Kitchen Remodeling For Dummies has released a list of the top countertop manufacturers. After analyzing available research from various investigative organizations this list was compiled. The following top countertop manufacturers have been given high marks for durability, cost effectiveness, cleanability, and style.
Ah, another perplexing problem in the kitchen-remodel
project. My basic advice is to look for countertops where you purchase your
cabinets. You probably enjoyed working with your cabinet salesperson and she
should be just as knowledgeable and helpful with your countertop shopping as
she was with your cabinets.
Who wants a gray kitchen? Probably not too many people. And
you won’t have to have one, either, even if you go with another new material
that’s making its way into the kitchen. Concrete countertops are actually
becoming quite popular. Okay, a very small percentage of people have them. But
only because most homeowners aren’t aware that they’re available and don’t
realize how versatile they are.
All those veins and streaks that you see in marble tabletops
may look beautiful, but they actually weaken the marble. And the last thing you
want for a kitchen countertop is weak material. In addition to being a weak
material, marble stains easily, scratches easily, and is very, very expensive.
If your heart is set on having marble in the kitchen, consider using marble
tiles or marble-looking laminate. Either one will be more durable, yet still give
you the look of marble.
This category of building materials is really gaining
popularity. Solid surface countertops are made of polyester or acrylic resins,
or a combination of both- they don’t have a substrate base. These countertops
give the appearance of stone. They’re sold under such brand names as Corian,
Cambria, Avonite, Gibralter, and Surrell. They come in solid colors and
patterns that really do look a lot like stone. See the color insert for
examples of these elegant looking countertops.
Yes, you can still actually use real wood in the kitchen.
And not just for small cutting boards. Butcher-block countertops are made of
thin strips of hardwood that are glued together. Hard maple is the best wood
for a butcher-block counter. Its tight, fine grain makes it very durable. Red
and white oak as well as beech are also suitable countertop woods. The most
common use of a wood or butcher-block surface is as a cutting-board insert or
as the surface of a center island. The warm richness of the wood can be paired
with other countertop materials to enhance a kitchen’s visual appeal.
Another extremely popular material for kitchen countertops
is ceramic tile. Why? Because you can do so much with it, especially when you
incorporate different colors and textures in the design. You can make your
kitchen look rustic or urban, traditional or contemporary. Just don’t make the
colors or patterns too busy design-wise. A few colored tiles used wisely on the
counter surface or the backsplash is usually all that’s needed to add zip and
zest to a ceramic tile countertop. You can also add color by using colored or
lightly shaded grout between the tiles.
The number one material used for kitchen countertops is
plastic laminate. You may hear some professionals refer to the countertop as
Formica, but this is actually a brand name. Some folks use the word Formica
generically just as some people refer to all sodas as Coke. Formica does make a
nice plastic laminate countertop; Wilsonart is another popular brand name
plastic laminate manufacturer.
Apart from the kitchen cabinets, countertops have the most
influence and effect on the overall appearance of your kitchen, especially if
you have a large area of counter space. A wide variety and selection of
countertops is available in an array of materials, colors, and even textures.
Each one has unique design and function properties.