More and more countertop materials are available to homeowners all the time. At one time, it seemed like the only choice was harvest gold Formica.  Now you’ve got granite, solid surface, quartz, and many other choices–on top of the harvest gold Formica!  Let’s start with some of the more popular choices.  If you do not see a material you are interested in, please contact us, we have sources for just about every countertop option available!

 

Granite is one of the most beautiful of all stones.  Granite is quarried worldwide and represents colors and patterns created by nature.  With granite, each slab is unique, with random and inconsistent patterns.  It is composed of quartz, micas, feldspars and other minerals that make up the rich colors and unusual texture of each slab.  Granite is graded for a host of variables including density, strength, water absorption, and acid resistance.  Its natural beauty, strength and durability make it a perfect choice for your home.  Granite is a porous stone and must be sealed on a regular basis to increase the resistance of potential staining and heat damage!  Seams are visible to the eye.  Most consumers prefer an under-mount sink application with their granite countertop.  We have several vendors with whom we work to satisfy our customers’ granite needs.

Quartz/Engineered Stone countertops allow you the durability and versatility of granite, without the maintenance.  Comprised of 93% quartz and 7% acrylic polymer, quartz countertops have the beauty of granite without having to keep it sealed.  It has an even pattern and more color options than natural stone.  Engineered stone is an extremely durable product that takes the heat and resists stains better than natural stone options (granite, marble, slate or soapstone).  They are not, however, indestructible.  A raw edge of stone will scratch your countertop.

There are several brands of quartz countertops including Cambria, Zodiaq, SileStone, CaesarStone, TechniStone, and HanStone.  They are all comprised of basically the same type of material and have similar characteristics.  Most quartz products offer a warranty of 5, 10, or 15 years against manufacture defects.  Seams are visible to the eye.  Most consumers prefer an under-mount sink application with their quartz countertop.

Solid surface is a man-made material comprised of acrylic polymers and alumina trihydrate.  Solid surfaces come in a rainbow of colors, patterns, and styles, including stone and glass look-alikes.  They are durable, stain and heat resistant, easy to clean and repairable, with more edging options than other countertop materials.  A healthy countertop choice, solid surface is nonporous, so bacteria, molds and moisture cannot penetrate its surface.  Acrylic products have been proven to bring design versatility, long-term performance and value to any kitchen or bath.  Solid Surface countertops are truly “renewable” surfaces. Scratches can be buffed out or if you should burn your countertop a certified fabricator insert a new section of countertop, with minimal, if any, detection to the eye. DuPont created the solid surface industry more than 30 years ago with a material called Corian.  Today, there are many brands of acrylic countertops available – Corian, Solaris, Staron, Meganite, HI-Macs, and Gibraltar to name a few.  Solid surface countertops offer seamless acrylic faces with seams that are only visible from the underside.  Imperceptible seams, plus the option to integrate sinks or a backsplash without any caulking (called a coved backsplash), enables you to create a fluid graceful one-of-a-kind countertop.

The laminate countertop is made of layers of paper treated with resin, creating a plastic, and pressed together under high heat and pressure.  Under this paper-and-resin layer is a base of composite chip wood.  Laminate without the chip wood base is used for vertical areas such as backsplashes.  Plastic laminate countertops such as those from Formica, Wilsonart, Pionite and Nevamar have been used as countertop surfaces for decades.  With laminates you have hundreds of design choices in color options and form.  Laminate countertops are durable, easy to maintain and are one of the most affordable countertop options.

Wood has a warm and luminous appeal for countertops and kitchens.  Hardwood butcher block has been a prized kitchen countertop material by professional chefs and home cooks for years because of its timeless beauty, durability, and practicality.  Butcher block is made by gluing strips of hard maple together with the wood’s edge grain up to create rails. The rails are then bonded edge-to-edge with an adhesive and then heated and pressurized to produce the final countertop. This makes butcher block countertops warp and wear resistant and also water tight.

Wood is one of the more sanitary products for the kitchen, with inherent properties that protect it from bacteria build-up.  One of the advantages of hardwood butcher block countertops is the fact that you can cut on it without permanently damaging the surface or dulling your knife edge.  In most instances sanding and the application of mineral oil can remove any knife marks left on the surface.  Maintenance is required with regular mineral oil treatments, and extra caution should be given with extremely hot cookware.

Because wood is neutral, butcher block can be used not only as the primary countertop surface, it can also be mixed and matched with a variety of other surfaces to enhance your kitchen’s décor and provide a versatile food preparation area.

Stainless Steel is chic, contemporary, and noted for its association with professional kitchens.  Sixteen-gauge stainless steel is used in home kitchens, whereas the thicker fourteen- and twelve-gauge steel is found in restaurant kitchens. Because it starts as raw material, it can be formed into practically any shape and dimension you desire.  Stainless steel is stain resistant and the only surface that can be safely bleached. However it can corrode or discolor and, therefore, requires a significant amount of care and maintenance.  Newer applications include brushed or textured finishes that help camouflage scratches.  Welded stainless-steel sinks create an integrated look, while backsplashes with corrugated patterns create dimension.

Concrete is one of the more dynamic products to grace the kitchen; it is truly a custom surface.  It can be tinted to any color your heart desires, and there is a host of texturing options.  Concrete is about as heavy as solid granite.  It is porous in nature, absorbs stains easily, and must be sealed regularly.  Concrete counters are poured and cured before being installed in your house; it is not created on-site.

 

With all countertop surfaces we recommend the use of cutting boards, trivets and hot pads.