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Choosing Your Kitchen Countertop

By Stephanie Platt, Interior Designer and Staging Assistant, A Goode Start

My husband and I are in the middle of remodeling our kitchen, and I can tell you that deciding on which countertop to go with kept me up a couple of nights.  In the end, we went with a classic oak butcher block.  When it is installed and oiled it will really pop against our white cabinets and dark floors.  We had debated whether to splurge on granite, but in the end we chose the more budget friendly option.  Our house sits in a neighborhood of first time houses; in fact, our house is our starter house. When shopping for finishes for your house, you really want to take the neighborhood into consideration.  You don’t want to add something to your house that will raise the price too much for the target buyer. 

Kitchens are an eye-catcher when you are selling your house.  It is the kitchens and bathrooms that will set your house apart from all the others on the market.  Even if you are not planning on selling and just doing a remodel, you are going to face some seemingly daunting decisions. One of the largest expenses in a kitchen remodel are the countertops.  The countertops you choose really set the stage for the rest of the kitchen.  Below is a list of some pros and cons of the most common types of countertops:

Laminate: $20-60 per square foot
With Laminate countertops you can get the high end look you want on a budget.  The beauty of laminate is that you can get it in a variety of finishes.  It can be made to look like natural stone, solid surface or even butcher block. Laminate countertops are low maintenance and easy to clean.  However it cannot be repaired if damaged by heat or scratched.

Butcher Block: $35-70 per square foot
Butcher Block is a classic countertop material.  It is fairly low maintenance but does require oiling every couple of months.  It is easy to clean, but since is a porous natural material it does harbor bacteria so disinfecting frequently is necessary.  Scratches and any damage can easily be sanded out.  Butcher block is often used as an accent countertop on kitchen islands.

Solid Surface (Corian): $35-100 per square foot
Corian is a man-made material constructed of acrylic and polyester resins, powdered fillers and pigments. It is a non-porous material and requires no special cleaning or sealing like natural stone does. Corian is susceptible to scratches and burns, however these can be taken care of with sanding.

Quartz: $40-90 per square foot
Quartz countertops are made from a combination of crushed quartz and resin that replicates the look of natural stone. It is an environmentally friendly option to natural stone.  It is naturally antibacterial because it is a non-porous material. Quartz is virtually maintenance free and is very resistant to stains or damage.

Granite: $45-100 per square foot
Granite is a natural stone that comes in a variety of colors, textures and finishes.  It is very durable and stands up well to heat, knife marks, stains and daily wear and tear.  Since it is a natural product there will be slight variances in color and appearance even within the same slab.  Granite requires resealing about once every 6-12 months.

Concrete: $65-125 per square foot
Concrete is a relatively new material for countertops. These countertops can be colored or polished for different looks.  Glass can be added for a more distinct look.  Concrete countertops are very heavy and may need additional support.  These countertops will need frequent sealing and may develop small cracks over time.
Happy decorating and have a great month!

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