Kitchen Renos and counter top 101

I am enrolled in an interior design coarse and loving it.This week I am focused on the heart of the home... the kitchen. As a Realtor people often ask what improvements they should consider. Kitchen counter tops can make a huge impact on a dated kitchen. There are a lot of choices but I will touch on a few.

Granite is available in a variety of shades such as blacks, whites, greens, corals and beiges, and no two pieces are exactly the same. Granite is available in two finishes. A polished finish results in a shiny look and often darkens the appearance of the stone, while honing is soft and matte. Costs for granite depend on many variables, including color, finish and origin of the stone.We were seeing black as the colour choice but more of a neutral colour seems to be emerging.

Engineered stone countertops come in a wider variety of colors than natural stone countertops, are more durable and easier to maintain. The price on these is close to granite.Their look is more uniform as well.

Concrete counter tops are popular in some areas. These can be customized for colour etc. They do need to be sealed periodically.

Wood counter tops, like butcher block, instantly warm up a kitchen. They are easy to clean and any scratches can be sanded out. Water damages butcher block quite easily, though, so wood counter tops must be oiled frequently to seal the surface.I had a counter of butcher block in my last house and loved it.

Laminate is the most affordable countertop material on the market and comes in an array of colors and designs. Laminate can scorch and can scratch easily. This is still the most popular choice in the homes we see.

So what is the best choice for you? I, too, am still trying to decide. If you asked me today I would say quartz with my baking counter in butcher block. Tomorrow could be different. If you have comments I would love to hear them!

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