Kitchen Countertops

By: Mike Eggert

Whether you are building a new home or remodeling an older one, kitchen planning and the countertop you will be using should be at the top of your list.

Kitchen countertops are one of the most used items in any kitchen. First of all let us take a look at the different materials available today for building that perfect countertop. Formica countertops have always been an old stand by and are used in many new homes today, they are easy to clean and come in a wide selection of colors, not to mention less expensive than some of the other materials.

Granite countertops are also very popular. Granite is second only to diamonds in hardness, so they are more scratch resistant than most any other countertop material, and can take a hot pot without any protection. They will be somewhat more expensive, but in my opinion, well worth it if this look fits your plans. The look of granite has always been a favorite with many people. One reason for this is because of the highly polished designs.

Wood counter tops are also very popular; they offer a feeling of warmth and are available in many colors and finishes. Maple and oak are the most popular woods used as counter tops, but can require a bit more effort to care for.

Laminate countertops are a good choice if you are on a budget. This type of countertop will often bear trademark names such as Nevamar, and Wilsonart. They too are easy to clean and have a smooth surface, and the pieces come pre-cut and are finished on the ends.

There are also several other popular materials out there for you to choose from, such as stainless steel countertops. Also a good choice, although somewhat noisy and are more expensive, but do make a great countertop if you like the clean look of stainless. However, stainless steel does require a bit more maintenance than most people realize.

Marble countertops are another good choice and are very durable, although they are not quite as durable as granite. Here again they do have a bit higher price tag, but are very beautiful in the right environment.

Soapstone countertops, more of a dark gray color and found many times in older homes but are again becoming quite popular in modern homes of today. Soapstone is quarried just as granite and marble. Quite a durable material in its own right, but will require a sealer to be used on the surface to help prevent staining.

This will give you some idea of what types of material you have available today. Keep in mind the kitchen countertop is almost always the first thing your friends will notice when entering your kitchen, so you will want it to stand out and make a statement and also be functional and practical. You will want to shop around to compare prices. Such places as Lowe's and Home Depot are always good places to start but always check out some of the name brand stores that deal in countertops. Sometime paying a little more will get you just what you are looking for. In the end you will most likely save money and just maybe have a countertop that will keep you smiling every time you walk into your kitchen.

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