If you are planning on buying new counter-tops for your home, you may have your eye on granite slab or chunky wood materials. These are attractive choices, and ones that have stood the test of time for buyers widely. There are some common issues, however, that may arise from certain materials when used in busy, family kitchens, and some thoughtful alternatives that may prove to be prudent options:
Solid slab stone counter-tops:
Solid, one-piece stone counters are something that many discriminating buyers seek out when refurbishing the kitchen or bath of the home. These allow for a cool, forgiving surface that is prized by bakers and chefs, particularly when made from authentic granite stone. The draw-back of these counter-tops is often the weight of the stone, which makes it a costly option that requires professional installation.
A cost-friendly solution to these slab counter-tops might be found with stone tile. Much easier to manage and install, stone tiles are durable enough for use in busy kitchens or bathrooms, with the look and allure of granite slabs. The price is bound to be more affordable, too.
Wood or butcher-block countertops are a popular material for the home's counter-tops, and is very much suited to the kitchen. The colors and timeless appeal make wood an attractive approach, but the propensity to become burned or damaged in the kitchen can prove challenging. Stains also pose a risk to wood, which leaves few options beyond sanding for the homeowner.
Laminate counters have the unique ability to look like a much higher cost, high-end material, but are typically made from synthetic materials that encase photographic images of the desired surface texture. For instance, these may resemble wood or stone, but cost far less, while providing a durable surface in the home. The light-weight nature of laminate also makes it a more user-friendly option.
Ceramic tile is among the most popular choices in kitchen counter-tops and bathroom vanities, however the cost may be prohibitive to some buyers. Typically, the ceramic is easy to care for; it is the grout that can be a pain. Keeping it white can be tricky in areas prone to stains, spills, or traffic.
Install tile using tinted grout, which will hide the dirt and prevent staining or discoloration. Also, be sure to position tiles close together to reduce the amount of grout that is exposed. Another option is to invest in laminate that resembles ceramic tile, for an easy-to-maintain surface that has the look you want.
If you have your heart set on stone or wood counter-tops, than by all means, have them. If you are concerned about repairs, costs, or replacements, than consider the alternatives suggested. The result will be a fine, functional counter-top that brings appeal to the home, and joy to those using the space.