Find the right countertops for your kitchen remodel.
Kitchen countertops are often considered the focal point of the most important room in the home. As such, it pays to know your options. See two of the most common kitchen countertop materials below. When ready, use ImproveNet to find kitchen countertop contractors in your town.
As with the rest of the kitchen, kitchen countertop options vary in price based upon material. On the high end, fully custom solid-surface granite countertops, slate countertops or marble countertops, are most durable. If money is no object this is the best route to go in full-kitchen remodeling because the same stone can be used for kitchen flooring and the countertop, giving the entire kitchen an elegant and sophisticated look. However, to many the money is worth the finished product that will last forever. Even scratches and burns can easily be sanded out of this fine finish.
Modern kitchens can host a variety of countertop materials from cement and stainless steel to copper countertops. This is definitely not a do-it-yourself project, because of the complexity of the work to be done. When you go this route, you are creating a high-end kitchen showcase of timeless beauty by merging unique materials with everyday functionality.
Then there are pre-formed plastic-laminate tops such as cultured marble or Dupont Corian countertops. Although the cheapest of all counters, by spending a little extra money, options are available such as mitered corners, bullnosing, sink holes, and end caps. The preformed countertops can be the in the realm of a do-it yourself job, but when sinks and plumbing come into the picture, things get tricky. Expect to pay around $6 per linear foot for this type of counter, not including the price of fastening clips, custom-cut sink holes, and end caps-then as you explore the name brands, prices increase. Also different finishes and colors can be options that raise the price quickly.
If you want a custom fit, but do not want to take out a second mortgage on the home to finance the kitchen remodeling, granite tile countertops or marble tile is the popular option. Ceramic tile is tough, heat resistant, attractive, and unyielding to stains. These surfaces can be fully customized using any variety of ceramic tile, and depending on what look is desired. On the downside, the grouts can often become stained, and the counter may not be smooth. This can be a problem when trying to clean up messes and spills. Darker grouts show stains less so you might want to factor this in when making your tiling decision. Marble tile is on the high end of a tiled countertop. When professionally installed, these can also match the kitchen flooring and look very modern and elegant. Tiling can fun from very inexpensive, to $4000 and beyond for the entire top--depending on the contractor installing the tile, what materials are used, and what look is desired. All-in-all this a great combination for style and affordability.
As you browse our kitchen remodeling pictures, don't forget to take good notes, think about how you use a kitchen, think about budget and find a seasoned contractor. Their input is extremely valuable in guiding your kitchen countertop decisions.
Kitchen Countertops - Q&A
Question by Darlene: Dark or light countertops?
I am in the process of remodeling my kitchen. I have everything picked out but the countertops. I am thinking about Silestone in either Amarillo Palmira or Rosa Grey. My cabinets are a dark wood and my floor is a golden color with gray and a dark green. Do dark countertops, floors and cabinets look good together or is it too dark. My kitchen is only 10 x 10 but open to a big living room that has navy furniture and a terra cotta and gray fireplace. I need any ideas and if anyone has silestone please give your opinion. Thanks
Answer by: Karen T.
Darlene, we have heard wonderful things about Silestone, and I've sold it and consumer's are very happy with it. As far as your colors, the Amarillo Palmira and Rosa Grey are very different. The Amarillo Palmira will pick up more of the Terra Cotta colors, and I don't have Silestone samples in front of me, but I think the Rosa grey, is a grey tone. Either will work well, it sounds like, just depending on the look you want to achieve. I just visited a kitchen I designed last winter, and they used a darker gray color on the countertops, with a wood floor and cherry cabinets, and the look was very dramatic. Stainless steel appliances and ceramic tile in a black thrown pottery look on the backsplash really completed the room. The Amarilla Palmira should be a warmer and lighter look. So look through magazines and see which look appeals to you.
Answer by: Michelle
Amarillo Palmira is a much lighter color than Rosa Grey. If you have darker cabinets, then the Amarillo will look better because it will show off the stone which is what you want to do. I have done Rosa Gray with dark cabinets, but with a blond floor. We are an installer of Silestone and have seen every combination under the sun. Dark tops, dark cabinets and a dark floor looks dark. You will need a lighting designer to really make it look good.
Answer by: Jennifer
Darlene, we replaced our counters last year with Silestone in a darker green (Verde Medea), and are very pleased with the results with our (existing) oak cabinets and new Brazilian cherry floor. We offset the dark tones with white appliances and a white tile backsplash (with a few splashes of color here and there). The results are very nice, and the darker counter gives it a very sophisticated look. We did have to add some lighting in a dark corner but otherwise have had no problems. Ultimately, the decision is up to your personal taste, so do what pleases you the most. Enjoy!
PS. Silestone is fantastic...we haven't had a single problem with it.
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