Before chopping, mixing and beating your first culinary creation in your new home, some of us will have the opportunity to slice and dice the family budget to consider fresh countertops. Here are our top tips for choosing the kitchen countertop for you.
The number one natuRULE option is granite thanks to its unique variation compared to manufactured tops. Granite countertops have gone from rare to readily accessible as an increased number of fabricators has led to affordable variations in slabs, colors and edgings. Mavens for mottlings will love granite’s unique look and its durability against splashes, knife nicks, heat and other wear and tear. On the other hand, it must be sealed every so often to avoid stains and its heaviness requires sturdy cabinet boxes to support the weight.
Expect to pay $75 to $125 per square foot, installed.
The blank canvas
The magic of the man-made is on full display when it comes to these mostly acrylic and polyester surfaces with a plethora of colors and patterns to choose from. In addition to creating a Picasso for the kitchen with turquoise or tomato canary yellow experiments, they can be formed into nearly any shape and size; sinks can be undermounted; and joined sections, when installed correctly, leave a modern clean finish.
Solid surfaces often trump the field when it comes to the election of countertops because it’s nonporous (not affected by water, air or other fluids) and is low maintenance. While sealing or special cleaning is not required, light sanding may be needed when subjected to burns or scratches. However solid surfaces can look blatantly artificial and may be jarring when in contrast with other furniture in your home.
Expect to pay $45 to $75 per square foot, installed.
The quartz compromise
Bringing together the beauty of stone and the low maintenance of solid surfacing, quartz countertops are crafted of resin and quartz chips tinted with color. This man-made product is engiNEAR to the real thing as like genuine stone, quartz is an extremely hard surface, which is excellent for durability but also slippery and cold to touch. Because it is engineered, there’s a wide range of colors and patterns to choose from. Connoisseur of countertops however may notice quartz lacks the variegation of granite and at times can appear ‘fake’. While it can be pricey, its durability can be worth the investment.
Expect to pay $65 to $85 per square foot, installed.