Choosing Countertops with Confidence

Designer Heidi Karpa helps you determine your design profile so you can choose countertops with confidence.

Your countertops play a starring role in your kitchen design, helping set the style and tone for the heart of your home. There are so many options, from granite to wood to glass. You're afraid of making a bad decision — and who wouldn't be? But choosing your kitchen countertops doesn't have to be difficult. By determining your design profile, you'll learn what works for you, making choosing countertops easy and fun.

The first step in finding your design profile is to ask some simple questions. Start by asking, "How much can I spend?" If you're on a budget, laminate, tile and stainless steel offer great looks at wallet-friendly prices. For folks with more resources, granite, natural stone and glass are excellent choices.

Next, ask yourself, "What's my lifestyle?" Different circumstances will rate different materials. For example, families with children will want something durable and stain-resistant; gourmet cooks will prefer hard-working materials and avid entertainers will like a marriage of high style and convenience.

Now that you've got a handle on the types of countertop materials that might work for you, it's time to start focusing on the last piece of the puzzle: your personal style preference. Think about your clothes and accessories. Ask yourself, "What do I like to wear in colors, styles and textures?" Now take this quiz:

When you look into your closet, you see:
A. An abundance of colors and patterns
B. Mostly neutral clothing; comfort is key
C. Classic pieces with colorful accents

When you look into your jewelry box, you see:
A. Lots of modern, trendy pieces you love and wear often
B. Jewelry box? What jewelry box? Your focus isn't on accessories
C. A few good pieces that are worn all the time. You do own a few "fun" earrings

When it comes to perfume, you:
A. Have all the latest fragrances and rotate your scent selection often
B. Have one scent for special occasions
C. Have a few favorites and enjoy them

When it comes to clothes shopping, you:
A. Enjoy the latest trends and update your wardrobe regularly
B. Prefer comfortable clothing and aren't interested in trends
C. Combine classic pieces with a few trends; you only need a few fun pieces

If you chose mostly As, your style preference is Style A: Bold. You prefer strong colors, unusual materials and bold contrasts. You follow the trends and love clothes with visual interest.
Descriptive Words: edgy, dynamic, unusual and cutting edge
Suggested Materials: Wilsonart Barcoo Brush $, Wilsonart Deepstar Slate $$, Granite in Tan Brown by DuPont $$$

If you chose mostly Bs, your style preference is Style B: Conservative. You prefer monochromatic color schemes with a unified material distribution. You enjoy classic details and avoid strong colors. Trends may be interesting but are not your focus. You feel comfortable with subtle accents.
Descriptive Words: classic, traditional, clean and unobtrusive
Suggested Materials: Wilsonart Natural Roca $, Wilsonart Deepstar Bronze $$, Granite in Kashmir Gold by DuPont $$$

If you chose mostly Cs, your style preference is Style C: Contemporary. You prefer contemporary and traditional elements. You enjoy carefully distributing strong accent colors like mixing different materials throughout your space. You feel comfortable in a visually engaging space that is grounded with clean lines.
Descriptive Words: unique, traditional, contemporary and balanced
Suggested Materials: Wilsonart Jade Fusion $, Wilsonart Bella Venito $$, Granite in Blue Pearl by DuPont $$$

Now that you've determined your design profile — your budget, lifestyle and style preferences — you can shop with confidence. Your detailed design profile will let you navigate countertop options with ease.

Price Ranges:
$ = $25-$60/lin ft, installed
$$ = $75-$150/lin ft, installed
$$$ = $75-$200/lin ft, installed

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