When it comes to kitchen countertops, granite and quartz continue to be the clear top choices among homeowners and designers, but inexpensive laminates, with their wide variety of colour options are still popular. But all three of these steadfastly popular work surfaces are making room for zinc, recycled glass and bamboo countertops. Wood, marble, stone, concrete and stainless steel attract a great many homeowners too. Quartz countertops are scratch, stain- and heat-resistant and require very little maintenance. So is granite but a yearly resealing will help prevent stains and bacteria growth. And while it’s on the pricey side it’ll last a lifetime and can increase the value of a home.

Marble is certainly elegant but it has its practical downsides. It stains and scratches more easily than granite and is one of the most expensive options in kitchen countertops Laminate countertops are very low maintenance, but they’re not heat-resistant and are susceptible to chips and scratches. Nonporous solid surface countertops are the great impersonators of quartz, granite, concrete and glass. They are durable and easy to maintain, with no sealing required but sharp knives and hot pans could sometimes damage them. Butcher block countertops offer warm, timeless appeal and an ideal surface for cutting and chopping. Scratches and burns on butcher block countertops are easy to repair — just sand them out and apply mineral oil.

The same goes with soapstone, when it scratches and when stains appear they can be removed with mineral oil. Soapstone becomes more beautiful with age, darkening over time and doesn’t require sealers. Concrete can be custom cast to create a one-of-akind design and embedded with embellishments from seashells to stones, but it does require regular sealing. With a wide range of colors and textures available, tile countertops can be customized to fit the style of any kitchen. Tiles can crack and require grouting, so they are a little more high maintenance than other countertop surfaces. Stainless steel countertops work in modern and contemporary kitchens and while they too are resistant to heat and stains, they can scratch easily. With so much selection, let your choice of countertop depend on your lifestyle needs, budget and the aesthetics of the home. (RMM)

Providing a Fresh Perspective for Burlington and Hamilton.

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