Counter Choices For Your Kitchen
When choosing countertops for your kitchen, consider durability, the look that you want and budget. The most popular materials are stone, veneer, laminate, ceramic tile or butcher block. These materials can be cut, molded and fitted into almost any kitchen setup.
If you picked stone as your countertop choice, granite is the most popular. It's easy to clean and is durable against water, sharp objects, like knives and can withstand hot pots. It resists stains and can be sealed for further protection. Marble is a beautiful, elegant choice and has similar characteristics to granite. However, it's less durable. Stone countertop price is about $120 per foot plus the cost of installation.
A less expensive alternative to real stone is solid-surface material. It's about half to one and a half inches thick and is also very durable. It can be cut and molded to fit any size countertop. It can also be cut into patterned inlays to create a beautiful kitchen decor. There are many color choices with solid-surface material. It runs about $100 per foot.
If you are on a budget, you might want to consider laminate. It is 3/4 of an inch if plywood or 1/16 of an inch if polymer bonded. Laminate is easy to clean and resists stains. It's also very affordable, starting at $15 per foot.
Ceramic tiles are beautiful for any kitchen. They could be solid or patterned, and come in any color. The usual size is starting with one square inch to 6 by 8 inch rectangles. Tiles are durable and resistant to heat and moisture. The price for tiles starts from $2 per square foot and up.
Butcher block can be made out of such wood as oak, beech or maple. It's usually 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. It's not as durable as stone or tiles, and requires frequent cleaning and occasional mineral oil treatment. The cost starts at $50 per foot.
You can always mix and match materials to give your kitchen originality. For example, if your countertop is laminate, the borders of it can be done in inserts of tile, laminate, wood or stone for freshness and uniqueness.