Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Choosing the Right Kitchen Countertop Option for Your Home

by Leslie Smith
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

Your search for the ideal kitchen countertop can be overwhelming and confusing if you do not have a handy checklist to fall back on. There are many types of kitchen countertop options available today, so here is a general guide to some desirable features to keep in mind while you shop around:

  • Hardness: Your kitchen countertop should be a tough working surface. It should survive scratches, heat, water, bangs, spills, stains, and remain attractive over time.
  • Looks: Granite and marble symbolize luxury; wood conveys warmth; solid surface materials are seamless and nonporous; laminates are colorful and inexpensive; steel projects a modern, contemporary look; and tile adds colors and textures. Choose something that matches your home decor.
  • End use: Consider what tasks you will perform on the surface. Granite or engineered stone work well around the cooking range to take hot pans and pots; stainless steel or solid-surface materials around washing areas; wood butcher block for chopping; and a marble countertop is good for frequent baking or pastry making.
  • Sink type: Decide on whether you want a drop-in, under-mount, or integrated sink. A drop-in sink works well with all kitchen countertop options; an integrated sink goes with stainless steel or solid-surface materials; an under-mount sink is great for any material except wood.
  • Edge type: Do you like beveled or straight, and does the thickness match your cupboards?
  • Maintenance: High, low or medium; each kitchen countertop option requires a different level, so be sure you know what your choice needs to maintain its finish.

The ideal kitchen countertop material should be chosen carefully; keep your budget, personal taste, and end result in mind.

About the Author
Leslie A.M. Smith lives in a 1929 house in Long Beach, California. When she isn't fixing things and redecorating, she is a freelance writer and public relations consultant.

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