New Counter Tops? It Isn’t Just Granite.

New Counter Tops? It Isn’t Just Granite.
  • Opening Intro -

    Seven options to granite counters.

    If you’re planning to renovate your kitchen, you may be looking at your current laminate counter tops, deciding that enough is enough.

    Time to bring in some style and durability to your kitchen, improving your personal satisfaction level and enhancing the value of your home.

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Granite is, of course, the top choice when it comes to counter top renovations, but is not the only choice. Let’s look at some counter top choices for your kitchen renovation:

1. Marble — Its beautiful and terribly pricey, which means that marble is usually only considered by those ready to pay thousands of dollars for these attractive counter tops. Prices range from $125 to $200 a square foot which means you can spend upwards of $4,000 for a 20 square foot section, hardly large enough for even the smallest kitchen. Marble is waterproof and heatproof, but easily stains.

2. Concrete — For a custom design, concrete is the favorite of some homeowners. Created by artisans, concrete counters give you a one-of-a-kind look and can be color tinted. Concrete resists heat and scratches; it is also porous requiring a sealant to protect the surface. Its cost rivals marble and may cost you much more for whatever customizations you desire including back splashes.

3. Ceramic — Hated by some almost as much as laminate, ceramic tile has its advantages including its low-price, ease of installation and variety of designs. Ceramic can, however, chip easily and grout lines will stain. Be prepared to have many extra pieces of tile at the ready and plan to regrout regularly.

4. Wood — Homes with a rustic theme will sometimes feature wood or butcher block counters, made of oak and maple and offering numerous stains and finishes. Sand and reseal as needed to give these counters a fresh look, something you’ll need to do when water and stains appear. Butcher block is made to order which means that pricing is customized too, reflecting the size of your counters, the wood selected and other factors.

5. Stainless Steel — If you like an industrial look, then stainless steel may be right for your kitchen. Available in a variety of styles including “1950s diner feel,” stainless steel counter tops stand the test of time and are easy to clean. This choice is also expensive, prone to denting and noisy.

6. Soapstone — If you’re looking for a unique material with special characteristics, then soapstone is worth a look. Priced from $50 to $90 per square foot, soapstone is comparable to granite with a smooth, dark gray surface. Cracking is possible if soapstone is not regularly treated with mineral oil.

7. Engineered Stone — Do you like quartz? If so, that’s the main ingredient of engineered stone. Attractive, easy to clean and needing no special sealants or cleansing materials, engineered stone resists scratching. It is, however, quite expensive and may be something you’ll want to use to supplement other counter top choices.

Consider Granite

Now that you’ve learned about some of the top counter tops besides granite, why not consider granite? Granite is expensive, but it is the top choice in today’s homes and a wonderful selling point when you’re ready to put your home on the market. Granite is also easy to clean and will last as long as you own your home.

Whatever your choice in countertops, get contractor recommendations from people who have recently updated their counters. You’ll save yourself from potentially dealing with someone who doesn’t have the skills to handle your work. And then add to your countertops decorative bar stools from Cymax Stores.

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Categories: Kitchen and Dining

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".