In the kitchen of your dreams, what are your countertops made of?

Are they topped with some glamorous stone-like granite, marble or quartz, full of beautiful patters that scream of luxury? Are your countertops durable and ready to take on the culinary warfare that is reflected in your family gatherings? Are they shiny or matte; textured or smooth; uniform or variegated; man-made or some exotic import from a mountain in Madagascar?

All these are possibilities because today’s modern
countertops can be made from a wide variety of materials to suit a host of different kitchen needs fit into nearly any set of budgetary constraints!
It is first wise to start with the look you love and then, ask questions about durability, stain resistance, the need for sealing or other preservation precautions, heat-resistance, and even weight. Knowing what your kitchen habits are, what kind of substances might likely be spilled, how many cooks may frequent your kitchen and how the counters are used will all inform your decision. Allow me to illustrate. . .

 The baker who wants dough to stay cooler will want (at least a portion of) countertops to be crafted of stone – to make the rolling, kneading and shaping process for dough easier.
 The parent whose preschoolers regularly help decorate cupcakes with brightly colored icing and sprinkles, will likely want a stain-resistant material like many of the manufactured surfaces.
 The land-lord, constructing a kitchen for college-age renters may want something durable and readily replaceable should the wear-and-tear exceed that of a single-family home, like a laminate surface or even butcher block. If you want the look of luxury but think you can’t afford the polished finish you desire, you may be relieved to know that this may not be the case. Each of the many materials and finishes comes in a variety of grades. This can affect the price and offer you a much wider range of materials and attributes.

For stone surfaces grade is commonly described as high, medium and low. The grade is determined by colors, veins, pitting, marking, thickness, the amount of soft materials it has, and the country where it
was quarried.

One uncommon but still important consideration may be the product’s weight which, in older manufactured homes, could limit your choices. Quite simply, the amount of weight the countertop surfaces may add to the burden on the flooring structures could be an essential limitation, so if your
home is older, knowing its capacity could be an important preliminary measure.