Crazy for Countertops

February 13, 2014

There should be at least one piece that acts as a point of interest in a space and then everything else should fall into place (cute rhyme, right?). When it comes to kitchens, I think those point of interest pieces should be your countertops. There are many different types for different uses and different people. So how do you find out which one is best for you? Countertops are just one of many finishes in a kitchen, but it takes up a lot of surface area and gets a lot of use which is why it is important to pick the right one. The ones I will mention are only just a few of the more popular choices - there are tons more! 


- Comes in variety of colors & natural designs
- No two pieces are the same
- Comes in two finishes: Polished (shiny) and honing (soft & matte)
- Cost varied depending on the type of granite but can become very costly
- The lighter it is, the more likely you will need a sealer 
- Granite treated with resin may change color and usually darken and may react to sealer, for example making the granite darker
- The less calcite there is, the higher the grade and more expensive because of calcite being vulnerable to acids although this could be fixed with proper sealing


- Another natural stone like granite except a much softer stone along with limestone and soapstone
- Each piece of marble is unqiue, no two pieces are the same
- Require greater care and delicate use 
- Stains and scratches easily
- Need to be sealed periodically to prevent absorption from liquids 

Engineered Stone

- Comes in a wider variety of colors than natural stones
- Great for higher use, resists heat well, easy to maintain
- Usually are acid-resistant and nonabsorbent 
- Resists stains and liquids unlike natural stones
- Depending on what materials are made to create the engineered stone, the performance of the stone may vary (Example: The performance of engineered stone that is made with chunks of marble will be limited depending on the amount and size of marble in the stone)
- Despite being engineered and not natural, the cost  and look between the two is about the same

Recycled Glass

- Eco-friendly option
- Highly durable
- Glass pieces embedded in cement
- Needs to be sealed periodically
- Offers a unique look
- Resist cuts, heat and abrasion but may crack when a hot pan is placed on top


- Can be completely customized
- Available in several finishes; Trowel (smooth), Ground (Sanded) and Pressed (Revealing of a marble-like look)
- Drastic temperature changes may cause concrete to warp
- Recommended to seal four times per year and waxed periodically to avoid stains from spills due to the porous nature of concrete

Butcher Block

- Perfect for warming up the feel of a kitchen
- Three types: Edge Grain (most common for counters, strong, stable and less expensive), Flat Grain (Less suitable for counters with greater use), and End Grain (Strongest and most expensive butcher block, great for surfaces with frequent use and cutting because of its camouflaging ability)
- Very easy to clean and can sand down scratches
- Ages well with proper keep up but may dull and crack without
- Must be oiled frequently to protect from water damage/stains


- Most affordable countertop on the market
- Comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns
- Can scratch easily and scorch when a hot pan is placed down directly on the laminate



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