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Countertops – Choosing Beauty Doesn’t Mean High Maintenance

Choosing countertops for your kitchen is one of the most exciting, fun and perplexing decisions you’ll make.  The colors! The veining! The durability!  Finding out all the pros and cons, and choosing from the multitude of variables could be a research project consuming weeks.

Or, you could just ask us.  Our experienced design staff can make that part of the job easy.  But to get you started considering your options, here are a few of our favorite materials.

Granite

Granite is available in several grades, patterns and thicknesses, and countless colors.  A slab can cost you anywhere from $25 per square foot for basic stone, all the way to $1,000 per square foot for high-end product.  To spare your budget, you can choose a three-quarter-inch thick slab and that will serve you well.

Pros

  • Beautiful and dramatic, granite has timeless appeal and can increase home resale value
  • Low-maintenance – heat- and scratch-resistant

Cons

  • Porous –granite must be sealed occasionally to maintain its surface and protect from stains
  • Expensive

Quartz

Quartz is one of the hardest materials in the world and is more durable and long-lasting than granite. Manufactured quartz countertops come in a vast array of colors and patterns. Some varieties that hard to distinguish from granite or marble.

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of quartz surfaces is that they are stain- and heat-resistant, making them easy to maintain. The non-porous quality of quartz also makes it highly resistant to mold and bacteria contamination.

Pros

  • Stain and heat resistant
  • Mid-range cost
  • No sealing needed
  • Resistant to mold and bacteria

Cons

  • Seams can be more visible
  • Some colors and pattern can look artificial so it pays to get a sample before deciding

Soapstone

Soapstone is natural stone that’s available in a range of grays from pale to robust, with subtle veining. Soapstone darkens over time and require regular maintenance with mineral oil applications, but the rich appearance, smooth feel and uniqueness make it a popular choice.

Pros

  • Durable, low-maintenance
  • Non-porous
  • Does not require sealing
  • Highly stain and bacteria resistant

Cons

  • Is relatively soft, and can get cut marks or be damaged by dropping heavy objects.

Marble

Perhaps the most elegant choice, marble is a perfect fit for a classic kitchen design. It can be found in a wide range of textures and colors from beige and creamy white to black and slate gray.

Pros

  • Beautiful, classic and elegant
  • Natural material with a wide variety of texture and color
  • Can increase property value

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Must be sealed regularly, stains and scratches easily
  • Very heavy

Concrete

Concrete kitchen countertops bring a unique, creative feel to your room.  Versatile, they’re used in all types of kitchen designs from modern to rustic. Staining the concrete, can introduce a pop of color, and patterned imprints like floral designs, also add visual interest.

Pros

  • Can be tinted with color or stained
  • Eco-friendly
  • Extremely durable

Cons

  • Require proper sealing every year
  • Should be waxed twice a year.
  • Fairly expensive

Wood or Butcher Block

Wood countertops can be both functional and decorative. Functional ones, like a butcher block, are ideal for food preparation. For visual appeal, an unfinished, natural wood countertop is great in a rustic, homey kitchen.  More classic kitchens will call for a finished wood, and teak is often

Once sealed, wood countertops are sanitary for chopping meat, and hot pots and pans can easily be placed on the surface because wood countertops are heat-resistant.

Wood countertops can be made from a number of lumber varieties, including oak, walnut, maple and cherry. Consider staining your countertop with food-safe blue, green, red and yellow stains for a unique surface.

Pros

  • Add beauty and warmth
  • Variety of woods are used, including maple, teak, cherry and oak
  • Durable. Stains can be sanded out.
  • Recyclable

Cons

  • Must be regularly sealed to prevent staining
  • May need refinishing to combat wear and tear over time
  • More easily damaged than stone or tile

All of these selections have one thing in common. For them to serve you well over time, they need to be installed correctly from the beginning.  Our team of experienced countertop installers use only the most up-to-date products and techniques.  If you’re thinking about replacing your countertops, get the expertise you need from the planning stage through installation by calling us at Ferris Home Improvements.