Tips For Selecting
The Perfect Kitchen Counter Top

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The kitchen counter top you select for your home is a matter of personal taste and function. Below is list of the most commonly used materials for kitchen counter tops and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Feel free to combine different surfaces for a unique and exciting look or as a cost saving measure for your home interior decorating and design project. Notice in the photo below that the countertop surface of the kitchen island differs from that under the cabinets. Despite being different colors and materials, the countertops co-exist beautifully.

kitchen counter top

Kitchen Counter Top Options

Butchers block - is made from wood and provides a natural, warm look and feel. Thick butcher blocks are made of hardwood strips glued together. It is the ideal kitchen counter top for the cook who does plenty of slicing and dicing. Here are some other characteristics:

  • One of the most sanitary surfaces available
  • Nicks, cuts, and scratches give it character
  • Can be sanded down to remove blemishes and bacteria
  • Rub it down with mineral oil periodically to protect the finish
  • It is usually made from maple or beech wood
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to water
Glazed ceramic tile - is made from natural clay and fired under extreme heat to harden. They come in a variety of decorative patterns and designs. Here are some other characteristics:
  • Heat resistant
  • Stain resistant
  • The grout between tiles will be difficult to keep clean
  • Can be chipped if hit hard

Laminate (formica and wilsonart) - is the most commonly installed kitchen counter tops in homes. Once damaged, laminate is almost impossible to repair, but here's why it is still a favorite among home builders and remodelers:

  • It is moderately priced
  • There is a huge range of colors, patterns, and textures
  • Resists grease and stains and will clean up easily with soap and water
  • Edges can be round or right-angled
  • Multiple style options
  • Hides scratches very well

Solid surface materials - typically comprised of acrylic or acrylic blended with other materials. You may be familiar with the brand name Corian. Here are some additional characteristics:

  • It is available in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and textures including simulated stone
  • Easy to clean
  • Non-toxic
  • Can be formed to have round or right-angled edges
  • Do not sit very hot pots on it
  • Can take minor scratches, but avoid it as a frequent cutting surface
  • Certain substances will stain it, but this can be repaired
Stone - includes granite and marble. Marble is not recommended, under any circumstances, for kitchen counter tops because it can be easily stained by oils, alcohol, coffee, tea, wine, tomatoes and citrus products. Granite can be used for kitchen counter tops. Here are its characteristics:
  • Scratch resistant
  • Stain resistant
  • Won't crack
  • Hot pots and pans won't damage it
  • Clean up with warm water
  • Use a non-yellowing paste wax to preserve its brightness

Vist these links to learn more about granite vs Corian countertops and granite versus quartz countertops. Corian is a very popular brand of man-made solid surface countertops.

Stainless steel - tends to be a specialty kitchen counter top surface that works well where lots of water is used and near ovens or ranges. However, it will dent and scratch.

For more information and ideas related to this topic, visit the following links.

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