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Choosing The Right Countertop

Choices for countertops are as varied as there are contractors to help you install them. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages. Before we go on, let’s begin by looking at the features of each choice.

Laminate (Formica)

 This type of countertop is made up of a thin layer of plastic (up to 1/16”) that is glued to particleboard or wood. The edge of the countertop can be either square or rolled. Laminate countertops have the following advantages: Inexpensive and fairly durable, available in numerous patterns and colors, resists staining, and easy to clean. However, they also have the following disadvantages: abrasive cleaners can scratch and dull the finish, sharp knives will scratch the surface, hot pans can melt the finish, the surface can warp with excessive water, once damaged they can usually not be repaired, seams are easy to see, and some materials will fade over time.

Acrylic or Polyester Plastics (Corian, etc.)

Unlike laminates, this type of countertop is homogenous throughout the material. This type of countertop is available in numerous colors, and can be either polished or a matte finish. Typically, they are available in thicknesses of ½” and ¾”. Polymer countertops have the following advantages: Non-porous and stain resistant, abrasive cleaners can be used on unpolished finishes, easy to clean and refinish, many colors available, seamless, scratches can be repaired. Disadvantages of polymer countertops are: scratches easily, hot pots will melt finish, very expensive (even more than granite), unnatural plastic appearance.

Wood (Butcher Block)

 This type of countertops can give the room a natural warm appearance. Typically, this type of countertop is made by gluing hardwoods such as rock maple or beech together into strips. Wood may be the perfect choice if you do a lot of cutting. Advantages of wooden countertops are: cleans easily, and scratches can be removed by sanding. Disadvantages of wooden countertops are: countertop can warp, turns black if exposed to large amounts of water, requires sealing, and expensive.

Tile

 Tile countertops are usually made with ceramic tile. The tiles will be in various shapes and sizes, ranging from one inch square tile up to six inch tile. This type of countertop is popular in country style kitchens and is very durable. However, the grout lines can be a problem. Grout can stain easily. If you go with this type of countertop, make sure you use the more expensive epoxy grout, or you will be aggravated with cleanup. Advantages of tile countertops are: durable, non-staining and will not scratch, almost an endless variety of colors and patterns, and heat resistant. Disadvantages of tile countertops are: chips easily, grout can be a problem, and slightly more expensive than laminate countertops.

Granite

 Granite is one of the best choices for countertops, and is available in both matte and polished finishes. Granite has become a lot more affordable in recent years and frequently a granite countertop can cost less than other solid surfaces. Advantages of granite countertops are: it is scratch resistant, hot plates can be placed directly on the surface, very durable, natural product (think “green”), wide selection of colors, and very beautiful.

Granite will give your kitchen or bath a unique appearance. No two pieces have exactly the same pattern, just as no two people look exactly alike. Because of this, when you prepare for a granite countertop project, make sure you purchase all you need at the same time. Otherwise, you may end up with countertops in the same room that do not match. The appearance of granite will change throughout the day as the sunlight dances across the small crystal in the granite. Granite is also very sanitary. Unlike some other countertop choices, granite will not harbor bacteria. It can also usually be repaired if it becomes damaged. You can also cut on it without damaging the surface. Hot items can be laid directly on the surface without burning the surface. Mild acid also will not damage the surface. The biggest advantage to this type of countertop is that it will immediately add to your property value.

A.C. T. Services would be honored to have the opportunity to show you the best choice for your kitchen or bathroom remodel. We can put our 31 years of experience to work in making your granite countertops beautify your home and turning your home into the showplace that you desire.


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