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Counter Installs: How to Choose and Install Properly

Counter Installs: How to Choose and Install Properly

Counters for kitchens are available in a variety of materials. Choosing the right material for your needs depends on several personal preferences. Durability, aesthetics, maintenance, and cost all have to be considered. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular options available. 

The appeal of granite as a counter material is still going strong. It may well be the top choice for many homeowners and kitchen designers. Granite is a very hard surface. It is available in multiple colors and patterns. It wipes it clean easliy. It is one of the more costly surfaces. The longevity and durability of granite might offset the initial investment. Granite requires some routine maintenance. It is recommended that it be resealed once a year, depending on how much use it is subjected to.

Granite slabs are cut at a stone fabrication shop to match a template that your contractor or kitchen professional supplies. Seams have to be matched properly. The stone is best installed by a professional. It is glued in place onto a plywood base layer.

Manufactured stone counters are made from a combination of stone materials and binding polymers. Quartz is strong, stain resistant, heat resistant, anti-microbial, and virtually maintenance free. It is available in a variety of colors and patterns. Quartz is comparable to granite in terms of cost and installation.

If you are looking for a warm, farm house style look, wood is a great countertop material. Butcher block is strong and durable when sealed properly. Wood is generally less costly than stone and quartz, depending on the type of wood you choose. Teak and mahogany are water resistant and very handsome. Wood does need to be sealed to keep it free of bacteria and damage from water. You will have to sand and reseal it periodically, just as you would a hardwood floor.

You can purchase butcher block in specific lengths and attempt a DIY installation. Wood is easy to measure, cut, and install directly on top of base cabinets. You don’t need to worry about matching seams. Alternatively, your carpenter can install a wood counter rather quickly and accurately.

Laminate countertops have been around for decades, and are still a very popular material for a budget friendly installation. Laminates have come a long way in the last 30 years. They are better made with cleaner seams. The color, texture, pattern, and material options are endless. A particularly nice option is stainless steel laminate. You can achieve the sleek look of stainless without spending a small fortune on a custom metal counter. Laminates require little maintenance, other than wiping them down. Certain laminate materials are prone to reacting poorly to hot pots being placed on them.

Laminates are thin sheets that are cut and glued to plywood or pressed board cores. The core material is attached directly to the base cabinets. This is another installation project that you can try yourself.

The use of concrete as a counter material continues to grow in popularity. Concrete is a very versatile material that can be shaped and sized to pretty much any design configuration. Concrete is very strong, functional, and easy to maintain when sealed properly. You can choose different colors and aggregates for a distinctive personalized décor.

Making your own concrete countertop is super economical, though labor intensive and extremely heavy to lift into place. There are professionals who specialize in concrete counter fabrication and installation. It will cost you a little more, but the time saved is an enormous benefit.


Additional Considerations
In addition to the counter materials and installations mentioned above, there are other options available that you might also want to consider. Glass, recycled materials, marble, soapstone, ceramic tile, and custom stainless steel or zinc are all mentioning.

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The Bath & Kitchen Showplace
Bath & Kitchen Showplace offers everything you need for your bathroom and kitchen remodeling projects. We offer more than 50 years of experience to help our customers in the Austin, Dallas and Arlington areas find the best plumbing and fixture products for every budget. Please browse our site and let us know how we can help you.