Your kitchen countertops serve two purposes - to provide a work surface and to look good so it's important to know how to select one that satisfies your criteria for both. Your countertops need to be functional for preparing food and provide easy clean up. They are also the first thing you notice when you walk in the kitchen. The right countertop can add beauty and style as well as practicality. When planning a kitchen remodel, your countertops should be carefully chosen for these reasons and others.
Selecting the material is a matter of personal preference, but you should make sure the material has several features. This will allow you to keep the countertops in tip top shape for many years to come and make them easy to work with. Countertops are a huge investment and making sure you get the right ones is critical. Here's some features you should look for: Durability Kitchen countertops take a beating so you want to make sure they are durable. If you pick a material that can easily crack, burn or stain you might find that you have to put money into repairing them. Of coures, durable countertops will be among the most expensive, but it will be money well spent.
Ease Of Cleaning One of the big jobs in the kitchen is keeping the counters clean, therefore you want to choose a material that makes this job easier on you. Countertops that are made from a porous material will stain and end up looking unclean. Tiles will be hard to clean because crumbs and other stuff will collect in the grout - and if you have light colored grout it will get dirty very fast. Granite and Corian are pretty easy to clean and the coloring can help even a dirty counter look great.
Safety Who would think you might have to consider safety in a counter top? Well if you have small children you should make sure that edges are rounded to protect from injury. You don't want rough edges on the counter tops either. These days, you can even buy countertops that are treated with a special substance that can cut down on bacteria that can cause food poisining. Style Last but not least you want your kitchen countertops to reflect the style of your kitchen. Think about the color and texture and how that fits into your current (or intended) style. You can check out the kitchen showrooms to see what colors and types of materials look best with the cabinets you have or might be installing.
You can buy kitchen countertops in many materials from granite to tile to porcelain to stainless steel to slate to marble. They are even making them from cement now! All of these materials can work, and if you select your countertops carefully they can be an investment you can live with for years to come.
Lee Dobbins writes for homediy101.com where you can learn more about home improvement as well as read articles on choosing and installing kitchen countertops