installed PROS-Wide range of colors and patterns -Easy to clean and maintain -Inexpensive CONS-Burn and scratches easy -Marks are permanent -Visible Seams
ENGINEERED STONE-$50-$150 installed PROS-Stain resistant (no sealing required) -Very little maintenance -Scratch resistant -Resists heat well CONS-Visible Seams -Expensive -Mimics stone but tends to look uniform -Man made
SOLIDSURFACE- $80-$200 installed PROS-Seamless -Durable (can be sanded if scratched or damaged) -Nonporous surface which resists stains CONS-Expensive -Heat can discolor countertop -Is fairly easy to scratch and nick
WOOD-$50-$200 installed PROS-Unique aesthetic appeal -Offers a warmer surface than stone CONS-Susceptible to burns and water -High maintenance (mineral oil or beeswax)
Somehow the natural but rugged qualities of stone resonate with something inside of me that wants it real. Sure, my house provides me with shelter from the outside, but somehow I still want some connection to the outdoors. It has a natural beauty that’s not really duplicated with man-made products. Just remember that no two slabs look a like. So-called consistent granite has the same pattern throughout. Variegated granite has veins that vary from piece to piece, which add character but also make it difficult to match sections. It’s always best for you to go to the stone yard and pick out your own slab(s).
Granite is a good choice for your kitchen or other areas that get a lot of use. It comes in many colors and variations and provides a natural stone look. For home resale value, granite offers the best combination of return on investment and reduced time on the market. Granite, the most popular stone for counters, is an extremely hard rock formed by volcanic activity. Its shimmering beauty lies in the crystals of quartz, mica, and feldspar trapped within. It has the 2nd highest hardness rating after diamonds.
Marble is warm and soft but less practical for kitchens because food acids stain them readily. Still, many homeowners don’t mind stains that add a patina of age and marble is the classic surface for rolling out pastry; serious bakers often include a section of marble countertop in their kitchens for this purpose. Marble is generally polished like granite. This material provides a traditional look. Consider it for areas with medium traffic or around the fire-place.
Soapstone and slate are much softer than granite but also less porous. Slate was formed from clay on ancient sea beds and generally has a solid gray, black, or green hue. Soapstone, which is composed primarily of the mineral talc, has a similar color but often contains light striations of quartz. Both stones scratch and chip easily, especially on the edges; the marks can be sanded out or left to add character. Combined with a sink of the same material, slate or soapstone counters can create a classic farmhouse look or a sleek, refined look. It’s not generally necessary to seal these stones, but a periodic application of mineral oil will make them glow. You’ll have to rub the soapstone with mineral oil to reveal and maintain its beauty. If you don’t want patina, it’s a bad choice. If you want gloss, go to almost any other counter choice. Soapstone is also an expensive choice (comparable to higher end granite).
Limestone provides a stone look without heavy veining. It’s attractive but impractical. Use it only in low-traffic areas. Like marble, limestone is warm and soft but less practical for kitchens because food acids stain them readily. Limestone is often honed to a matte finish.
Laminate countertops cost a fraction of what most other counter options cost. They may not show luxury, but laminates get the job done and let homeowners on a budget put their money into sleeker appliances or better cabinets. This material generally consists of layers of paper or fabric impregnated with resin over composition wood. Laminates are inexpensive and relatively easy to install. Use them in areas of heavy use but minimal abuse. Well known by trade names such as Formica®, Wilsonart and Pionite, these countertops have stood the test of time. New innovations make for a broad range of colors and patterns and more recently, the addition of textures. Higher-end laminates are melamine based and retain the surface color throughout the sheet. That means nicks and scratches are less likely to be seen.
Engineered stone is composed of 93% quartz particles. It is available in a larger range of colors than granite and has a nonporous surface that resists scratches. It’s easy to maintain, without the annual sealing required by natural stone.
Made of polyester or acrylic resins combined with mineral fillers, this material imitates concrete, marble, and other types of stone. Solid surfacing comes in various thicknesses and can be joined almost invisibly into one apparently seamless expanse. It can also be sculpted to integrate the sink and backsplash, and routed to accept contrasting inlays.
These hardwood countertops provide a country kitchen look. Maple is most common. Offers a warmer surface than stone. Butcher block style provides a good cutting surface and is useful for food preparation, such as chopping and slicing. Wood countertops fall into two broad categories-decorative and functional (a work surface).
Fluctuations in humidity affect wood, making butcher block a poor choice for over a dishwasher or around a sink.