As published in the July/August 2008 issue of New Jersey Home & Design
Knowing the facts about countertop materials will significantly assist in the choosing and purchasing of the countertop that is right for your home. Each product has certain benefits and drawbacks that should be carefully weighed. These “pros” and “cons” go way beyond what can be listed in an article, but here are some highlights.
Solid surfaces (i.e. DuPont Corian®), offer an unending choice of color options and are non-porous materials, making them the most hygienic of all countertop surfaces. Other benefits of solid surfaces include the ability to have a seamless countertop, along with an integrated seamless sink. An integrated sink is only available in solid surfaces. Although it may show wear after years of use, it is easily renewable and repairable if damaged. Colors can easily be picked from samples and will always match.
Granite is currently one of the most popular choices among homeowners because of its natural beauty and uniqueness. Each slab consists of its own design and color variations. Because of these variations, homeowners shopping for granite countertops must visit a slab yard and hand pick their new countertops to ensure there is no difference in the sample they chose and the actual slab, which can be time consuming. Granite is also a porous material requiring a yearly seal. Although granite will give your kitchen a one-of-a-kind appeal, the drawbacks may have you considering other options.
Quartz surfaces bring together the beauty of granite and the convenience of solid surfaces. A sturdy stone-like material, quartz is stronger than granite and is non-porous, so it does not require any sealing. Quartz samples are also consistent with actual slabs, making selection easy on the homeowner. Like granite you will be able to see the seams on your quartz countertop.
Other countertop choices include newly introduced products that are also easier on the environment. Recycled glass can add a unique charm to any kitchen unmatched by other surfaces. In addition, glass countertops are made from seventy-five percent post consumer products. However, recycled glass countertops do require sealing and may involve some color variation from samples. PaperStone™ is a countertop made from fifty to one hundred percent post consumer recycled paper mixed with a phenolic resin. Paper countertops offer homeowners the rustic look of wood and can be treated like a wood countertop, using wax as an easy-to-apply sealant. Finally, concrete surfaces also offer a unique rustic look, while using a recyclable material. Concrete countertops should always be poured at a contractor’s facility rather than in your kitchen, allowing it the necessary time to be treated for added strength.
When choosing your new countertops, you can call Replacementcounters.com at (800) 253-6587 or visit their website at www.replacementcounters.com. They offer seventeen years of experience working with all countertop choices and can offer an unbiased opinion on the right choice for your home.