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Choosing a New Kitchen Countertop


When installing a new kitchen or remodeling an existing one the choice of materials for countertops can be a difficult decision. Countertops exist in a wide range of colors, textures, materials and prices. You need to take various things into consideration when choosing materials such as your budget, color options, and what you will be using the surface for.

One inexpensive option is laminate countertops. You can usually obtain these for $10 to $40 per square foot. While they do not hold up to scratches and gouging very well they are cheap and fairly easy to install. Laminates also tend to show age quickly but can be replaced for cheap every so often. Laminates are easy to clean and have good stain resistance. They also come in a very wide variety of colors.

Another good but inexpensive option is ceramic tile. Tiles can be bought for a mere few dollars per foot but offer high end imports and exotic tiles for those who desire such materials. Tiles also come in a wide range of colors, are heat resistant, stain resistant, and can be cleaned easily. Ceramic tiling makes a great option for new kitchens but can present some problems for remodels. Removing the old tiles can be difficult as they are bonded to the surface they were laid over. This is hard work and creates quite a mess but they can be terrific options and last a long time if properly maintained.

A new and popular countertop option is textured or styled concrete. Concrete is very inexpensive and a countertop can be had for $50 per square foot or less. Any color pigment can be mixed with the material and it holds up very well. Styled concrete makes an attractive material when given it's longevity and cheap price.

Engineered stone can also be a great mid-priced option. At $50 per square foot and with a multitude of color and patterns available you can't do much better than this. These materials do not require sealing, resist stains well and are impervious to scratching.

Stainless steel is another mid-priced option which looks great and holds up well. You can install a steel countertop for $50-65 per square foot. Although these surfaces scratch easily with proper care they can last a lifetime.

If you have a bit higher of a budget marble makes an excellent countertop material as does granite. Both marble and granite will run you $75 or more per square foot but it looks great no matter how old it is. Both materials will need sealing on a regular basis and should be installed by professionals.

Regardless of the material that you choose consider how long you will continue to make use of it and own the house. The total cost of installation should not be your only consideration. If you will be living in the home for a long period of time it probably makes more sense to go with a longer lasting albeit more expensive option such as granite or marble.

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