What materials are available for countertops?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Countertops are usually replaced when cabinetry is replaced. There are many alternatives available today for the consumer to choose from. Granite, engineered quartz, solid surface, soapstone, quartz, wood, laminate, stainless steel, marble, copper, etc. are countertop and surface materials that are all being used today.

Countertop materials are used for many reasons ranging from cost, practicality, design, or color. Pricing for these materials can be inexpensive to very expensive depending on what the consumer wants.

Granite is usually sold in price ranges called levels…i.e. level 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 with #1 being the least expensive and level #7 being the most expensive. Why does one type of granite cost more than the other? Availability, cost to get it out of the ground, where it comes from, etc. will be the determining factors. Granite is cut, either manually or with “cad” cutting equipment, during the fabrication process. It is polished and sealed to give it the smoothness and gloss that we are familiar with.

Solid surface materials are man made and most of us are most familiar with Corian which is a Dupont brand name. There are many other solid surface materials to choose from and the consumer needs to be educated on the value proposition of each “brand” in order to make a good choice. Solid surface is “seamed”, “glued, and “sanded” in the fabrication process to achieve a “seamless” look.

Engineered quartz are pieces of quartz that are glued together and then sanded and polished. Some of the brands like Silestone are treated with a antimicrobial treatment that allows the consumer to cut products like chicken on the surface and then wash off without fear of transfer of germs, etc.

Countertops using laminate material are tops that have a substrate like wood or mdf board, and the laminate material, like Wilsonart as an example, is laminated using a bonding material onto the substrate material to create the top.

Showrooms are great places to see the different varieties and types of countertops available.

Please come and visit our 1stChoice Cabinetry showroom, and let us educate and show you all the possibilities available for you to choose from!