What's theBest Countertop For Your Budget?
Our modern technology has blessed all types of industries with new product innovations. The countertop industry,
not to be outdone, has developed new materials that can rival classic materials in beauty and strength.
Today, all types of homeowners, from the traditionally inclined to the most avant-garde have a wide variety of
countertop choices available in the market. Each one thinking that the best countertops are their choice of
countertops. If you are looking for the best countertop that will suit your present need, you need to identify your
choices. Perhaps the best way of doing that is by classifying these countertops according to their material
construction and their prices.
Types of Countertops
All of the best countertops that you can think of must either be composed of natural or man-made materials. We can
therefore differentiate them according to this criterion.
A) Countertops Made of Natural Materials
1) Granite countertops – to
traditionally minded homeowners, these are the best countertops of all. Granite stone is very durable and it has
the most fascinating colors of all natural stones. It is the preferred material for kitchen countertops. You can
use it for heavy duty as well as for decorative purpose. Countertops made of granite usually have very long service
lives. But they can really be expensive. Their average price runs to about $40 to $100 per square foot. Some can
even run up to $200 per square foot.
2) Marble countertops – next to granite is marble. They are also used for flooring and walls.
But since marble is basically composed of calcium carbonate, it can be damaged by acids, salts and stains.
Therefore you need to properly seal and laminate the countertop surface. The price of marble is almost the same as
that of granite.
3) Onyx countertops – this is the most popular decorative
countertops today. Their translucent colors are what set them apart from other types of countertops. Their mineral
composition is basically calcareous therefore they are more porous than granite. Onyx is regarded as a
semi-precious stone that’s why the typical price of an onyx slab is $100 to $300 per square foot.
4) Wood Countertops – with homes of traditional designs, the best countertops would be wood
countertops. This will provide a rustic ambience in their kitchen. This type of countertop is also called a
butcher’s block. Hardwoods are used for kitchen countertops and if they are properly built, sealed and laminated,
they could also last for a life time. Usually a butcher block costs around $40 to $65 per square foot.
5) Bamboo Countertops – this is one of the best
countertops for those who would like a natural ambience in their kitchen. The natural and fresh look of green
bamboo is very inviting. It is also possible to build a bamboo kitchen countertop that will resist scratches, dents
and stains. With adequate seal and lamination, they will also last for years. The cost of a bamboo countertop
usually ranges from $30 to $40 per square foot.
B) Countertops Made Of Man-Made Materials
1) Stainless steel countertops – this is the
most popular among non-natural countertops. They are made of the right combination of nickel and chromium that will
resist stains and rust. Stainless steel countertops are the ones used commercially in restaurants and hotels
because they are very easy to clean and maintain. They will also last for years without losing their shine if they
are taken cared of properly. Stainless steel countertops usually cost $70 to $120 per square foot.
2) Solid surface countertops – these countertops are made of synthetic sheets formed by a
mineral compound combined with polyester or acrylic resins. Usually, different sheets with different formulations
are laid one after the other to obtain different appearances and effects. They are then chemically cured to about
60 degrees centigrade. The resultant structure has a very smooth surface with a uniform consistency throughout.
Prices of solid surface countertops range from $35 to $80 per square foot.
3) Concrete Countertops – concrete is one of the latest innovation in the countertop industry.
Countertops made of concrete are called polished concrete countertop. Their surfaces are not dull, but are shiny
and glossy. In fact, you can have any type of surface texture, strength and color combinations that you want. Their
prices usually go from $80 to $120 per square foot.
4) Quartz countertops – these are man-made countertops consisting of about 93% quartz and 7%
polyresin or epoxy. They are also available in various colors. Since they are man-made, their surfaces are highly
non-porous and are very shiny. You don’t need to polish or seal the surface. Unlike natural stone countertops, you
don’t need to laminate them annually. Their prices range from $45 to $90 per square foot.