There are many choices when it comes to countertops. Some of the more common choices are laminate, man-made solid surface, and natural stone.
Better known as "Formica", laminate has come a long way from the bright orange counter in your grandma's kitchen. There are four major manufacturers of laminate, Formica, Pionite, Wilson-Art, and Nevamar. Laminate is made in an array of colors, from bold primary colors, to more natural patterns and textures, including many that emulate granite at half the price. Price is a huge advantage to laminate counters. Ranging in price from $15-$22 / sqft laminate is a great way to keep your budget under control while still ending up with a great looking kitchen. Laminate does have its downside though, it can chip, it can be scratched, if you set a hot pan on it, you will burn it, and you really cannot repair it if any of those things happen.
Man-made Solid Surface
Corian as its more commonly known, is actually made by a few different manufacturers, Corian, LG-Macs, & Formica. This type of countertop has alot of advantages including a large palette of colors, and is our favorite choice. Repairs are easy on these tops. If you scratch a laminate surface, you lose the color, on solid surface tops the color runs all the way through the material. This along with a matt finish, makes repairing a scratch a simple matter buffing the top with the proper "Scotchbrite" pad and water. Another positive quality to solid surface tops is they are not porous, so they wont stain, and you dont have to worry as much about the spread of bacteria in your kitchen. Even if you burn one of these tops you can cut out the effected area and patch it back in.
With prices ranging from $34-$69 / sqft (installed price), they are certainly not the cheapest counters out there, but they are worth every penny.
Granite, natural stone, considered by many to be the only countertop out there. Granite is a nice choice, and since its a natural product, you will find a wide variety of very unique patterns. Ranging in price from $41-$68/ sqft (installed price) it is comparable to solid surface with a few differences. Granite will have a high gloss finish that solid surface cant touch. Lets face it, there's nothing like a granite top lit up by some nice under cabinet lighting. Its a stunning material, and its nearly indestructable. You can put hot pans on it without worry of damage, and it would be very difficult to scratch or stain. If Granite has a down side, it would be its porousity. With the exception of some higher end stones you will need to seal granite yearly. A small price to pay for a gorgeous countertop.
All of the countertops we talked about come in a variety of edge finishes and are sized to fit your specific kitchen application.
We would like to thank Roger Hoch, Kitchen Design Specialist, for his input on this note.
For more information give us a call. 586-709-4853