Friday, January 29, 2010

Finding The Perfect Counter Top Material

Kitchen countertops can be made of a wide range of materials. When making the pick of which material to use, 2 things need to be taken into account. First is the strength of the material. You will want it to last for several years, without being scratched, broken or stained too quickly before you can replace it. Second thing - how does it look like? It has to look attractive or beautiful for the owner. You will have to live with this material for a lot of years to come, so you might want to ensure your choice is something you will not get sick of too soon. One of the latest trends in kitchen decoration is zinc counter tops, which resemble the coloring of bullet alloys. Other favorite counter top materials are granite, ceramic tile, laminates, wood, stainless steel, marble, engineered stone, solid surface, soapstone, and concrete. A few of them are discussed below.

Zinc - It is a popular material now, as mentioned. Zinc can be purchased in flat sheets. They can be cut to size and shaped to fit the space to create the backsplash and front curled edging. Zinc provides a shiny metal surface that will give your kitchen the look of a professional or restaurant kitchen. It matches the professional-looking kitchens that have matching ranges & refrigerators a lot of individuals enjoy.

Granite - Yet another counter top that has become popular over the last few years. The natural stone look of a granite countertop is something many people love. It has the advantages of being hard and durable. It resists heat, thus overcoming the main problem of many other countertop materials. If a sealer is applied, the material becomes almost maintenance free. The only probable downside of granite is its dull coloring, and of course its price.

Ceramic Tiles - Another favorite choice. Many say ceramic tiles give a kitchen that old-fashioned, retro look. They come in an almost infinite range of colours & textures. Since the tiles are small & installed individually, with some training, you can design & install your own countertop. Ceramic tile is hard, scratch resistant, and heat resistant. The only cons to its many pros are that: 1) a tile can be broken if a heavy object is dropped on it, and 2) the grout can become stained over time, requiring a session of cleaning grout.

Formica - A good, old-fashioned laminate choice is Formica. This countertop material has been available for approximately fifty years. Laminate is a good choice 'cause it is inexpensive and comes in many colorings. It is just another area where you can express yourself using colours. Sadly, the surface can be scratched fairly easily, and it can be tricky to finish the front edge.

Wood or Butcher Block - Yet another beautiful choice that lends a rustic look to the kitchen. This type of countertop is available in a range of natural earthy colours. It can be sanded & resealed as needed, but it can be damaged by water or heat. - 35131

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Several Kitchen Counter Top Ideas

Kitchen countertops that meet the prerequisites of the individual customer are the best there is. Black granite counter tops boast of hygiene & lifelong strength, which makes it one of the most high-priced and sought after counter top surfaces.

If you hear about kitchen counter top ideas before you purchase your home or remodel your kitchen, they're probably the best. If you live in an area with hard water, a black granite countertop is very hard to keep looking nice. It is completely impervious to water so every drop sits on it and leaves behind calcium watermarks that is a constant struggle to avoid.

The best thing you can do when choosing a kitchen countertop material, is to list your requirements for counter tops & cabinets before buying. The price I would suggest is the top priority requirement. On top of your shopping list should be a budget first. Sure, the most pricey black granite gives the best quality, but if it breaks your budget then it is not urged.

Kitchen counter top price are at three levels. Cheapest of all are the laminate countertops with the fiberboard base. They are lighter (cheaper to transport and easier to self-install), non-porous (excellent for hygiene) and available in a large range of colors & styles, which makes them the best countertop ideas of modern times. Laminate counter tops give you a look that seems expensive minus the downsides of natural countertops such as engineered stones or marble. Laminate countertops fit customer requirements with a much easier installation and a good end product.

Next up in budget terms is a wide range of natural wood countertops and not so natural imitation stone counter tops. Another best counter top idea is "silestone". It is the color range from vermillion to "day glow" orange shade that makes this countertop well worth looking into. Silestone also has a warm leathery quality feel that makes it appealing. Another one of the best kitchen countertop ideas is corian - asynthetic counter top surface that can be fitted like wood but has the hard quality of marble or quartz. - 35131

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Find a wide selection of table top and counter tops leaving your kitchen a newer look.

