Kitchens and bathrooms are the most common remodel project in a home and
can offer a very good return on your investment if done properly. Remodeling
a kitchen or a bathroom is a costly venture and should be well planned
and discussed before beginning this type of project. There are numerous
materials, designs, styles and colors to choose from. The average consumer
can get lost just trying to decide what countertop product is right for
the lifestyle for their family.
Choosing a counter top surface can provide a huge impact on your finished
project. Learn about some of the most popular trends, including the cost
and care they require to protect your investment.
Some of the popular selections are granite and quartz, but these can be
some of the most expensive surfaces and they require maintenance to continue
- most sought after countertop
- available in a wide range of colors
- natural stone
- The cost can range from $60-90.00 per square foot including installation.
The right granite can bring an entire bathroom or kitchen together, however,
most people don't realize:
- Some granite can stain quite easily.
- It can be damaged with normal use.
- Lighter colored granite is susceptible to staining from dark colored liquids.
- Typical items most people have in a kitchen or bathroom can easily damage
a granite countertop because of the porosity of natural stone. Hair dye
or bleach, whitening toothpastes, abrasive cleansers and makeup are just
some of the products that can stain a granite countertop.
- Surface scratches can be polished out of the stone, but stains are non-repairable.
- Cracked or broken granite can be repaired; however, repairs often leave
a visible seam.
- Granite counter tops should be re-sealed once a year to keep their luster.
Granite is great for customers that don't have children and keep their
bathrooms very neat and clean. If you're not in that category then
there are other materials that can provide a great look with less maintenance.
Manufactured quartz products:
- very sheik
- among the expensive products in the countertop world
- are also one of the most resilient countertops
- high functionality with a fantastic form
- available in an array of colors, patterns, hues, thicknesses and has as
many edge treatments as granite
- maintenance is where this product shines
Manufactured quartz is made of 90% crushed quartz and a polyester resin
to bond it all together. Crushed glass, metallic flecks and color pigments
can be added to the mix to create speckled, swirled, or marbled patterns.
- high resistance to scratching
- polyester resin makes this a non-porous material which resists staining
- doesn't need to be re-sealed every year like granite
- Another benefit to quartz countertops is they are manufactured so they
come with a warranty.
If you want a versatile high quality finish, then a quartz countertop is
an excellent choice.
Many people don't even realize that concrete is a choice when it comes
to countertop surfaces.
- Polished concrete and stained concrete aren't just for floors anymore.
- Lightweight concrete mixes have brought this material inside the home and
it's making quite a statement.
- Cast polished concrete countertops and sinks are a fantastic material to
provide a modern look in your kitchen or bathroom.
- Concrete sinks can be made into shapes that other materials wish they could be.
- Sloped back, trough drains, radius edges, seamless sink transitions, negative
edges and a variety of colors and patterns are available in this product line.
- Concrete does not make for a cheap countertop. You can expect to pay anywhere
from $70 - 140.00 per square foot, installation included.
- These countertops are hand crafted and require many hours to create, the
more elaborate the design and style, the greater the cost.
- The functionality and form of these tops exceed all others in this list
and it's a very durable material.
- It can be stained and damaged, but with care, this material can provide
long term service and value to your home.
Cultured marble was popular in the 1970's and it's making a comeback.
Most people think of the old yellow bodied gold swirled formed bowl banjo
top covering the toilet lid in grandma's hall bathroom.
Today cultured marble comes in a more palatable and complimentary selection
and is still popular choice today because:
- it's affordable
- relatively easy to maintain
- Any water based cleaner or a cleaner with a neutral pH and a damp cloth
can clean either a solid marble or a cultured marble surface without causing damage.
- Cultured marble can be stained and damaged, but with a little care, this
inexpensive surface can brighten up a dull bathroom and cost about 1/3
of granite and quartz.
- Cultured marble can be repaired if it's damaged, but more often than
not, the repair will be visible.
- If you're remodeling on a budget, this is a countertop worth consideration.
Put down the Ajax and Comet when cleaning your countertops! Stay away from
the abrasive cleaners; they will scratch the most popular countertop materials.
The shiny new finish will be left dull and lack luster with these products.
Get a product designed for cleaning your particular countertop, it will
keep the shine and protect the finish for years. Home-improvement stores
carry a wide variety of cleaners for all types and for good reason. Find
the right cleaner for your countertop and use it, your countertop will
Every countertop material requires maintenance, some more than others and
they are all vulnerable to damage if abused, but with some care, the most
used surface in your home can provide years of service and be the highlight
of your remodel project.