• DDT Home Pros

10 Great Materials for your Beautiful New Countertop

Quartz:

“Quartz” countertops are actually an engineered stone product generally consisting of up to 93” quartz particles and 7% acrylics, fillers, and resins. Engineered stone is slightly less glossy than granite, but can bring the same upscale look and it doesn’t require sealing. The same process used to create quartz countertops is also being used to create recycled glass countertops, which can be very pricey.

Granite:

Natural stone remains a timeless option for kitchen countertops. Natural stone goes

with anything and makes any kitchen seem luxurious. Granite does require a bit of maintenance as it needs periodic sealing to prevent staining and moisture absorption, but the only thing difficult about sealing your granite is remembering to do it! The cost of granite countertops has fallen quite a bit in recent years to be more competitive with the increasing popularity of engineered stone countertops.

Soapstone:

Another natural stone, soapstone is usually dark gray to green or bluish in color with a soft feel. The stone does age or “patina” over time and is prone to scratching which is considered to add to its charm. It’s often seen in historic homes but is also used in more modern kitchens. Soapstone is maintained with mineral oil.

Marble:

Yet another natural stone that is seeing a resurgence going into 2020 is marble. The large veining is very popular in today’s kitchen designs. Marble can be very expensive and requires regular upkeep. Marble is softer and more porous than granite, but newer sealers can help reduce the amount of maintenance required. Many kitchen designers opt to recommend an engineered stone with veining to mimic the look of marble.

Solid Surface:

Acrylic countertops, such as Dupont’s Corian, have been around for several decades and have lost ground in popularity as other materials offer more benefits for similar cost. Solid surface, although non-porous, scratches rather easily and has more “plastic” feel than stone. Solid surface can also be easily damaged by hot pans.

Ceramic Tile:

Ceramic tile countertops are durable and easier to clean than they used to be thanks to more stain-resistant grout. They’re easy for DIYers to construct and the range of color and pattern options is endless. Tiles can be brittle, however, and not immune to cracks and breaks and they don’t look as classy as stone.

Laminate:

Laminate countertops, such as Formica or Wilsonart, are essentially plastic-coated layers of paper pattern on a particleboard (MDF) substrate. They can be purchased made-to-size as special order in thousands of color / pattern options or purchased pre-fabricated to be cut-to-size on site from your local

home store. This is a very inexpensive option and may be viewed as low-end should you try to sell your home with laminate countertops installed. The seams are always visible and damage is practically impossible to repair.

Wood or Butcher Block:

Available in a range of wood species, colors, and finishes, wood or butcher block countertops add warmth to modern kitchens. They can be sanded and resealed as necessary and last a very long time if cared for properly. They can be expensive and easily damaged by knives. If not properly maintained, bacteria can be a problem, as well as cracking if the wood is not oiled and sealed often.

Stainless Steel:

Modern style kitchens often showcase stainless steel countertops. They are impervious to heat damage and are regarded as a “premium” option. Of all the countertop materials available, this is said to be the easiest to clean. However, it is expensive to fabricate, noisy, and can be easily scratched.

Concrete:

Great for countertops in interesting shapes or if you want something completely unique, concrete countertops can be color tinted, acid-stained, and made to look exotic and unusual. They are custom made, so can be very expensive. They are generally polished, so they don’t appear like the concrete used to make sidewalks, but they are still porous and require sealing. Cracking may occur over time.

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