Counter Top Consideration
The counter top makes the kitchen. It accents the colour scheme and sets the mood. There are so many choices. Here is a rundown of some of the most popular kitchen countertop selections.
Laminates are still one of the most popular counter top products. Definitely the most economical and offering a wider palate of colours, patterns and textures. There are patterns that replicate natural stone for thousands less. Beveled wooden or Corion edges can be added to upgrade the look.
Laminates are made of plastic coated synthetics and will stand up to some heat but will blister or crack under extreme heat. They will also scratch when abrasive objects come into contact. There will be visible seams in corners and edges. Once marred, can’t be repaired.
What could be more beautiful than natural stone? In our opinion nothing! “We have yet to find a man-made counter top material to compare to natures creation … The beauty of stone adds elegance, even to the most modest kitchens. Granite is more resistant to heat and scratches, but like all surfaces can stain, scratch or chip. And can be damaged by heat from a pot placed directly from stove to top. The resilience depends on the type of stone. Some are more porous than others, requiring more frequent sealing. Every six months to a year is recommended. The biggest enemy to granite are oils. Cooking oils, bacon grease, oil that seeps through pizza boxes. A highly polished properly sealed granite will almost always stop oil from damaging the top. Sealing is easy and only takes a few minutes of your time. Choosing granite may be difficult. Sample squares don’t show the varying patterns visible on a full slab. We recommend viewing a wall size slab. There will be visible seams.
Engineered Stone ( Cambria, Silestone, Hanestone Seasarstone, Samsung(Radience)
Quartz is one of the hardest materials in nature. Crushed quartz particles blended with pigments and resins, create a surface that is durable and carefree and is easier to care for than Granite. It never needs sealing and is slightly more stain, heat and scratch resistant than Granite. It’s high polished non-pourous surface is easier to clean and maintain. The look is similar to granite but there is a larger palate of dramatic colours with consistency so there is no need to view a slab. Although there may be slight colour differances from sample to slab. (Similar to a like a die lot change in a porcelain tile). There will also, like granite, be visible seams.
Solid surface ( Corian, Staron, Meganite)
A man-made surface made of plastic-resin or acrylic composites. This surface is easily scratched Because solid surface counters are solid, any scratches can be buffed out. They are custom-made to any size and have an even bigger palate of colour choices than engineered stone and have no visible seams. The surface is non-porous, smooth, stain resistant and maintenance free. The finish is usually matte or satin finish Hot pans and heat generating appliances can damage the surface. Sinks can be molded into the counter top.
A natural material that is heat resistant. Its porous surface makes it easily scratched and stained. Does require regular maintenance with applications of mineral oil and frequent sealing. Choice of colour is limited from muted grey to green. May crack or darken over time.
Very beautiful natural stone but because limited in use because it is softer and more vulnerable to stains and scratches, it is not often used in kitchens. It could be used on an island or a bakers counter because of it’s nonstick surface that is heat resistant. But mostly it is used in bathrooms where smaller pieces can be used without the possibility of fractures along it’s veins. Colour choices are very limited.
Is becoming more popular for a really contemporary and industrial look. They are heat resistant and durable and are and easy to clean. But they can be noisy, will scratch and dent easily, and fabrication can be very expensive.