When choosing a countertop, there are several things to keep in mind. Besides the cabinets, the counter-top is often the largest and most used surface in your kitchen. There are many options available for counter-tops and some factors in choosing a particular one are cost, appearance, maintenance and functionality. This page will go over the strengths and weaknesses of some of the most popular choices.
Its very important that you do your own homework when it comes to countertops section.
If you are working with a limited budget when remodeling your kitchen, laminate is a great option because it is the most cost effective choice for countertops. High pressure laminate is most commonly used on countertop surfaces. It is made up of three kinds of paper pressed together at between 1,000-2,000 pounds per square inch and at temperatures over 280 degrees for approximately one hour. The laminate is typically applied to a particle board substrate but sometimes certain codes may require a plywood substrate to be used. I am not a fan of plywood substrates in this application as plywood is still know to expands and contracts witch could break the bond between the laminate and the substrate.. My preferred choice for a substrate is (MDF) Medium density fiberboard. Because the laminate is applied to a substrate, if a chip occurs, it's not repairable.
The laminate manufacturers have done a wonderful job replicating granite and stone in their color palates. There are different textures available offering a wide array of choices. Keep in mind undermount sinks are not avaible in this countertop option. We prefer to use MDF as our substrate. When posiable we will offset the seems between the substrate and the laminate. When we can do this there won’t be any lifting of the seams on the 45 degree miter cuts. Be sure at ask more about this process when contacting me.
Commonly known as, Corian made by Duepont paved the way in making solid surface a commonly used countertop in kitchens and bathrooms. Today there are many manufacturers of solid surface all offering a variety of color choices with a varying price range. Solid surface is a manufactured material consisting of 62%-65% natural mineral, 30%-35% acrylic binder, and 2% pigment. The color runs through the entire material, which makes it repairable. Stains can be removed with an abrasive pad and cleanser. Deeper scratches can be removed with 320 to 400 grit sandpaper or steel wool. It is versatile with limitless design possibilities. Solid surface typically comes in ½” and ¾” thicknesses. Other thicknesses are available and vary by manufacturers. Unlike granite and quartz, the backsplash on a solid surface countertop can be a great option as the seams are inconspicuous. Another appealing feature of solid surface is that the acrylic integrated sinks are molded in with the counter-top. The availability of this type of sink may vary by company. Solid surface can be sanded to a matte finish or can be buffed or polished to a high gloss. It is not recommended to have a high gloss finish on dark colors or in heavy use areas. Solid surface is nonporous and easy to clean but is less able to withstand heat than granite. Also we can under mount Stainless steel sinks on soild surface countertops.
At Ciggies we also build custom showers with solid surface material, this is a great option for a modern looking shower and never need to clear dirty gout lines again The product is 100% waterproof and won’t harbour bacteria like other products used for showers.
Quartz (Engineered Stone)
Quartz is stronger than granite. Approximately 93% of this material consists of mined quartz. Acrylic or epoxy binders make up the remaining portion. These added resins provide flexibility to the quartz, which prevents chipping. The patterns are controlled and the colors are more uniform than granite. This saves homeowners from having to carefully choose slabs to assure they match. Manufacturers claim it is more stain-resistant than solid surface. Quartz is nonporous and does not require sealing. The slabs are 3/8” to 1 1/8” thick and 10 feet long. There are many manufacturers of Quartz and so there are a wide array color options available. We don’t make quartz countertops in house at Ciggies but we use the best in business and can arrange or set up a quote from our suppliers.