Your kitchen and bathroom countertops probably get more wear and tear than any other feature in your home. Countertops and Cabinetry by Design have many different surface styles from which to choose. Our kitchen and bathroom visualizers can help you get an idea of what you may be looking for. Consider your lifestyle and let us help you pick your style and surface today!
What Things Should I Consider Prior to Choosing My Kitchen or Bathroom Countertops?
Countertops play both a practical and aesthetic role in your kitchen or bath. Because countertops are very frequently used, they must be hardy enough to endure your everyday wear and tear while still looking great. If you are considering replacing your kitchen or bathroom countertops, there are several things to consider before you engage in the process. The type of countertop you choose can make a major difference in the overall look of your kitchen or bath, so it’s extremely important your countertop replacement decision is carefully thought-out.
It is almost impossible to complete a kitchen or bath remodel without replacing the countertops. Your Countertops and Cabinetry by Design countertop installer will take precise measurements of your counter and complete a sketch of the area. With his or her assistance, you will then determine which type of countertop you are interested in, whether granite, quartz, natural stone, or solid surface. Solid surface and quartz countertops tend to be the least expensive of these four types of countertop materials. Ultimately though, your budget and look you want will govern your final choice of countertop material.
You will also need to think about your current countertop material and how easily they can be replaced. Since laminate and solid-surface countertops screw into place, making them a bit easier to change out. Think about your current cabinets—if you are changing out a plastic laminate countertop for stone, you must ensure your floor and cabinets are able to support the additional weight. The plumbing in your kitchen or bath will also have an impact on your choice of countertop materials, as you may need to replace your sink and faucet as well.
If you are replacing your countertop, you are also likely replacing your backsplash, and you want the two to complement one another. If you have under-cabinet lighting, you will also have to consider how the lighting will look with a new countertop surface, particularly if that surface is a highly polished stone surface. The design team at Countertops and Cabinetry by Design can answer any questions you might have, helping you choose the best countertop for your overall design.
Specific Considerations When Choosing Kitchen or Bathroom Countertops
Your budget will, of course, have an impact on the type of countertop surface you choose. While granite and quartz tend to be on the high end, natural stone is in the mid-range, and solid surface is usually the least expensive option.
Type and Quality
As noted, there are a number of countertop options. Quartz mimics the look of stone, yet requires less maintenance. Stains are not usually a problem with quartz, nor is heat, and quartz usually comes in a variety of vibrant colors and patterns, many of which look like marble or granite. The edges and corners of quartz can potentially chip, requiring a professional to repair them.
Granite’s biggest draw is that it is unique—no two slabs are alike. Rare colors in granite, as well as veining in the granite make this substance more expensive. Granite is fairly resistant to heat, cuts and scratches, with polished and matte finishes resisting most stains once it is properly sealed. Granite countertops do require periodic resealing, and if an edge or corner chips, it must be professionally repaired.
Soapstone, Limestone and Marble are considered natural stones. While soapstone is not as common as granite, it is exemplary at resisting heat damage, and small scratches can be repaired with fine-grit sanding paper and an application of mineral oil. Limestone and marble are natural-looking stones which usually have no heavy veins or grain. Both limestone and marble tend to resist heat fairly well, although marble can be damaged when a very hot pan is placed on the surface.
Solid surface countertops are available in a variety of colors and patterns. Solid surface countertops create a seamless look, because any joints necessary are virtually invisible. Solid surface countertops are resistant to stains, and if a small nick or scratch occurs, a professional installer can usually repair it. Even so, a cutting board should always be used with solid surface countertops.
Granite countertops must be sealed—and re-sealed approximately every six months to one year. Solid surface countertops tend to be the most maintenance-free, although natural stone countertops may last for lengthier periods of time.
The dimensions of your countertops will determine, in many cases, whether seams will be necessary. The minimum average size of a granite slab is at least 105” x 54”, with thicknesses ranging from ¾” to 1 ¼”. Unless you have a very large countertop area, you may get away with no seams in your granite slab countertops. Solid surface countertops are usually also seamless, however natural stone comes in smaller slabs, making seams more likely, although rarely very noticeable.
Décor and Style
Your personal style and the décor of your kitchen or bath, along with your budget, will determine the material you choose for your countertops. Natural stone typically has a more delicate, graceful and elegant look, while solid surface countertops come in a wider variety of colors and patterns.
What Does the Process Look Like to Replace Kitchen Countertops?
Consumers who want to change out their kitchen or bathroom countertops can send a quick sketch—along with the measurements of current countertops—to a professional from Countertops and Cabinetry by Design to receive prompt assistance in choosing a material, as well as to receive a quote and schedule an installation. Speaking with one of our greater Cincinnati professional countertop installers can help you determine the material, style and finish you are looking for. Plus, we have showrooms conveniently located in Cincinnati, so you can visualize the products before you select your final choice.
Your countertop installer from Countertops and Cabinetry by Design will take more precise measurements of your existing countertops and cabinetry, with notations made of sink location, faucets and electrical outlets. Old countertops might need to be removed at this point to ensure accurate measurements, however they can be temporarily replaced to cut down on the disarray which often accompanies a kitchen countertop replacement. A template will be made so the countertops can be correctly cut to fit the area. Once it is time to install the new countertops, the old countertops will be removed, and plumbing fixtures disconnected.
The new countertop material will be placed over plywood to help support the weight, particularly if natural stone, granite or quartz is being used. A layer of adhesive will be applied to the plywood, to ensure the new countertops do not shift. If there are seams in the new countertop material, a filler or sealant will be applied to the seams, colored to precisely match the counter materials. Finally, the plumbing fixtures will be reconnected, the area cleaned, and any appliances moved back into place.
What Information Should I Have Prior to Talking to a Professional About Replacing My Countertops?
As noted, you will initially provide the basic dimensions of your kitchen countertop area, then later, your Countertops and Cabinetry by Design installer will more precisely measure the area and create a template. It will help your installer if you ensure your countertops are completely cleared prior to the day of the installation, as well as moving anything which would impede the installer’s progress.
How We Can Help
Replacing the countertops in your kitchen or bathroom can change the entire look of the room, so your choice is of utmost importance. First and foremost, the design team of Countertops and Cabinetry by Design believes in simplicity. Our overarching goal is to ensure your remodel project is simple and completed as quickly as possible. We want to provide education and answers to your questions and will never rush you into a decision because we understand you will live with these decisions day in and day out. Our team are highly experienced professionals who strive to never compromise the end product simply to reduce cost, and to complete your job as if the remodel were in our own home. If you are in the Cincinnati, Mason, West Chester or Anderson area, an experienced professional from Countertops and Cabinetry by Design can meet with you, discuss your project and schedule an installation in a short amount of time.