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Choosing the right countertop can be a daunting task, but the right decision can have a great outcome. Whether you choose granite, solid surface or engineered stone, your countertop can become the focal point of the room for many years. Each type of countertop can fit into a wide range of budgets and the variety of colors and patterns work well with just about any décor style.
Granite is an igneous rock formed from cooled molten rock deep within the earth. The size of grains and crystals inside the rock are determined by the temperature, pressure and speed of cooling. Granite is polished, not sealed with a shine coat, to create the beautiful mirror finish. Granite is a durable, long lasting choice for any countertop.
There are many benefits to choosing granite countertops. Granite is believed to be second-only to diamonds in terms of toughness. Granite offers a hard, scratch-resistant surface that won’t chip or crack easily like laminate. Also, granite will not burn like other countertop materials. Like all natural materials, each piece of granite is unique.
Solid surface is made of an acrylic material that provides a durable surface with minimal maintenance. There is a lot of flexibility when choosing a solid surface countertop. Custom shapes, sizes, colors and textures are easily obtained. Solid surface countertops can be vulnerable to hot pans and some stains that may damage the surface.
Solid surface is engineered, so it is highly customizable. Many colors and patterns are available and there is little to no variance. Solid surface is also seamless so it will have a consistent design.
Engineered stone is composed of 93% quartz particles. There are many colors and styles to choose from, just as granite. The countertop is scratch-resistant and has a non-porous surface. Its easy maintenance and resistance to staining make it a popular choice in many kitchens.
Quartz is very customizable. Because it is engineered to systematic standards, you can be sure that the color in the sample you choose will be identical to what you get. It is non-porous, so it requires no sealing and is great at resisting stains and household acids.
Many colors and styles of laminate countertops have become available in recent years. Laminate can be a great choice for your kitchen because it is long lasting and comes at a great price. It is easy to work with and provide resistance to staining and chemicals. Although laminate is a great choice, it cannot be repaired if chipped or burned and some seams can be noticeable.
Many laminate manufacturers offer a high-style laminate option that is made to look more elegant than past options. For a high-style look on a budget, laminate can be made to look like a solid surface or granite countertop at half the cost and labor.
When installing a kitchen sink, many options are available for revealing the sink. Below a few of these options are explained.
Full / Positive
The countertop edge sits back on the lip of the sink. This exposes the sink rim by a typical 1/8" and must contain a completed countertop ledge for a finished look.
A flush reveal sink meets the edge of the countertop. This creates a seamless look as it fits flush with the sink bowls.
With a negative reveal, the countertop extends over the edge of the sink on all sides. This makes sure there is no sink edge showing anywhere, making it a bit trickier to clean.