Kitchen Countertops – Tips From Home Improvement Contractors

If you’re a homeowner that loves to spend a great deal of time in the kitchen then there’s a good chance new countertops are at the peak of your wish list in preparation for your next home improvement. The materials and designs are extremely diverse, so if you want to get the best look and performance for your money then follow these countertop material tips from home improvement contractors:

Kitchen Home Improvement Materials – Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is popular in home renovation projects, especially in the kitchen, because it mimics natural stonework in most environments. It’s made from fired clay and can be custom designed to look like rough stone or even smooth porcelain. Smaller tiles tend to be used for a backsplash while larger tiles are used on countertops for easy cleaning.

Ceramic tile is a great choice for kitchen countertops because it’s heat and scratch resistant, easy to install and the price range is relatively low in comparison to other materials ($10 to $10 per square foot). The only downside to keep in mind is that grout lines in ceramic tiles can sometimes be difficult to clean.

Kitchen Home Improvement Materials – Plastic Laminate

If you’re looking for a lot more range when you remodel your kitchen then plastic laminate is a great home renovation material for you. It comes in the widest variety of style options over any other material and the price is in line with ceramic tiles – costing about $20 to $35 per square foot. The greatest benefit to installing laminate during your kitchen remodel is that the material naturally resists mold and bacteria; it’s extremely easy to sanitize and keep clean.

On the downside, this fabricated material can be easily scratched, chipped, burned and even stained. It’s extremely important to protect your laminate kitchen countertops after a round of home improvement by using cutting boards, trivets and place mats while working in the kitchen.

Kitchen Home Improvement Materials – Stone Tiles

When you work a general contractor to install tiles cut from natural stone, you gain the substantial look of an expensive countertop (like granite) for a bit less on the price. Natural tiles run about $20-$40 per square foot and vary depending mainly on the material. Common choices are slate, travertine and granite, where slate tends to be the popular choice because of the rich, deep color and soft surface texture.

Being a natural polished material it cleans and sanitizes easily, but only after sealing. This is also a downside, because natural stone is extremely porous and will require good sealing – including the grout lines. Otherwise the material can foster the growth of mold and bacteria, mildew and even stain easily.

Kitchen Home Improvement Materials – Wood

Homeowners love to use wood in their countertops during kitchen home improvement because it adds a rustic feel that dates back to the traditional farmhouse or cabin in the woods. Butcher block is one of the most natural and common selections because of its look and durability. The cost varies depending on material ($20-$50) but wood is extremely forgiving; a benefit – since even when you bang it up it seems to only gain character and color. On the downside, wood needs to be sealed and oiled regularly to sustain its luster and durability.

Kitchen Home Improvement Materials – Natural Stone (Quartz and Granite)

While different in style, granite and quartz are gifts of Mother Nature that add a great deal of appeal to a kitchen during home improvement projects. Granite comes in a variety of colors and patterns giving opportunity for customization even with natural stone work while Quartz is the granddaddy of toughness. Quartz is also highly appreciated for its resistance to bacteria. The cost for solid stone countertops is approximately $45 to $80 per square foot. Just make sure your cabinets can stand the weight of the countertop.

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