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.
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.
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.
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