Choosing the right countertop can be daunting with all the choices in the market place today. I will provide some basic information that will help explain the choices and a basic explanation of each choice.
Laminate Countertops – There are many manufactures of High pressure laminate or hpl. Formica is the most well known because of the advertising campaigns they funded in the early years have made it a household name like kleenex or lysol. Formica has a new hi-end line of hpl called 180-FX . Wilsonart is another well known manufacturer of hpl, there hi-end hpl is called hi-definition. Both of these Hi-end offering mimic the look of natural stone materials at a fraction of the cost. They both are available with several specialty edges giving a seamless look and eliminating the well known black line associated with hpl. Traditional hpl countertops have been laid on particle board, however we make all of our countertops with birch plywood to provide a higher quality countertop to our clients. Integrated sinks are now proven and widely available in laminate countertops these days. Laminate is the largest segment of the countertop industry and provides a quality countertop at a very reasonable price point.
Solid Surface- Corian is the brand name most widely associated with solid surface countertops, they held the original patent for twenty years before many others got involved in the marketplace. Wilsonart, Avonite, Samsung, Lg, and meganite are the major manufacturers of solid surface materials today. Solid surface is a man made material coveted for its nonporous characteristics and the many ways that it can be fabricated make it the most versatile material and the most widely used. It is used in the medical and hospitality industries widely. Still a very popular choice among homeowners for countertops as well as showers and tub surrounds and a wide range of other applications, window sils, light with covers, cutting board and bath accessories are just a few of the many ways solid surface is used in the home it is the only surface with the possibility of a totally homogenous fabrication where the sink and backsplashes are integrated together in one single unit.
Granite and stones- Stone has been around for thousands of years and quarried around the world. Stone comes in many shapes, sizes, colors, patterns, and qualities. Making stone a maze to navigate to a quality product. Many substandard slabs are on the market and many sub-prime fabricators have left the market with many unhappy consumers mystified by the mass marketing on many network TV shows elevating the value of granite counters.
Quartz- Quartz is an engineered stone or man-made stone, quartz if the primary ingredient and it is glued together with heavy binders under hi-pressure. Most people can’t tell the difference between quartz and granite. The advantage to quartz is that it is less porous and is very consistent in its fabrication making it one of the premium materials sought after in the residential market.