The three most commonly used kitchen countertops today are Corian, quartz composites such as Silestone and natural stones such as granite. All three have their benefits and their drawbacks for consumers. When you are designing a kitchen and are faced with the choice of countertop material, ask yourself several questions. Evaluate the choices not only for how they will look in your kitchen, but how they will perform under your day-to-day activities within the kitchen.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Consider the look of the kitchen design you want to achieve. The most neutral surface in appearance is Corian. Corian can be solid in colour, with numerous shades--some with tiny flecks of a secondary colour to enhance the design. Choose Corian if you like sedate designs and matt finishes.
Silestone has additional colour, flecking and some veining, while remaining fairly regular. Choose Silestone if you want additional colour but you want the counter to remain consistent from one end to the next.
Granite has the most variation of colour, pattern and design. One end of a granite slab may look considerably different than the other end. Choose granite if you prefer natural appearances, lots of variation and a high shine.
Examine the surface for the type of use it will receive. Choose a harder surface such as Silestone or granite if you do a lot of cutting on your counters, baking or kneading of bread doughs or if you are in the habit of setting a hot pot directly on your counter.
Evaluate your maintenance habits and needs. Choose Corian or Silestone if you are concerned about bacterial growth, like to clean with bleach, Lysol or vinegar and prefer a low maintenance counter. Granite requires special sealers and cleaners and requires more upkeep. Corian scratches, melts and burns, but you can refinish it if necessary. Corian and Silestone are nonporous and therefore will not harbour bacterial growth.
Review your budget. All three products have multiple price points depending on colour and design. Granite and Silestone have additional costs for the installation of undermount sinks and cooktop cutouts. Corian has the ability to save you money with a integral sink and backsplash, although the cost of the material itself is in line with granite or Silestone.
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