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September 18, 2008

Kitchen Countertops:

Nowadays many types and styles of kitchen countertops are in vogue.

Granite Countertops:
We can use the traditional granite stone or other hard stones as long lasting countertops for working in the kitchen.They may vary from 1inch to 2inches in thickness making the stone more durable and strong for general wear and tear.We get different colours of stones for the purpose.So depending on the colour of the cabinets you use choose from a wide range of stone colours.If you plan to have a breakfast table as a projection of the countertop you can mix and match two colours of stones to give a vibrant look to the kitchen interiors.Although there is some maintenance involved, granite kitchen counter tops are elegant and timeless.
Engineered Stone Countertops:
Engineered stone is not as popular as granite but is often confused for a granite finish. Engineered stone has all the pros of granite but is probably easier to maintain (it differs from brand to brand the quality of the stone). Engineered stone counter tops are composed of quartz particles and they are available in a larger range of colors than granite – an additional benefit is a nonporous surface that is scratch resistant. Some popular brands on the market are DuPont, and Silestone. Engineered Stone is often more expensive then a granite finish.
Ceramic Tile Countertops:
Another good option is to use tiles fixed on the RCC slab.The main utility of using tiles on the kitchen countertop is that they give a fantastic colourful look and feel in the kitchen.Also you can change the tiles easily if you want to have a new look in your kitchen.The tiles should be ceramic, hard and resistant to normal wear and tear.They should also be easy to clean type.Ceramic finishes are good because they take hot pans, are easy to clean and are available in a number of different textures. The only problem is that the grout in between the tiles can be difficult to clean (if poorly designed) and the surface can end up uneven. Both of these pitfalls can be avoided with a professional installation.
Stainless Steel Countertops:
Third category which is used is the steel.Stainless steel is extremely heat resistant and durable.They are easy to clean and are expensive compared to granite/stone slabs as countertops.They look quite modern or contemporary with glass and steel accessories of kitchen. Another problem is that they are noisy and difficult to do the fabrication and installation easily.

Wood or Butcher Block Countertops:
Wood is also used in some kitchens as countertops.They give a rustic look and are available in a wide range of finishes and timbers.But depending on the regular use of the countertop their effectiveness is to be determined.They are not very suitable for very heavy items to be kept on them on a regular basis.Hence decide on the wooden countertops carefully.They can be damaged by water and stains overtime and need to be oiled or sealed.

Soapstone Countertops:
Soapstone offers a beautiful finish - it is generally dark in color and has a smooth and welcoming feel. Popular among historic homes (particularly among renovators) it is a great finish for both countertops and can be used as sink material. The biggest pitfall is the regular maintenance soapstone requires: applications of mineral will help prevent cracking over time.
Glass Countertops:
Glass is known for its eye-catching, translucent beauty, and is as durable as most other countertop materials. Because of its price and distinctive look, designers suggest using it as an accent countertop, rather than throughout the kitchen. Glass countertops can be imbedded with a variety of textures and colors. Recycled glass countertops are an eco-friendly option.

Laminate Counter tops:
Finally comes the laminate which may be used as countertop options in a kitchen,popular trademarks Formica, Nevamar. They are used extensively in western countries but in Indian contect because of the regular load the countertop has to take generally they are not a viable option.They are affordable and their price is much less compared to that of the stones.The pieces are cut to size and then installed and finished on the ends. Laminate counters are made out of plastic coated synthetics with a smooth surface that is usually easy to clean.They are easy to replace if they are repaired or damaged.

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