Kitchen Countertops, Domestic Abuse Abounds
Kitchen Countertop Advice to Consider
There has been an explosion of different types of manufactured materials for countertops in the last few years. Most of them have been aimed at the “Green” market, (eco-friendly), which I am still unclear about considering the resins that bind all these recycled products to form the slabs. Just saying…
My theory, give a new product at least three years out in the marketplace. Lots of things sound and look terrific in the stores, we have all been thru that. But remodeling products are typically too expensive to experiment with products that are brand new to the marketplace. Alright, some products are just way too cool to wait the time, and if you can’t resist, do your best to find out the product warranty and installation guarantees.
Granite Kitchen Countertops
Still the most popular, and always beautiful, they take plenty of abuse. They also add the drama that everyone, including realtors for resale, are looking for in Kitchens and Baths. Dont’ let the propaganda against them staining scare you. This is one tough rock. There’s typically five levels of stone that include properties from quality thru color. There are some that certain acids will stain. There are sealants that are very easy to use. There are some good companies now that are offering sealants with 15 year warranties. Milano Stone is our favorite, they have about 65 colors of stone consistently and they are great to work with. Milano does most of their work in the Mid -Atlantic area, but hopefully they will keep expanding. Even if you can’t get them in your area, you should use their website info for parameters.
Stones do have natural fissure points, cuts and installations are their weak spots, that’s why we encourage you let the Pros handle these jobs, it’s too expensive for rookies to do.
Stone Kitchen Countertops (Limestone, Marble and SoapStone)
Still not to popular in the USA. Most of us don’t want to be bothered with the maintenance and don’t like the worn look. They are softer and they do stain easier. If you like these stones, maybe use them in your backsplash to make life easier. Marbles and Limestones are used more often in bathrooms. These also make a great design statement. They are not just for the traditional anymore. The unique cuts and mosaics, also mosaics mixed with glass or metal tiles can offer some very cool contemporary looks.
Take a look at Florida Tile’s Pietra Collection.
Quartz Kitchen Countertops
Great product. We have primarily used Silestone over the years and have loved it for our customers. We have also used it for Showhouses and some unique displays, and the Silestone people have been able to perform every design request we have given them for this terrific product. Ideal for families with young kids. It takes a beating, and I have yet to hear of this stuff staining. It is harder than granite and less porous. We have used it in all different applications from Baths to Kitchens. Since it comes in different thicknesses it have more design potential. The only drawback is the color selection is slightly limited, (ok, maybe just for designers). Seems like each brand has about 100 colors, but they keep expanding. We can’t say enough good things about Quartz.
Solid Surface Kitchen Countertops
Solid Surface tops have been around quite a while. The leader of the industry is still Corian, but there are quite a few others. As of late they seem to have a bigger market in Bathrooms that Kitchens. They are pretty price competative in Bathroom products and their seamless qualities are prized for Bath remodeling.
These solid surface tops are tough working, and the best part is, they can be repaired! Light damage can be repaired by Homeowners, and even the worst damage can be repaired by a fabricator in your home. Most of them have a product that can now compare to the Quartz tops, but the price seems to be a bit higher.
Warm and cozy. There are even finishes now that really allow you to use wood in wet areas. There is everything from solid hardwood countertops to new exciting butcher blocks. With so many islands where everyone hangs out, it’s nice not to put your arms down on a cold slab of stone. Check out JohnBoos.com for butcher block.
I don’t even want to talk about them and you can’t make me. OK, maybe you can. If you order them pre-made like any solid surface finish, with your prior approval of a custom sample, maybe.
Bumpy. No matter how pretty the tile is, you still have the joint lines to deal with, and they can be annoying. But they do look good in the right house, usually Mediterranean or Southwest. We have installed them in a true Chef’s kitchen flanking the cooktop because they are the only truly heat proof counter material. One of the most beautiful collections of handmade ceramics we have used is Jeffrey Court. Their patterns are designed to be interchangeable which allows for many creative designs. Over the years Florida Tile has always stayed on top of the trends with great price points, as well as carried a great line of marbles and granites at price points that are terrific.
We always think the best designs incorporate different materials and blend them seamlessly with good design. Countertop and Backsplash materials are an easy way to start.
A statement maker. If you are into modern, it does look cool. But it will cost you, usually more than granite, but it just might be worth it for the look. Of course, since it is Glass, there are issues with breakage. Some can be safety concerns – I would prefer not to put it in my kitchens without it being safety glass. Also, be careful how you are going to install it, some systems are pricey but this is best done by the professionals.