How to select and upgrade your kitchen counter.

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The kitchen counter is your major work space. You prepare all of your food here. You want it to be easily cleaned and sanitized. It should be colorful and reflect your personality. The selection of your counter should be done carefully and deliberately. It is a major upgrade and expense, so you must do it right the first time.

There are many ideas for the kitchen and choices to make in selecting counters tops and how it affects your kitchen floor plans for your home improvement project.

Do you want a natural stone, an engineered stone, wood, tile, Solid Surface Acrylic or Laminate?

Natural stones like granite, limestone, and soapstone have a depth and beauty of a polished surface that is hard to match. They do require upkeep of cleaning, sealing and waxing as they are porous and will become discolored if not properly cared for by the user.

An engineered stone usually uses quartz as a filler with a resin, to bind it together. They come in many beautiful colors and blends of rock. They are heat, scratch and discoloration resistant. They are easy to clean to make them sterile and do not require waxing.

Solid Surface Acrylic such as Corian or LG Hi-Macs is a fabricated counter that comes in many different colors. It is durable and easy to clean, if the surface becomes discolored, it is easy to take a fine sand paper of 400 grit or higher and lightly sand out the stain. It can also be bonded together at the seams so that it looks and feels like one continuous counter. Even the sink can be built in with out any seams. It makes a lovely counter.

Wood counters such as teak, maple, cherry, walnut or mahogany have a gorgeous look and feel to them but they require upkeep and care to keep them looking good. They can be scratched, burned or stained, so you must be careful and take care of them.

Tile counters are durable and can be assembled in many different colors, and sizes. They are easy to clean, but the grout between the tiles need to be sealed. This grout can become stained and is hard to keep clean. The tiles can be broken or chipped, so you must take care of them.

A concrete kitchen counter can be built in your kitchen in any shape you want. You build a form to hold the wet concrete until it dries. It is labor intensive and requires some knowledge and skill to make a quality counter. It is porous so it must be sealed and waxed to keep it from staining.

Laminate, such as Formica or Wilsonart, is durable and comes in many styles and colors. It is stain resistant, but can be burnt. It is easy to take care of and to clean.

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