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TIPS FOR CHOOSING A COUNTERTOP

So today I want to talk about kitchen cabinet countertops, it’s an interesting area, there is a abundance of information about them, and an amount of styles to match. One of the first things noticed, other then cabinet glass inserts, is the kitchen countertop. With the right design, a countertop can make your kitchen all the more special, tying in or casting out elements inside your kitchen.

COLOR

The countertop is a focal point that gives one of the first impressions about a kitchen. If you have installed a black marble countertop, this can give your whole kitchen a darker, masculine feel, where as a white marble can create a lighter more peaceful environment.

The color of your countertop is very important, this controls the mood in the kitchen, having a pink countertop can create a feeling of playfulness or fun, lessening any stress that a person may be feeling. Color can affect our conscious and unconscious state of mind. When our eyes are meet by color, the different colors stimulate our minds, those sections of our minds the send different hormones into our body which affects our moods.There is a very interesting report by Abby Hoicowitz called :”How Color Affects Mood” it gives a person something to think about when choosing color in there design schemes not just for a countertop but in all of there future planning.

STYLE

Style can also Affect your mood, though not as intensly as color, but the feeling you get. Some people might think “how can countertop have style? it’s a flat surface!” well in a sense that person is right, it is just a flat surface, but the edging on the that surface can create a whole array of different styles all within the same color. A countertop with a double beveled edge can give a victorian style where as a rounded edge can give a feeling of safety. An edge of a counter top that is squared off can simplify the look a kitchen with it’s small detail can change the whole feeling in a kitchen.

TEXTURE

The texture of a countertop is also a large factor for the visual feel of a kitchen, a smooth surface is the goal of all counters, but the LOOK of the texture is very important. The grain inside a marble or granite countertop can create motion in the kitchen, lines that the eyes unconsciously follow, and Where those line take you are very important, whether they guide you into looking into the cabinets above or make your eyes sweep from the left to the left to the right.

Though not an option for a lot of countertops, aggregate in a concrete countertop can create beautiful and stunning breaks in countertops that is not possible in most other countertops. Aggregate in a counter top can also create a personal touch, that separates your countertops from that of many others.

Materials / Mediums

There is a lot of different materials that countertops can be made of, The more recent and are glass and Concrete. Marble and granite used to be the high end specialty, countertops that only the most … Financially endowed… were able to afford, now with new techniques in the industry, and more competitive buisnesses all countertop prices have come down, which create more choices for the average person.

SOME types of countertop materials are:

Grantite
Marble
Soapstone
Quarts
Corian
Concrete
Glass
Resin
Acrylic
Pyrolave

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2059077

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.

Also consider textures and edges as your material choice will impact these as well. You will want to investigate all the edge styles for your choice and check the sharpness and thickness of the profile.

A combination of two materials can be a solution when you are considering tasks that will be performed on that countertop. While you may choose granite or ceramic for the majority of countertops, you may want a section of wood for chopping, cutting and slicing, or marble for rolling out pastry and candy making. The combination of two materials can be worked into the design and provide the best solution, where one type of material is for a work area, and another for clean-up or eating. In fact, countertops affect the look and feel of the whole kitchen and can make a dramatic design statement.

1. Stone: Granite, Marble and Limestone

Granite, marble and limestone may be the most expensive choice but they are the top choice for beauty and practicality. They will last forever with proper care. Granite is the leading choice within this category. The stone can be installed as a solid surface but a more reasonable installation can be made as granite or limestone tiles with tight grout lines.

Granite exudes elegance in a kitchen and as the use of it becomes more widespread, prices have come down. Stone upgrades even the most modest kitchen. It holds up to heat and comes in a range of colors. It is substantial and will last a lifetime. It can have a mat finish as “honed” or a shiny polished finish. New sealers are almost maintenance-free but granite can require some periodic sealing and some stones, particularly marble, can absorb stains despite being properly sealed. Granite has the second highest hardness rating after diamonds but any stone can crack if it is stressed in transport or installed improperly. Stone offers a high value to home buyers and, particularly, granite kitchen countertops are elegant and timeless.

2. Quartz- and Acrylic-Based: Engineered Stone and “Solid Surface”

Countertops made of engineered stone are composed of 93% quartz particles. Engineered stone offers a wider range of colors than granite and has a nonporous surface that resists scratches. Engineered stone is not as popular as granite and is often confused for granite but the regular consistency of the patterning gives it away as being man-made. In fact, engineered stone has all the benefits of granite but is easier to maintain, without the annual sealing required by natural stone. It is more expensive than granite or stone. Engineered stone brands include Silestone, DuPont Zodiaq, LG Viatera and Cambria Quartz.

