You might have lived in the same home for years, or you might have just bought a home off the local market listings. Either way, you think it is time for some renovations. If you just bought some property, you might have had renos in mind; if you are looking at a home you have lived in for a while you might be ready for some changes. The first thing that many people change when they are ready to renovate any home is the kitchen. It's also the most expensive room to change in the whole house, and has the most options as well.
One of the most important decisions you will have to make as you renovate your kitchen is the material you want to use for your countertops. The counters will set the tone for the rest of the kitchen, as well as being your main working surfaces. They can be the perfect compliment to your home, but only if you make the right decision. Some of this will be personal choice, some left up to expense and other details. So we are going to talk about those details below.
We will start out with the most expensive options, the natural stone counter tops. This category includes granite, marble, slate, limestone, and soapstone as the basic material for your counter tops. They all have nice patterns that have them in high demand in the more expensive properties and other high end living units, though they are not worth as much as the advertisements would have you believe.
Of the natural stone options, marble is the most expensive, followed by granite and then the other three. They are all heat resistant, and the general rule is that the pricier they are the more they will resist temperature and moisture fluctuations in your kitchen. They can also increase the value of a home for sale when the house goes back on the market.
If you like the look of natural stone but can't afford the expense, you might want to look into man made engineered stone. These counter tops mix real stone with plastic; they look great, but they are easily damaged as well. Still, one could point out that people who buy a property with granite countertops are just asking for additional expense because that type of top is much more difficult to patch and repair if serious damage occurs.
If you want to show everyone that your kitchen means business, then stainless steel might be an option. These are expensive and you need your whole kitchen to match (and they can be tarnished easily) but they are the ideal working kitchen surface and look great too.