I’m sure we all have memories of laminate countertops in our parent’s or grandparent’s kitchens. I know my parents have had various shades of colours and styles of laminate in their kitchen over the years and just recently gone the way of granite. This past weekend, Mr. Fix-it and I were on the hunt for new countertops. I had no idea how many options there are now…and if you want to go the way of laminate…it has done leaps and bounds in improvements.
If you are thinking about new countertops in your kitchen, it is important to do some research to see what is a good fit for you and your needs. Here are a few tips:
Plastic laminates have been popular through the years because they are inexpensive, easy to install and durable. When choosing a plastic laminate, you have a variety of colors and styles to choose from. It used to be that laminate only came in solid colours, however now photographs are taken of more expensive options (such as granite) and placed on the laminate to give it that “granite” look. Laminate is a great option for relatively short term needs, renters and budget friendly. The disadvantages to choosing this alternative are that it fades over time, isn’t the most fashion forward, will not tolerate direct heat, and the seams are very noticeable.
Stainless steel is used in restaurant kitchens all over the world. It has also become popular for residential use as it provides a modern look, is scratch resistant and cleans well. However, it can make a kitchen feel cold and sterile depending on what else is going on in the kitchen.
Granite is one of the most popular counter tops that is being installed in kitchens today. It is a natural stone that comes in a variety of patterns and textures. Granite isn’t a cheap option so it is best to hunt around for a good price and choose your slab as each piece is different. It is likely that you will pay per foot for granite or if your counter top area is relatively small, you may be able to purchase end pieces which will be significantly cheaper.
The advantages to granite is it can take the heat of your pans and does not scratch easily. The dissadvantage is that it can stain easily if you don’t catch a spill quickly. It is important to seal your granite about once a year.
Quartz is also a beautiful option that usually has the highest price tag. This counter top requires little maintenance and is usually even throughout in its look with less visible seams.
Stone-Synthetic composites consist of Corian’s Zodiac, Formica’s Crystalite, and Consentino’s Silestone. Many times, these counter tops look like stone.
An advantage to using this type of material over granite, or other naturally occurring substances is that it will not have imperfections. These composites to do not need to be sealed and are pretty resistant to scratching. However, spills not mopped up will leave a stain.
CORIAN AND SOLID SURFACING MATERIALS
These countertops are 100% acrylic or polyester acrylic mixes. These types of countertops come in a wide range of colors and patterns.
When solid surfacing countertops are installed they are installed seamlessly leaving a continuous surface. You can even opt to have your sink done with solid surfacing material so there isn’t even a seem break there.
These countertops are extremely popular as they provide a high end look that costs less then granite and quartz.
I’m still undecided on what to put into our kitchen. We won’t be changing our cabinets but the counter top does need an upgrade. It is a small space so I’m hoping that maybe we can find an “end” piece that will fit. Hmmm, we’ll see. I’ll keep you posted, but in the meantime make sure to have your research done when looking for counter tops and ask lots of questions.
Keep it Beautiful.