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Countertops Worth Considering

13 March 2013

Shopping for kitchen countertops can seem like a daunting task.  There are lots of things to consider including materials, colors, textures, durability, lifespan and maintenance.  Here’s what you need to know about some of the lesser known materials within the marketplace.


What It Is:  Marble is a rare stone that can be polished to make countertops.  Because it naturally occurs in nature, no two countertops are the same.

Consider This: Marble is prone to scratches and staining.  It can be repaired by a professional.  Marble’s look is timeless.  Marble is heat resistant, but it can soak up oils and odors.

Price Range: $$-$$$

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Consider This: A benefit of glass countertops is that they are easy to clean.  Care should be taken to ensure that they are not scratched.  Glass can also crack and if it does, it cannot be repaired.  A perk of glass countertops is that they are stain proof.  Glass is available in multiple colors and patterns and can be shaped to fit the home.

Price Range: $$$


What It Is: Limestone occurs in nature when the remains of tiny shells and organisms are laid to rest in a sea bed where they eventually compress and are formed into a rock.

Consider This: Acidic foods spilled on a limestone counter can cause the color to dull and fade.  Limestone counters require annual sealing.  Limestone countertops can come in vibrant shades that may not be found in other natural materials.  They are resistant to humidity.

Price Range: $$



What It Is: Lava stone is one of the newer materials available for countertops.  It is hand extracted from open air mines.

Consider This: The lifespan of this material is uncertain because it’s a newer product.  It’s currently manufactured in France and shipping costs contribute significantly to its price.  It holds up well against staining and scratching.  Because this material is mined, each countertop is unique.  It comes in a multitude of colors.

Price Range: $$$

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What It Is: Travertine is a stone that takes years to form from minerals under intense pressure and heat.  It’s made when the minerals dissolved under water leave behind sediments on the outer
parts of beaches.

Consider This: Because travertine occurs naturally, it comes in lots of different colors.  Travertine reflects light which can make your kitchen appear larger.  Spilling acidic liquids on them, that are not immediately cleaned up, can result in etching. Because they absorb liquids, it’s important to disinfect these counters regularly to slow bacteria growth.  It needs to be resealed every couple of years.

Price Range: $-$$


Consider This: Copper countertops are long-lasting but are unable to be sealed to prevent tarnishing.  They will show fingerprints.  As it ages, copper countertops will grow a reddish brown patina.  They are prone to denting and scratching.  Different textures are available.

Price Range: $$$


What It Is: Solid surface synthetics are comprised of manufactured materials, most commonly acrylic.

Consider This: These countertops are man made and are not recyclable.  They are prone to scratching and denting, but these damages can often be fixed by a professional.  They only need minimal maintenance.  They are malleable and can be molded to almost any requirement.

Price Range: $-$$

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