Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Kitchen Countertop Options

If you are building a new home, there are countless options for countertops. Countertops are priced by the lineal or square foot, most often with the template, delivery, and installation included in the price. Prices vary significantly, too, depending on the material, texture, complexity of the edge, the number of holes, the type of sink you are using, and how many seams there will be. You will want to consider the countertop's longevity, durability, maintenance, and installed price.

Laminate $15-$45 per square foot: economical, not scratch or heat resistant; not built to last
Ceramic Tile $10-$30 per square foot: economical, scratch and heat resistant, but high maintenance
Butcher Block $30-$65 per square foot: easy to install and repair, durable but maintenance required

Solid Surface $35-$100 per square foot: seams only visible from the underside; stain and heat resistant but may crack or get scorched from hot pans; scratches can be softened (Corian® solid surface colors by DuPont®, right)

Quartz $50-$100 per square foot: good for busy kitchens; stain and heat resistant, low maintenance
Engineered Stone $50-$100 per square foot: extremely durable, resists heat and stains
Marble $50-$140 per square foot: New England slate, from New York, Vermont, and Maine, is durable, non-porous, and requires no sealing; price varies by color
Limestone $60-$100 per square foot: low-traffic kitchen. It withstands heat very well
Natural Stone / Granite $50-$200 per square foot: density, strength, water absorption, and acid resistance (granite countertop, right)
Concrete $80-$120 per square foot: very popular, but porous and absorbs stains easily, must be sealed regularly