Countertop Reference Guide

WHEN IT COMES TO CHOOSING COUNTERTOPS FOR YOUR HOME, you may feel slightly out of your league. Gone are the days when there may have been only one or two options of countertops to choose from. Today you can have your pick of wood, laminate, concrete, granite, quartz, soap stone, tile, glass, marble—just about anything really.

To help guide you in your choices, following is a brief overview of the more common countertop choices.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Laminate is your standard-grade kitchen countertop. It’s simply a piece of plastic formed over wood fiberboard. It’s inexpensive (3-4 times less than a natural stone like granite), but also very functional.

Laminates have come a long way; they have made them to imitate the look of granite and quartz, having textured and honed finishes as well as overall durability. One problem with laminate, however, is that if you have a large piece of counter that requires a seam, it could come loose and, over time, begin to bubble.

Granite is a popular choice for its unique natural qualities. It is literally a piece of rock straight from the earth. Like laminate, granite is also available in many finishes: leathered, honed, polished, etc. Athough a popular countertop choice, it does have its drawbacks. For one, granite must be sealed, and if for any reason it is not sealed properly, the granite can take on stains and bacteria. As well, granite can be inconsistent in its pattern and look. Therefore, it’s best to actually see the actual slab of granite you get before purchasing it—just in case it has a large black streak running through it!

Quartz has become a very popular choice in recent years. It’s a natural stone combined with man-made products, making it a seal-proof, heat-resistant, consistent, durable countertop. It also requires no maintenance or sealing.

Generally on par in pricing with granite, quartz was pricier when first introduced, but it has become more competitively priced (although still four times the cost of laminate!).

~   ~   ~  ~  ~

When building with Van Huizen Homes, you will have the opportunity to meet with our custom cabinetry representative, William Design, and take part in building your custom kitchen, including countertop selection. Their work is featured on our website (www.vanhuizenhomes.com), as well as theirs (www.williamdesigncompany.com). We look forward to helping you in your selection process.