The counter tops you choose for your kitchen have a huge impact on the rest of the space - lets face it it is really the counters and cabinets in the kitchen that truly define the overall look and function of your kitchen, so taking the time to choose the right ones really is essential.
There are probably more counter top choices available to homeowners than ever before, so choosing the ones that are right for you can be tough. Here are a few things to keep in mind though when you are shopping for new counter tops:
Your Budget: When it comes to kitchen counter tops you are making a large investment on something that will need to last for years, so going the bargain basement route is not always the best idea.
For example, laminate counter tops tend to be one of the most inexpensive options you can choose. However, laminate has a number of disadvantages. It scratches fairly easily and a knife score is impossible to remove and hard to disguise. Cheaper laminates are also not very stain resistant. Spending the extra money on a more durable material may be the best idea in the long run.
Before you go counter top shopping sit down and figure out just how much you realistically can afford to spend on new counter tops then stick to that figure as you shop while still exploring all of the options that are available in your price range.
The Labor Costs: Some counter top materials are far easier to install than others - even for the pros. When you are choosing kitchen counter tops you have to figure those labor costs into the overall price equation or you could be in for a nasty surprise when it comes to paying the final bill.
Return on Your Investment: You may not be thinking about moving now but in the future that may be something you will consider. Certain kitchen improvements can alter the value of your home, sometimes quite significantly. Granite or other natural stone counter tops for example are very much sought after by home buyers - second only to a fireplace in actual fact. Therefore if you make that extra investment now the returns should you decide to move on the future could be the difference between selling your home quickly or having the whole process take months.
How You Use Your Kitchen: People use their kitchens in very different ways. Some people love to spend hours there preparing and cooking meals while others barely ever use their kitchens for anything more than reheating frozen dinners in the microwave.
Some kitchen counter top materials are a better choice for the serious cook than others. Stainless steel for example is a favorite choice in commercial restaurants because it is simply so durable and easy to care for, so the keen home cook may want to consider them for their kitchen space. Natural stone is another great choice for cooks for many of the same reasons as stainless steel but it also has that extra bit of visual appeal that many people really want in a kitchen counter top.
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