Kitchen Countertops

A world of kitchen countertop tile and finishing options

Kitchen countertops are where you do the majority of your work in the kitchen, from organizing and preparing food to storing kitchen utensils and tools. It's important that your work surfaces are durable and easy to clean. But, because of the large surface area countertops take up in most kitchens, it's best to make them visually appealing as well.

Finding a balance between function and beauty isn't difficult when you consider the many options you have for attractive, durable countertops. From upscale granite and marble countertops to highly customizable laminate and kitchen countertop tile, finding the right countertop can transform your kitchen from an average one to an exceptionally attractive one.

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Marble and Granite

Granite countertops are the definition of elegance in the kitchen, but that elegance comes at a price. While granite holds up well to heat, comes in literally thousands of colors and will last a lifetime, it is also one of those most expensive choices in kitchen countertops. You will also have to pony up for regular maintenance. Additionally, because only diamonds are harder than granite, kitchen knives and other kitchen utensils can become dull if they're used to cut things directly on the countertop.

Because of the very high price of marble countertops, marble is not often used to cover the entire surface of a kitchen's workspace, but is instead used on insets and focus pieces. Marble also stains easily, so it requires constant care and maintenance.

Laminate Countertops

Laminate countertops are probably the best choice in kitchen countertops for the average homeowner. The countertops are smooth, plastic-coated synthetics that are heat-resistant, durable, easy to clean and very affordable. Additionally, laminates are available in a wide range of colors, making it easy to match them with the rest of your decor.

Kitchen Countertop Tile

Tile is one of the most affordable kitchen countertop choices there is, and it's also durable and easy to clean. The best part about kitchen countertop tile is that it's available in just about any size, shape, color and texture imaginable, and can be customized easily and inexpensively.

Additionally, tile is typically simple to install and can even be done by people with little technical skill, making it a natural choice for the average homeowner. However, there are a couple downsides to tile: the counter surface becomes uneven, leading to grout staining and additionally cleaning, just as with bathroom tiles. Tiles can also become chipped or cracked with heavy or extended use.