It's a Material World of Countertop Choices

Put down what works for you and what works hard in a variety of looks, ranging from laminate and wood to stone and tile.

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Surfaces count, especially in the kitchen, and no surface works harder than your countertop when it comes to both looks and utility. After all, it’s what you lean on for a strong workspace when preparing meals or keeping handy gadgets within reach. Here’s an overview of what to consider when it comes to the world of countertop materials:

Laminate

  • Affordability makes it a key choice when sticking to a budget

  • Easy DIY installation with precut options and no sealing lets you quickly and affordably put your kitchen vision into place

  • More design choices in rich colors, patterns and finishes such as acrylic, metal, stone and wood make it not just economical but stylish

  • Square or rounded edges expand choices

  • Easy-to-clean quality stands up to everyday stains and spills

  • Innovations make it scratch- and heat-resistant as well as moisture-resistant

Wood
  • Its natural, timeless and practical look brings simplicity into the home

  • Contemporary and traditional kitchen styles benefit from its warm tones

  • Pretreated and precut materials available in many varieties from contemporary birch and beech to classic oak

  • Durability makes it easy to say goodbye to always needing a hot pad or cutting board

  • Easy to maintain with periodic sanding and oiling that will banish scratches and stains

Stone
  • Natural stone is pricey but marble, soapstone and Jerusalem stone can create distinctive looks

  • Expense can be minimized by mixing it with more affordable countertop materials

  • Maintenance varies but soapstone requires periodic oiling; marble and Jerusalem stone must be sealed once a year

  • Soapstone will dent easily but won’t crack and gets a weathered look that some like

  • Marble is loved by home bakers, but it chips and stains easily

Tile
  • Tiles can be made of glass and stone, not just porcelain and ceramic

  • Its versatility as a backsplash or a border complements laminate or solid-wood countertops

  • Large-tile countertops are gaining popularity as smaller-tile designs with more grout can be difficult to clean

  • Fairly easy to maintain tile and grout with liquid detergent

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