Natural stone is a popular countertop chioce because of its durability
By: Roger King
Selecting countertop material is not as simple as it once was because there are infinitely more choices in color, pattern, and texture thanks to new materials and application. For example, you might use a solid-surfacing material in one part of the kitchen, a marble insert at the bake center, and stainless steel next to the cook top.
There are no hard and fast rules about any material you choose, but one important factor that should play a role in your selection is maintenance. Some materials demand greater care than others. Marble, for instance, must be sealed periodically because it can absorb liquids that will mar its look.
Ceramic tile is a perennial favorite. Impervious to water, itís perfect for installation at the sink. Tile is also durable and doesnít scratch, burn, or stain. Ceramic tile offers the greatest opportunity for adding color, pattern, and texture to your kitchen.
Plastic laminate is made of several layers of melamine, paper, and plastic resin boned under heat and pressure, then glued to particleboard or plywood, plastic laminate is inexpensive, relatively easy to install, and available in a vast array of colors and patterns. It can be chipped or scratched by sharp knifes, and it will scorch if you put a hot pot down on it. There is no repair option available except replacement.
Marble and granite are probably the most expensive materials you can choose for a countertop. Though it is stone, marble is actually a soft, porous material that can be gouged and stained easily. Granite is beautiful, unlike marble, it has a cool surface that pastry makerís favor, but it is less absorbent.