Replacing countertops as part of a kitchen or bath remodeling is often considered the linchpin or essential element for the entire project because they’re one of the first things people see when they walk into either room. According to some estimates, replacing 18 linear feet of countertops can cost as little as $550 when using a laminate surfacing material – or 10 or more times that amount if the countertop of choice is made from natural stone or other exotic materials.
At Parada Kitchen & Bathrooms, our experienced design professionals can help you choose from a wide variety of countertop materials, each one with different benefits, that will fit your existing style and budget needs.
When looking for the right countertop, the cost isn’t the only consideration. Because of how often the typical residential kitchen is used and how long it’s expected to last between renovations, countertops need to be selected based on other criteria, including stain resistance, and the ability to withstand damage from heat, cuts, abrasions, and minor impacts with pots, pans, or other objects.
One problem many consumers face is trying to find samples to bring home so they can visualize how their new countertops will look in relation to the rest of their kitchen or bathroom. But thanks to technology, it’s a simple task now. The best advice to follow is check with local remodeling specialists to see what they have in stock and whether they give out samples, or go to manufacturer’s websites that allow you to mix and match materials, colours, and textures with appliance and flooring combinations. Free smart phone apps are a good choice, too, while computer software for your PC or Mac may also offer the option of uploading actual pictures of your existing kitchen to see how new countertops would appear. Home improvement retailers and local designers and remodelers are a great source for samples of engineered stone, but you may have to seek out a quarry or stone yard to get a good feel for natural stone.
What’s the best material for your new countertops? That depends on personal preference and how much you can afford to spend. Each countertop material has advantages and disadvantages, so think about each one before making a decision.
Types of countertops
Also known as engineered stone, quartz is a blend of resins, stone chips, and pigments.
Pros: Hold up in high traffic environments, and resists minor damage from spills, hot pans, and cuts from knife blades or other sharp objects. It also comes in hundreds of colours and styles that mimic granite and marble.
Cons: In some ways, Quartz looks too “perfect” with colours and patterns that are unnaturally uniform, and isn’t as strong as granite.
A favorite material in many custom homes, Granite holds up well in high traffic areas and is available in many colors and variations to provide a natural stone look.
Pros: Like quartz, it defends against spills, hot pans, and cuts from knife blades or other sharp objects.
Cons: The main drawback is it requires periodic sealing for stain protection, and customers sometimes complain the colours differ from smaller samples.
This choice for countertops provides a natural look and is best used in medium traffic areas.
Pros: One of the best things about Marble is that small nicks and scratches can be polished out.
Cons: Chips and scratches easily; needs periodic resealing for stain protection.
At Parada Kitchen & Bathrooms, we can help you choose the right material for your new countertops and give you tips on how to protect it for the life of your kitchen or bathroom.