Granite Countertops - Proper Care & Maintenance

Granite is a popular material to use when it comes to kitchen countertops 'cause of its hard and non-porous surface. Irrespective of its comparatively strong ability to withstand stains and chemical damages, even so, proper maintenance is required to ensure the longevity of granite countertops. Maintenance for your countertops includes both cleaning and sealing to keep them looking as good as new for years to come. Here are some tips on how to seal and clean your counter tops without making any improper damage.

Daily Cleaning

Keeping the surface clean from spills is the first step in caring for granite counter tops. If there's a spill, get rid of it as soon as possible and then rinse with warm water. If an acidic substance such as lemon, orange, or vinegar has been spilled, this is even more important.

Everyday, you should wipe your granite counter tops with a soft cloth using a mild detergent. This will ensure any surface deposits are removed and keep your counter tops looking new for a long while. Strong chemical cleaners should never be used, because they can damage the sealant. Powder detergents should be avoided as well, as surface of countertops can get scratch by these.

Some more daily care tips:

- Routinely dust the surface of the counter - Rinse well using warm water after using any cleansers or soaps on the granite - Never use bleach or ammonia on your countertop - Sanitize the surface with some drops of a pH-neutral cleaner - Though granite countertops are frequently marketed as resistant to heat, always avoid putting hot pots directly on top

Occasional Sealing

Sealing granite tops is another important part of a care routine as the seal enables the counter tops to retain the beautiful high gloss finish. Your granite top should be resealed every six months. It is often hard to detect sealant wear, so even if it does not seem worn, granite counter tops should still be resealed twice every year.

There are permanent granite sealers, if you want to avoid the hassle typically involved in granite counter top care. Or, you may wish to consider engineered granite which doesn't require regular sealing. - 35131

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Using An All Natural Stone Kitchen Counter Top

Redoing a kitchen is 1 of the most common home remodeling projects. A lot of money and time is spent by homeowners in order turn this very important room more stylish & practical. Normally, homeowners would select luxury and durability over boring & plain, but natural stone kitchen counter tops are the hot new thing in kitchen renovation.

Strength, stain resistance, burn proof, long lasting, & sophistication are what homeowners decidedly choose when browsing for a new countertop. These are just a few of the reasons why a counter top made of natural stone is a striking feature in a kitchen.

Natural stone kitchen counter tops add more value to your home & apart from that, but these types of counters are a beautiful choice for any kitchen theme. Natural stone is long lasting, tough and seen in several styles & colors, each bringing luxury appeal & extravagance to your kitchen. Through soapstone is 1 such way.

Sften, soapstone is referred to as the original stone countertop. It's rapidly getting as popular as stones like marble or granite. Soapstone is a smooth soft stone consisting primarily of magnesite, dolomite, chlorite & talc. The stone itself can be brittle, very soft to the touch and have a soapy texture to it. That soft texture is 'cause of the talc in the stone. Soapstone is extremely resistant to acids and alkalis. Soapstone counters are extremely durable & can bring a beautiful touch to your new kitchen. You'll also find soapstone commonly used widely in laboratories, fireplaces, sinks and is easily formed with common stone cutting tools.

Soapstone is very durable and heat resistant. Another selling point of a soapstone countertop is how they will not retain stains as easily as other natural stone materials. The stone is quite soft however and can scratch but these are easily removed after a quick coat of mineral oil. Deeper, ugly cuts can be sanded away easily, too. Through the regular treatment of a mineral oil or sealer, your soapstone countertop can live a long life and will hold up to the test of time. No other natural stone is as fitting for a busy kitchen as soapstone.

Soapstone counters are set apart from other stone counter tops because of the dark, rich color and its versatility when used in design. This natural stone can be found in colors of gray, blue & green, and once a mineral oil applied consistently, it will bring out a charcoal-gray color. This causes your counters to look older and much more elegant. Soapstone countertops can bring a lot of elegance to your kitchen are. - 35131

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