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.
While ceramic tile seems old-fashioned as a countertop material, it has many pluses. It is durable, inexpensive and easy to clean. Ceramic tile counters are usually installed one section at a time and most people can easily work with the materials. Ceramic finishes are excellent because they take hot pans, are easy to clean and are available in a number of different textures. The only downsides are that the grout in between the tiles can be difficult to clean, tiles can chip and crack, and the surface can end up uneven. In addition to ceramic tile, tiles also come in aluminum and copper for some great new looks, whether in brushed or smooth textures. Also, tiles can be set in various sizes and patterns, as squares, subway block and angled as diamonds. Back splashes can have unique designs and capping tiles.
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