It can be challenging - even confusing - to find the right material for your countertops which are the hardest-working surfaces in your kitchen. Also, there are considerations you should address before choosing a countertop based on looks alone. A countertop should be durable, scratch-resistant, heat-resistant, water-resistant, stain-resistant, easy to clean, as well as attractive. This brief guide reviews five material categories selected for their perfect combination of practicality and beauty. There are many material options - natural, manufactured or engineered - to go on counters which can be installed as a solid surface or applied to a backing like a veneer. Your material of choice can impact the kind of sink you want, whether it is integrated, drop-in or under-mount, An integrated sink will only work with stainless steel or solid-surface materials, like Corian. A drop-in sink is the most versatile and can be used with any type of countertop material, and an under-mount sink also works with any material except for wood.
Granite countertop exudes elegance in a kitchen and as the use of it becomes more widespread, prices have come down. Stone upgrades even the most modest kitchen. It holds up to heat and comes in a range of colors. It is substantial and will last a lifetime. It can have a mat finish as "honed" or a shiny polished finish. New sealers are almost maintenance-free but granite can require some periodic sealing and some stones, particularly marble, can absorb stains despite being properly sealed. Granite has the second highest hardness rating after diamonds but any stone can crack if it is stressed in transport or installed improperly. Stone offers a high value to home buyers and, particularly, granite kitchen countertops are elegant and timeless.
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