Most homeowners spend between $340 and $2,719 nationally. Get free estimates from local countertops contractors.
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Choosing new countertops is a major part of any kitchen or bathroom renovation. While aesthetics play an important role when deciding on a color and material, intended use is equally, if not more, important. Furthermore, most homeowners will consider cost when deciding on a countertop product.
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The natural colors and patterns that occur in granite have made the material a popular choice for kitchen counter decor. Granite is also appreciated for its durability as it resists water splashes, contact with knife blades, heat, and general wear and tear. Because granite is heavy, a strong cabinet base is needed to support the weight of the countertops. It is also necessary to regularly seal countertops made from this material as it would otherwise be prone to staining. Purchase and installation cost starts at $35 per square foot, placing granite in the middle of the price spectrum but making it more affordable than many other materials.
Known for its elegant beauty, marble countertops are considered by many to be the signature of a glamorous kitchen or bathroom. While the material is able to brighten up virtually any room, it may not be the most practical choice for avid cooks. Chips and scratches can happen very easily; therefore, it is best to limit marble to only small areas within a kitchen. Starting at $40 per square foot, total price including installation can range from somewhat affordable to relatively expensive.
A material that offers subtle beauty, durability and deepens in color over time, Soapstone has recently experienced an uptick in interest as a countertop surface. Many people enjoy the softer look and feel of soapstone; however, the material does not stand up as well as others against scratches and knicks from repeated knife use. Soapstone may also crack over time. Regular polishing with oil is necessary for maintenance purposes. One of the more expensive materials, price with installation starts at $70 per square foot.
One of the more traditional and economical choices, tile can allow homeowners to go wild when choosing colors and designs with which to decorate their kitchen or bathroom. Tile countertops can be made to fit virtually any style of home. Resistance against stains, heat and knife blades are additional benefits of using tile. Ease of replacement and low associated costs make tile countertops more practical than granite, marble or soapstone. Disadvantages to using tile include grout that is susceptible to staining and harboring bacterial when wet. Therefore, if you add to your bathroom, clean often.
A look that has recently increased in popularity for in-home applications, butcher block gives kitchens a natural, rustic look and feel. Made from wood, the surface is prone to scratches, which can easily be sanded down or left as is, depending on the preference of the homeowner. Butcher block is also very susceptible to bacteria contamination as wood is very porous. Therefore, disinfection must be regularly done to maintain sanitation and food safety. The starting price for butcher block is relatively affordable at $35 per square foot, including installation.
Earth-conscious homeowners may be interested in paper composite countertops. Made from paper pulp that is bonded together with water-based resins, this material is durable and can withstand heat and water. Weight is also not a factor when choosing cabinets as paper composite is much lighter than stone. Maintenance is more involved as these countertops require occasional sanding or polishing with mineral oil. Paper composite is also expensive as total cost begins at approximately $85 per square foot installed.
The bathroom and kitchen countertop market has grown to include new, innovative materials in addition to older classics. No matter what a homeowner's taste or budget may be, there is a countertop surface that will match his or her style and desired price point.