Countless articles are written about home kitchen remodeling. Everything from small kitchen remodeling tips to the kitchen triangle, to what decorating idea kitchen project is the hottest trend. But one other important aspect of kitchen remodeling is kitchen counter top selection.
With such a wide assortment of kitchen counter tops available, it is important to take the following into consideration:
- Kitchen counter top prices
- Kitchen counter top type
- Durability of kitchen counter top material
- Which is the best kitchen counter top to compliment kitchen design
- Which is the best kitchen counter top for your household
To decide which type counter is best, perform a product comparison.
How to Compare Kitchen Counter Top Choices
To determine which counter is best, do a comparison of kitchen counter top material; pros and cons, price, and whether or not it is practical for your purposes.
For instance, a granite kitchen counter might look elegant and wear well. But it might be a poor choice for persons on a restricted budget who want to do their own remodeling. Installation of granite counters will require the services of a kitchen remodeling contractor. Granite is expensive, heavy, costly to repair, and requires professional periodic sealing of the surface.
Below is a list of kitchen counter material choices. Take note of benefits, drawbacks, and price ranges of each.
Butcher Block Counter Tops
The mainstay of commercial kitchens, the butcher block counter takes on character when scratched or nicked.
Pros: ideal for cutting and chopping; relatively easy to install and repair. Warm and natural appearance.
Cons: burns, scorches and dents easily. Requires periodic treatment if left unsealed; requires prompt cleaning after food preparation and spills. Protective sealers not always food-safe. Sensitive to humidity; not recommended for surfaces over dishwashers or near sinks. A shorter life span than some other material choices.
Cost: starting at around $100 per lineal foot.
Kitchen remodeling tip - butcher block wood counters made from hard maple or oak are more durable and remain attractive longer.
Note: solid wood counter tops are another option.
Ceramic Tile Counter Tops
Attractive and popular for country-style kitchens, favored for its texture and color selection.
Pros: resists scratches and stains; endures heat. Moisture resistant and easy to clean; easy and inexpensive to repair. A good do it yourself kitchen remodeling project; relatively easy to install.
Cons: grouting can stain, tiles can crack or chip; scratches noticeable on high-gloss types.
Cost: depending upon size, shape, thickness, and strength tiles can cost as little as $2 per lineal foot, or as high as $90 for designer tiles.
Kitchen remodeling tip - acrylic and epoxy grouts are more resistant to stains.
Laminate Kitchen Counter Tops
The most popular home kitchen remodeling counter top choice; laminates are among the most versatile and cost effective.
Pros: stain and grease resistant, withstands high temperatures, large selection of colors, textures, and styles; impervious to water, low maintenance.
Cons: unless top-of-the-line, dark lines from under-layer may show at edges; difficult to repair, susceptible to knife and hot pan damage. Stressed, unbroken corners can crack.
Cost: between $15 and $60 per linear foot; cutting and seaming will add to cost.
Solid Surface Counter Tops
Available in different sheens.
Pros: durable, requires no underlayment; resists mildew and stains, easy to clean. Available in countless colors; stains, scratches, and burns can be buffed out. Class 1 fire rating; hygienic and food safe.
Cons: sharp knives cut through; can discolor under hot pots and pans,
Cost: Ranging from $100 to 200 per lineal foot.
Stone Counter Tops
Natural stone counter tops, the #1 choice for serious cooks.
Pros: stunning, durable; cool non-stick surface perfect for candy making and rolling out dough. Easy to clean; impervious to stains, heat, and water if sealed. A granite kitchen counter is impervious to knife cuts. Stone counter tops are a marketing plus when selling your home.
Cons: Expensive, heavy, can break, difficult to cut; not for the do it yourself kitchen remodeling homeowner. Installation requires a skilled kitchen contractor. Marble counter tops require frequent resealing; waxing and regular cleaning for granite kitchen counter tops and marble. Repairs are costly and inevitable.
Cost: Anywhere between $175 to $400 per lineal foot, depending upon stone type, to over $600 per lineal foot for imported exotic marble. Slate and quartz kitchen counter top cost is somewhat less than many other stone types; soap stone counter tops somewhere in the middle. Engineered stone is another choice.
Note: concrete kitchen counter tops are increasingly popular; available in preformed sections, or poured and formed onsite. Ready for staining or with color mixed right in with the cement.
Stainless Steel Counter Tops
The perfect choice for a decorating idea that calls for sleek, high-tech look.
Pros: durable, impervious to stains, spills, and high temperatures; resists rust. Easy to clean; seamless. Can be used in combination with other types of counter top materials.
Cons: shows nicks and scratches; requires a firm underlayment, and very difficult to install. Installation requires the expertise of a reliable kitchen remodeling contractor.
Cost: ranging from $150 to $300 per lineal foot.
Kitchen remodeling tip - other metals for counter tops include copper and zinc.
Kitchen remodeling idea - a great look for country cottage type kitchens? Combine the quaint charm of cream-colored tile with the old world appeal of a copper counter.
Price of kitchen counter tops vary greatly, depending upon material choice and counter top design. Although replacing kitchen counter tops can add considerably to the overall kitchen remodeling cost, avoid selecting a cheap kitchen counter top just to save money.
Selecting a quality counter top will not only drastically improve your kitchen's appearance and function. It will last longer. High-end materials like granite or other natural stone counters increase the market value of your home.
While you may decide to do most of your home kitchen remodeling yourself, consider the following. Acquire the services of a certified kitchen designer to draw up the plans for your dream kitchen, and a kitchen remodeling contractor for custom kitchen counters.
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