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Getting the Right Surfaces for your Kitchen Countertops and Floors

When it comes to remodeling your kitchen, the surfaces are what ties it together. Without the right countertops or floor, a revamped kitchen is going to fall short of the mark.

There are plenty of factors to consider when choosing the surfaces for your new kitchen. More than in any other room, kitchen surfaces have to serve multiple purposes from functional to aesthetic.

Kitchen Countertops

A countertop needs to be beautiful and tough to withstand the abuse of an average day in the kitchen. Every material has benefits and drawbacks, so let’s look at some of the top choices for kitchen countertops. A lot of the decision comes down to how you use your countertop.

  • Granite – The popular choice in countertops is available in a number of colors and thicknesses and at a variety of price points. Granite offers the benefit of being resistant to heat, nicks and other wear and tear. It must be sealed periodically to avoid staining
  • Other stone – Other stone options, like marble and soapstone, are attractive but are softer and more susceptible to damage than granite. They can be a good option for an accent piece rather than the entire counter.
  • Solid surface – Often referred to as “Corian” (a brand name), solid surface countertops are low maintenance, offer seamless installation and are available in a wide variety of colors. Solid surface countertops are not resistant to hot pots and pans, or scratches and nicks.
  • Engineered stone – A nice compromise between stone and solid surface, these man-made products offer durability, a more natural look and low maintenance. Some products may look “engineered” and not as natural as stone.
  • Wood – A warm, natural appearance, but wood does swell and contract with moisture, so regular sealing is a must. Also as a kitchen countertop, wood is easily damaged by knives and other utensils, but that can add to the natural look.
  • Concrete – Concrete can be cast into any shape and color, and materials (such as glass or crushed stone) can be added to spice up the look. It is very heavy and will need strong support in the cabinets below. Concrete is porous and needs to be sealed regularly to avoid stains. It can also develop small cracks as it settles.
  • Stainless Steel – Once exclusively found in commercial settings, stainless steel resists heat and other damage. Like your stainless-steel appliances, fingerprints show up easily. It is also one of the most expensive options.
  • Laminate – The traditional “Formica” (another brand name) countertop is a very affordable option and available in a variety of colors and patterns. Realistic graphics can mimic stone or other finishes. Not heat resistant and susceptible to dents and scratches.

Can’t decide on one countertop material? Mix and match by using an inset for a portion of your countertop, or choosing a different option for the island. Our designers can help you find the right mix of materials.

Flooring Materials

Choosing your flooring requires a similar process to picking a countertop. Think about how you use it and what you want to get out of it.

  • Wood – Offers a natural look, but water or other spills can stain. Engineered wood options tend to be more resistant.
  • Tile/Stone – Tile and stone are a great, durable option for high-traffic areas that offers a natural look. Can be more expensive or difficult to install depending on the size of the stones or tiles.
  • Vinyl – Vinyl is affordable and available in a huge variety of colors and patterns. Vinyl is resistant to spills, mold and mildew and pet wear and tear. (Read more: Pros and Cons of Luxury Vinyl Flooring)
  • Other options – Materials like cork and bamboo can offer an eco-friendly alternative while giving the room a unique look.

Ready to tackle that new kitchen? T.W. Ellis is here to guide you through your kitchen remodel or any remodeling project you need. Contact us today to discuss your remodeling needs!

You may also be interested in:

Choosing the Right Kitchen Sink Material

Why You Should Hire a Pro for your Kitchen

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