If your countertops are older than you and are screaming, “make me pretty,” it may be time to give your kitchen a little TLC. Homeowners who are decorating or staging a home often consider exchanging the appliances for newer models or giving the cabinets a fresh coat of paint, but really bold, beautiful kitchens need countertops that have just as much character. The good news is that a new counter doesn’t have to break the bank to be bold.
The laminate countertops today are not the plain, outdated cousins of their counterparts of the 70s and 80s. Laminates now come in a wide variety of prints and sheens that are equally as beautiful as their stone-like competitors. Brands like Wilsonart and Formica offer designs that resemble everything from soapstone to marble.
Laminated counters are the preferred affordable surfaces for families. The smooth texture is easy to clean with soap and water and does not require constant maintenance. The good news is that installation is relatively quick and easy and can be done in an evening with the right materials. If you have a limited budget, a new laminate countertop can be installed for significantly less than the price of real stone.
For more than a decade, granite has been the “it” material for kitchen counters. This stone surface comes in numerous colors, patterns, and thicknesses, making it a designer’s dream to work with. Although browns and typical stone colors are now considered blasé, white and black variations provide clean, contemporary looking alternatives to marble.
Granite is extremely durable and can take knife slips and hot pans without a second thought. If you tend to be a forgetful or klutzy cook, this countertop is rather forgiving and clean up is simple with a little soap and water. Since it’s stone, granite tends to be porous and must be sealed at least once a year to maintain the integrity of the stone and its stain resistance capabilities. While not as costly as marble, homeowners can expect to pay a healthy amount for granite countertops, depending on the original source of the granite.
The past decade has drastically changed the capabilities of quartz counters. Although some companies still provide whole slabs of this stone, others now use engineered quartz. This composite stone countertop is a blend of ground quartz and resin, and its invention increases the number of quartz color possibilities for homeowners.
Both whole slab and engineered quartz counters are very durable. Like their other stone relatives, quartz countertops can withstand a lot of bumps and cuts. They do not stand up to hot pans very well, however, but they also don’t require regular maintenance sealing like granite. The design applications for quartz are innumerable due to its easy installation. Since it is heavier than most stone materials, special attention must be made to the integrity of its support structures.
Your Home’s Needs
Granite, quartz, and laminate offer a surplus of countertop options for homeowners. Before you make your bold selection, consider which material will best suit your kitchen’s needs. Will you have a lot of time for extra maintenance? Is your family in need of a counter that can take a beating? Does your surface need a stylized edge? And perhaps most important, does the material come in the color you need? For more information and tips on buying or selling your home, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.