Entertainment Magazine: Home Improvement: Kitchens: Redesigning your Kitchen

Redesign your kitchen countertops

The right time to replace or refinish the kitchen cabinet counter is when it's become out of fashion, damaged or necessary to help sell the home.

Kitchen counter tops can be refinished with wooden or veneered doors. It can make a kitchen look entirely different when used in conjunction with new drapes, redecoration, and new flooring. By refacing the kitching counter tops, you can retain the framework of the kitchen cabinets.

The cost of the counters are reduced when they are refaced instead of replaced. The labor necessary to renovate the kitchen is much less than a total refit.

Many New Options for Countertops

If you chose to replace your old countertop with a new one, there are almost a dozen options available. Each choice requires considerations on its use and care.

Countertops are usualy priced by the square foot. Prices can range from $10-20 per square foot, installed, for laminate counters to more than $150 for stainless steel. The most popular chosen by Consumer Reports (August 2006) is Quartz.

Quartz (engineered stone) requires less care and is rated near excellent for dealing with stains, heat, cutting, aberation and impact. Quartz countertops do not need to be sealed and come in many colors and can be formed in many shapes. But, the edges can chip. Quartz counter tops cost between $45-$90 per sq. ft.

Granite is the secnd best counter ranked by Consumer Reports (CR). The biggest complaint is that it needs periodic sealing and color and grain might differ from store samples. Granite countertops range from $40-100 per square ft. installed.

Ceramic title countertops, among the lowest cost and maybe the cheapest from $10-30 per square foot, is the third most popular, according to CR.

Other choices include solid surfaces, marble, concrete, limestone and butcher block (which requires periodic sealing and refinishing from the cuts and nicks and burns easily).

The CR article advises to consider your lifestyle (lots of kids? Don't get butcher block!). The articles describes pros and cons of each type of counter. Granite, quartz and laminate samples may not always match store samples, for example.

Many are prone to chipping, especially on the edges. Some need periodic sealing, some grout stains easiers than others, and, of course, most scratch easy.

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