Countertop options make impact on kitchen style

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Is your kitchen ready for a makeover with a new countertop?

Among your many choices are: granite, quartz, marble, onyx, slate, soapstone, limestone, concrete, laminate, tile, wood, Corian, glass, stainless steel and copper.

With so many wonderful and diverse choices of material, picking out a kitchen counter is no easy task. Since this surface area is an integral part of your home's palette and your personal style, it's important to choose something that looks good to you, will hold up under daily cooking, cleaning and entertaining, and has a price tag that suits your budget.

In 2018, a vast number of homeowners chose between two tried-and-true materials - granite and quartz.

For now, let's focus on granite.

Granite is a natural stone that has been around for thousands of years. Color choices span the rainbow, from light to dark, with patterns subtle to bold and exotic patterns and colors to match any décor.

Granite countertop finish options include polished, honed or leathered surfaces.

Some advantages include:

  • Granite is tough to beat when it comes to durability, due to its density and scratch-resistant qualities.
  • Granite is stain and water resistant when properly sealed.
  • Choosing an exotic slab is like choosing a piece of art.

Granite is a one-of-a-kind, natural surface that has an almost luminous look. It adds value to your home.

Some disadvantages include:

  • Granite countertops last forever. If you get tired of the color, you must either live with it or rip out the entire counter because you can't change the color or pattern.
  • Each slab of granite is unique, so it might not be a good choice if you prefer a completely uniform look.
  • Granite can be permanently stained if you seal it incorrectly or with the wrong product.
  • Granite might crack when hit by a hard, sharp object like a meat cleaver.

Maintenance is relatively simple. Limit routine care with warm water and PH neutral soap or cleansers made specifically for granite. You'll want to seal your slab every year or two with an impregnating water-based sealer made for granite.

Once you have decided you want granite, start looking. When you find a slab you love, buy it, because that slab is one of a kind.

Then, befriend your fabricators. This is the most important tip of all. Let their knowledge and experience guide you, and don't be afraid to ask questions.

Also, ask to view the template and layout process where the fabricator lays out the countertop sections.

Counter space is one of the most important elements of your kitchen, so don't settle for less! Extend your counter by using decorative corbels to create added surfaces.

Sharon Loccisano is a sales designer and commercial sales professional at Prestige Stone Inc.

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