Choosing Countertops: Natural Stone
Natural stone is a classic choice for kitchen countertops, but it does require maintenance.
By: Alice Daniel
Marble, soapstone and Jerusalem stone are just some of the natural stones used for kitchen countertops. Bakers love to knead dough on cold marble, but designers recommend it be used sparingly as a countertop material because it's soft, stains easily and chips. Soapstone won't crack like other stones, but it will dent if it gets hit with something hard. The dents, says Jennifer Gilmer, of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath, Ltd. in Chevy Chase, Md., give it a used, stressed look that some people really like. It comes in many colors and gives the room a soft, warm feel. Jerusalem stone (which does come from Jerusalem) looks like limestone but is as durable as granite.
Create a baking center by installing a low counter (30" to 33") and topping it with marble or granite. The lower height gives better leverage for kneading and rolling.
Clean natural stone countertops with liquid detergent and water. Seal marble annually. Apply mineral oil to soapstone every other week for the first year to help the stone oxidize evenly; apply every other month thereafter. Jerusalem stone requires annual sealing.
From $75-$200/lin. ft., installed.
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Choosing Countertops: Stainless Steel
The clean, attractive look of stainless steel works in both traditional and contemporary kitchens.
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Choosing Countertops: Concrete
Concrete's organic look suits both modern and rustic kitchens.
Choosing the Right Kitchen Countertops
Searching for the perfect surface doesn't have to be difficult. Here are some pointers about the most popular countertop materials.
Natural Countertops are Tops With Homeowners
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Granite Kitchen Countertop Tips
Granite countertops are a good way to modernize a kitchen. DIY experts give tips on granite countertops.
Quartz: The New Countertop Contender
With low maintenance, high durability and endless color choices, engineered quartz offers a tempting alternative to natural stone countertops.
Choosing Countertops with Confidence
Designer Heidi Karpa helps you determine your design profile so you can choose countertops with confidence.
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