Bathrooms and kitchens are typically examined during a home inspection, and they're also some of the most important rooms for homebuyers. When you remodel a bathroom or kitchen it's difficult to pick between the wide variety of countertop types and styles. The counter in these rooms should last years and will inevitably take a lot of abuse, so you want to pick something that's both visually pleasing and durable. Before you head to the store and select a material, check out this quick overview of countertop types and evaluate their pros and cons:
Stone countertops remain the top choice for many homeowners, and with good reason. These natural surfaces are durable and incredibly stylish, though these benefits come at a considerably higher cost than many artificial alternatives.
Granite is the classic stone countertop, and it boasts incredible durability. While granite has become less expensive in recent years, it remains an expensive option. For that price, buyers get a material that's highly resistant to heat and scratches, and very easy to maintain.
Other stone options include marble and soapstone, but these surfaces are softer than granite and less durable as a result. While they may offer aesthetic benefits over other counters, the increased upkeep may makes them unappealing for many homeowners.
Generally the least expensive option for countertops, laminate surfaces cover a particle board core with sheets of blended resin and paper. In addition to low cost, these surfaces boast many color options and low maintenance requirements. Unfortunately, it can also easily scuff and burn and is susceptible to water damage. Unless price is the most important factor in your countertop-purchasing decision, other options can provide more style and utility.
Metal countertops are the last word in heat and stain resistance, and they can add a modern edge to any space. The major downside to metal is that it can be dented and needs to be consistently cleaned to avoid smudges and fingerprints. While stainless steel is costly to install, its longevity counterbalances the expense.
A composite material that combines acrylic and polyester, solid surface countertops offer an incredible variety of styles, colors and patterns to homeowners. These surfaces are molded, which allows for countertops with integrated backsplashes or sinks that are molded into the countertop surface itself. While solid surface counters can be expensive, they are easy to maintain and shrug off stains that would damage other surfaces. Though they are susceptible to heat, these counters can be made to suit any home.