Jul 24, 2015

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Posted In : Tips

“The kitchen is the heart of every home.” -Debi Mazar

If you’ve been thinking about building a new home in St. George, then you’ve probably given some thought to how you’d design your new kitchen. A beautiful kitchen enriches the home and beautiful counters enrich the kitchen. With this simple guide, find out what kitchen countertop materials are our favorite and which might work best in your future kitchen.

*Prices are per square foot

Granite

Copyright 2004 Michelle Pelberg & Eric Fairchild

Copyright 2004 Michelle Pelberg & Eric Fairchild

Price: $30 – $155

Pros: Granite is the one of the most popular and prestigious of countertop materials and it’s easy to see why. Each piece is unique, flecked with its own naturally-formed design. Granite comes in a variety of colors, making it easy to pair with just about any design scheme. Additionally, the material is quite hardy and can withstand heat, sharp objects, and other threats.

Cons: However, granite is not completely impervious – it can still fall victim to staining and must be sealed periodically to prevent permanent damage. And, as you can imagine, granite is very heavy and must be paired with cabinet boxes that can handle the weight.

Butcher Block

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Price: $18 – $130

Works well in: Traditional, Country-style, and Cottage-style kitchens

Pros: Wood can create a warm and inviting atmosphere in the kitchen with its varied tones and natural graining patterns. The material is of course susceptible to knife scratches but such markings can add to the charm of a butcher block countertop, giving it personality and history. Or, they can easily be sanded away instead.

Cons: Wood expands and contracts with the presence of liquid, making it susceptible to water damage. The surface should be oiled frequently in order to seal against such damage. Wood can also collect and absorb bacteria making frequent disinfection a necessity as well.

Solid Surfacing

Price: $28 – $140

Works well in: Modern style kitchens

Pros: This nonporous material made from acrylic and polyester is hands down the easiest to maintain and care for, no sealing necessary. It can be scratched and burned but such blemishes can be sanded away with ease. Because you aren’t limited to what occurs in nature, your color options widen quite a bit with solid surfacing, allowing you to play with more vibrant hues.

Cons: The artificial nature of solid surfacing can also be a negative thing if the man-made look isn’t something that appeals to you. And even though it is artificially produced, it can still be as expensive as granite or other natural material.

Marble

Price: $30 – $195

Pros: Marble may be the epitome of class and elegance. Its strongest defense is against heat, staying perpetually cool.

Cons: On the other hand, it has a rather weak defense against staining, scratches and chips. For this reason, if you are considering marble you may want to consider only using it in a portion of the kitchen rather than throughout.

Quartz Surfacing

Price: $30 – $170

Pros: Quartz or engineered stone combines the easy maintenance of solid surfacing with the natural beauty of stone. Like solid surfacing, it comes in a wide variety of color options and is very durable.

Cons: Because it’s man-made, Quartz can imitate but not outdo the patterning of natural stone. It does, however, have a comparably high price tag – sometimes even higher.

Tile

Price: $10 – $80

Works well in: Country and Old World style kitchens

Pros: You have a variety of color and style options before you go with this inexpensive modular material. Tile stands up well against staining, heat and knives. Individual tiles can chip, but are easily replaced.

Cons: With tiling, you get an uneven surface that can be frustrating when using a cutting board or rolling out dough directly onto the counter. The grout between tiles can also become stained and trap bacteria from standing water if not properly sealed.

Laminate

Price: $10 – $70

Pros: In the past, laminate hasn’t been the classiest of choices, but it’s getting better and better at mimicking the more expensive materials on this list, making it a fine choice when designing on a budget. Laminate is easy to clean and you can pair it with virtually any cabinet base because of it’s light weight.

Cons: Laminate countertop is made up of layers which can peel with wear and exposure to moisture. It can also be stained, scratched and burned. The more serious the damage, the more difficult it may be to repair.

Concrete

Price: $45 – $175

Works well in: kitchens with Industrial Chic design

Pros: You can do a lot of different things with concrete from tinting to any shade you like to adding inlays of shells or other materials for added interest and uniqueness. Concrete can also withstand heavy use.

Cons: As with others on this list, concrete stains easily and must be subject to frequent sealings in order to protect it. Concrete can withstand heavy use, but not high levels of heat and is prone to cracking over time as the material settles. This is another heavy material that needs a very strong cabinet base.


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