Similar to the quartz-based engineered stone countertops are the seamless, manufactured acrylic-based ones that are called “Solid Surface” counters. While they also offer a wide assortment of colors, patterns and finishes, they don’t have the natural look of stone. They do resist stains, moisture, sunlight and heat, and inhibit the growth of mold and bacteria. However, they are vulnerable to hot pans and stains which can damage the surface. Solid Surface countertops are custom-made and their acrylic material can be formed to include an integrated sink with seamless installation. Brands of Solid Surface countertops include Avonite, Corian, and Swanstone.

The term “Solid Surface” for this acrylic-based material category is confusing, These countertops are so-named because they are just what they’re called, “solid.” However, they are solid and custom-made, manufactured, seamless countertops as are the quartz-based engineered stone countertops. In addition, the term is doubly confusing since stone countertops (granite, marble, limestone) and wood (butcherblock) are also seamless, “solid” countertops, as opposed to veneer-like countertops as laminate or tile.

3. Tile: Ceramic, Aluminum and Copper

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.

4. Stainless Steel

To give your kitchen the look of a serious chef at work, or a contemporary industrial design, then stainless steel countertops will work for you. This material is extremely heat-resistant and durable, and it is easy to construct the countertops precisely to your specifications as a seamless surface. While they are easy to clean, on the down side, they can dent and they can be very expensive.

5. Concrete

Contemporary and industrial, concrete countertops offer another option that blends function and chic modern design. These can be constructed and cast right in your kitchen and they can be color-tinted. New treatments reduce the porous character and eliminate cracking. Concrete is heat and scratch resistant, and the look is exotic and unusual, a nice variant on the modern design theme.

In sum, these are kitchen countertop options for every style and every budget. Any of the five material choices for your new or remodeled kitchen will give character and beauty to your hardest-working kitchen surface. Your choice will define your kitchen as the countertop is the focus of every kitchen. These choices have a proven record of durability as well as beauty. While there are other choices, like laminates which scratch, lift up at their edges and look cheap, or butcher block wood surfaces which can be porous, scratched and require much maintenance, only these five categorical choices will boost your home value while they survive scratches, food and water spills to maintain a clean, stylish, decorative appearance.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Elizabeth_McMillian/1261868

Quartz is becoming increasingly popular among many homeowners in many regions of US and Europe, when it comes to kitchen remodeling. So, if you are thinking of renovating your kitchen with Quartz countertops as your centerpiece then this article might help you. Below is a short description of everything that you need to know or learn about quartz countertops.

Manufacturing Process:

Quartz slabs are manufactured in factories unlike natural stone slabs which are mined. These slabs comprise around 90% pure quartz which is combined with polyester resins and pigments under intense heat and pressure. Resins make them non-porous while pigments are used for coloring. Depending on the designs and patterns of quartz countertops, various other materials can also be used such as recycled glass or metallic flecks.

Pros:

  • Quartz comes in various patterns and designs which can resemble the natural appearance of natural stones or granites including the engineered look of laminate.
  • Quartz slabs are non-porous. Due to this, they do not need to be sealed from time to time while remodeling your kitchen. This also makes them highly resilient to bacterial growth, mildew and mold.
  • Being one of the hardest minerals available in Earth, countertops made from quartz are extremely rigid and durable. On top of that, they are resistant towards heat, chips, dents and other types of surface damages.
  • One needs to give a little time for cleaning their quartz countertops. Stains can be easily cleaned with gentle cleansing or scrubbing using soap, water and form. However, it is better to avoid scouring pads and harsh chemicals as they can dull the surface.
  • They are manufactured in long thick slabs which can be installed in single piece.

Cons:

  • Although quartz slabs can be made to appear like granite or other natural stones, they can lack the distinctive appeal that a person might be looking for.
  • Similarly, seams between the individual slabs are sometimes visible, especially in lighter shades.
  • Quart are relatively cheaper than granite but are much more costly than laminate.
  • Despite their non-porous property, they are not suitable for outdoors purposes.
  • Quartz countertops are also very heavy (heavier than granite) which means that you need to hire professional kitchen remodeling company to do the job.
  • Quartz Countertops can stand up to heat and scorch up to a certain point. The sudden change in temperature can make the surface crack. Therefore, it is important to use a “trivet” or “hot pad” under the hot utensils.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Nathan_Wave/1832957

Hey everyone come on down to the showroom and take a look at this beautiful product from Silestone !
Silestone is a compound made of natural quartz, which make it extraordinarily hard and resilient. This is the one and only worktop made of quartz with anti-bacterial protection, giving it hygienic properties that are not to be found anywhere else on the market. It is an excellent surface for kitchen worktops, bathrooms, floors and wall cladding using the minimum number of joints.

In addition, it comes in a variety of different shades of quartz color, offering a number of decorative possibilities for your Kitchen and Bathrooms !