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Tips For Choosing New Kitchen Countertops

by Sara Cook

Unless you just love a particular type of kitchen countertop, you might have a hard time making up your mind on the material to use when you renovate your kitchen. There are several good choices to consider, and all high-quality countertops will provide you with many years of use. Here are some things you may want to consider when you're choosing new countertops for your kitchen.

Decorate The Kitchen Around The Countertops

Your kitchen countertops are likely to stay put for many years, especially if you invest in expensive stone or solid surface materials. You can always replace or paint cabinets, paint the walls, and change appliances, but your countertops will probably be the one constant in your kitchen well into the future. Therefore, you should pick a countertop material you love and choose the cabinets and other décor to match the countertops. That doesn't necessarily lock you into the same style forever. If you choose a lime green or red solid surface countertop, you might not have many decorating options, but if you choose a neutral color that goes with just about anything else, you can change the look of your kitchen as often as you want in the coming years.

Decide On The Materials

One basic decision you'll have to make is if you want slab countertops or tiles and grout. Slabs have the advantage of not having grooves between tiles that hold onto crumbs and bacteria, but tile countertops have their appeal, too. Tiles come in many colors and can be arranged in patterns. Plus, individual tiles can be pulled out and replaced if one is damaged.

You can choose stone, wood, and solid surface countertops, and each has its advantages. You may want to base your decision on the appearance of the material or how easy it is to maintain. You could even consider using different types of countertops, such as black solid surface material on the working areas in your kitchen paired with a luxurious slab of marble with rich dark veins on a kitchen island.

Understand The Maintenance Needed

Solid surface countertops are nearly maintenance-free other than washing them to keep them sanitary. If they get stains or scratches, the imperfections can be buffed out and the countertop looks like new. Quartz is another material that needs very little care since it isn't porous like granite or marble. Granite and marble both need to be sealed occasionally to keep stains from forming. The stone materials can even soak up water that leaves wet stains if they aren't sealed. Fortunately, sealing stone countertops doesn't require a lot of time or skill, but it is something that needs to be done to keep the stone looking nice.