Choosing counter top for either your kitchen or bathroom cabinets
Whether you are remodeling or building one from scratch or just ready to give yours a face-lift, countertops are a central part of the look. And you may be overwhelmed by the variety of options on the market; countertop surfaces range from well-known butcher block to less common materials such as glass and terrazzo. Luxuria has chosen 4 of the most popular to get you started. Read on to find the one that’s right for you.
Acrylic Composite (solid) countertop
Made primarily from acrylic and polyester, solid countertop first was sold under the brand name Corian, which is often (erroneously) used as a generic term for it. Today, it’s made by a host of manufacturers and has enjoyed steady popularity over the years.
Pros: Because solid surfacing is nonporous, it’s virtually maintenance free — no sealing or special cleaning required. Although it can be susceptible to scratches and burns, those are easy to sand out. Color and pattern options are extensive, and because you’re not trying for the look of a natural material, you can experiment with vibrant shades such as turquoise or tomato red. Seamless installation means there are no cracks to trap dirt and debris.
Cons: Solid surfacing can have a patently artificial look and feel, yet can approach the price of natural stone. As mentioned above, it doesn’t stand up to hot pans or sharp knives as well as other materials.
Crafted of resin and quartz chips tinted with color, quartz surfacing (also called engineered quartz or engineered stone) is a good compromise between the beauty of stone and the easy care of solid surfacing.
Pros: Quartz surfacing has the same advantages as solid surfacing with regard to maintenance. As an engineered product, it’s available in a far greater range of colors and patterns than natural stone.
Cons: This material doesn’t have the natural variegation of granite, so it may be evident that it’s an engineered product. It’s relatively pricey, although its durability can make it a worthwhile investment.
Once found mostly in commercial kitchens, stainless steel has slipped into vogue within the past two decades. These countertops are custom made to fit your kitchen, so you’re guaranteed a tailored look.
Pros: There’s a reason stainless steel is used in restaurants and other high-traffic kitchens: It’s nearly indestructible, and it resists heat and bacteria. It also provides a very distinctive look that feels appropriate in contemporary and industrial-style kitchens.
Cons: Fingerprints show and must be wiped off frequently, and stainless steel can also dent. It can be loud as pots, pans and dishware clang against the surface. Chemicals can affect its color and cause unwanted etching. Stainless steel is extremely expensive due to the custom fabrication.