It can be tough to choose the right countertop with so many materials available on the market. Here's a guide to seven popular materials to help you decide what's best for your kitchen.
By Karin BeuerleinMore in Kitchen
Soft, handsome soapstone is a countertop favorite because despite its pliable texture, it’s heat-resistant and doesn’t readily absorb stains (although you should wipe up spills promptly to be safe). Soapstone can be scratched rather easily, but imperfections fade gradually or can be sanded out. Note that light-gray soapstone weathers over time and develops a darker — and occasionally uneven — patina, which may or may not suit your color scheme. Applying mineral oil occasionally will also darken the surface if that’s the look you prefer, but it isn’t necessary to protect the stone.
According to Green Mountain Soapstone Corporation, soapstone is soft enough to cut with everyday woodworking tools, but having your countertop professionally fabricated and installed is recommended.
Price range per square foot: $70-$100
Glass countertops are some of the most visually stunning surfaces you’ll see. You can create almost any effect or color you want, although custom looks can be pricey. Typically, the thicker the glass, the more expensive the countertop. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, glass countertops are extremely strong and heat resistant. However, they do show fingerprints and can be susceptible to scratches and cracking.
Although you can’t make a glass countertop yourself, glass manufacturer Jockimo says that you can install a prefabricated one with the proper instruction.
Price range per square foot: $100-$300
Concrete countertops can stand heat well and they won’t scratch, but they must be sealed regularly to prevent stains and water damage. Fabricating and installing them properly also requires considerable time and attention to detail, so although the materials themselves are inexpensive, you should be prepared to do it yourself or pay handsomely for labor.
Price range per square foot: $65-$135
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