How to Choose the Best Countertop Material for Your Home
Choosing kitchen countertops for your new Orlando home or a remodeling project? The good news is that you have a variety of materials and colors from which to pick. The bad news is that you have to figure out which one will be best for your needs! Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages, such as price, durability and how easy it is to care for. Here are a few pros and cons of countertop options available for you to consider: Marble – If you want to create an elegant, sophisticated vibe in your kitchen, marble is the way to go, whether you choose a polished or honed finish. The advantage of marble is that it’s highly resistant to heat, cracks and breakage. However, it is porous, so you’ll have to be careful when cooking. And of course, marble isn’t cheap either – coming in around $115 per sq. ft.
Quartz – When it comes to durability, quartz can’t be beat. This non-porous, natural stone surface resists heat, water, bacteria and stains, so it won’t require sealing. You don’t have to worry about marking up the surface if your knife slips, since quartz won’t chip or crack.
However, seams can be noticeable, particularly if you choose lighter colors. And quartz can discolor over time in direct sunlight. It’s not quite as expensive as marble. The average price runs anywhere from $40 to $100 per sq. ft.
Butcher Block – This lovely wood surface lends a sense of warmth to your kitchen, and works well in contemporary or rustic settings. Any scratches can be easily sanded away. But the surface does require regular oiling, and you need to be mindful of protecting it from extra-hot cookware. You can find Butcher Block at IKEA stores starting at $129 for a 73.25” x 25.5” slab.
Granite – This durable, smooth, natural stone material is still a favorite of home buyers due to its natural beauty, and because it easily fits any style kitchen. Granite is highly heat resistant, and resists stains and bacteria when properly treated. You can find granite in a range of colors. But the material can split if its vein is stressed. If you don’t seal it properly, oil can seep into the stone. It’s also hard to hide seams, so it’s wise to be strategic about where you put them. Granite typically runs anywhere from $40-$100 per sq. ft.
Solid Surfacing – You may know this material by the name Corian or Formica, but those are just brand names. This type of countertop is made from acrylic, polyester resins, and even marble dust. They come in lively colors and modern finishes, and require minimal maintenance. You can easily sand out any scratches, which is good because unfortunately, it does scratch easily. It is non-porous, so it resists water, bacteria and stains. It’s also virtually seamless for easy cleaning. If you’re concerned about the environment, solid surfacing is made of non-renewable resources, so it’s energy-intensive to make and difficult to recycle. Countertops of this material generally run anywhere from $35-$100 per sq. ft.
Laminate – If you’re looking for an inexpensive countertop material, that offers the best value for the money; laminate is the choice for you. It runs about $10-$40 per sq. ft. Laminate is durable, resists water and is easy to clean. There are hundreds of color and style options from which to choose to suit your décor. However, laminate does tend to crack, scratch and scorch more easily than other materials, and it’s not easy to repair.
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