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The pros and cons of some popular countertop materials

Kitchen countertops can be made from a wide range of materials. When choosing which material to use, two things must be taken into account. First of all is the durability of the material. You don’t want it to get scratched, chipped, or stained before it’s time to replace it, many years down the road. The second is beauty, which, as we know, is in the eye of the beholder. Since you’ll have to live with it for all these years, you’ll want to make sure that what you like now is what you’ll like then. One of the latest trends in kitchen decoration is zinc countertops, which recall the color of bullet metals. Other popular countertop materials include granite, engineered stone, solid surface, ceramic tile, laminate, wood, stainless steel, marble, soapstone, and concrete.

Let’s talk about some of these. Zinc is purchased in flat sheets, cut to size, and molded to fit the space to create the backsplash and front wavy edge. Zinc provides a shiny metal surface that will give your kitchen the look of a professional or restaurant kitchen. Is this the look you want? Some people do, with their love of professional-looking stoves and refrigerators. I do not. I want my kitchen to look soft and homey. I want it to look cozy and inviting.

Another countertop that has been popular in recent years is granite. Many people love the natural stone look of a granite countertop. It has the advantages of being hard and durable. It resists heat, which overcomes the main problem of many other countertops. If a sealer is applied, the material is almost maintenance free. My main objection to granite is its dull color. Personally, I don’t want ugly, gray countertops. Its main drawback is its price. However, as it becomes more popular, the price may drop.

One of my particular favorites is ceramic tile. In my opinion, ceramic tiles give the kitchen a retro and old-fashioned look. Ceramic tiles come in an almost endless range of colors and textures. Since mosaic tiles are small and installed individually, with some training, you can design and install your own countertop. Ceramic tiles are hard, scratch resistant and heat resistant. The main drawbacks are that a tile can break if a heavy object is dropped on it. Also, grout can become stained over time, requiring a grout cleaning session.

Another one of my favorites is good old fashioned laminate like Formica. This type of countertop has been available for close to fifty years. Laminate is a good option because it is inexpensive and comes in many colors. This range of colors provides another area where you can express yourself with color. The drawbacks are that the surface can be scratched quite easily and it can be difficult to finish the front edge.

Another beautiful option that gives a rustic look to the kitchen is wood or butcher block. This type of countertop is available in a range of natural earth colours. It can be sanded and resealed as needed, but can be damaged by water or heat.

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