Kitchen counters are an integral part of any kitchen or home cooking center. A countertop is simply a flat, solid work surface in most kitchens, bathrooms, and other food preparation areas. It is often installed upon and secured by cabinets above it. The countertop is usually placed at an appropriate height for the intended user and the specific task for which it was designed.
There are many types of kitchen counters that exist today, as well as new materials that are being created for kitchen counters. Countertops come in a variety of different materials, including wood, stainless steel, laminate, granite, and plastic laminate. The type of material you choose depends upon your personal preferences, and needs, as well as your budget. The price range also varies greatly, with some kitchen counters selling for hundreds of dollars, and others for very little money. When shopping for new kitchen counters, there are a few things to keep in mind.
In general, laminate countertops are very easy to maintain and do not require that much attention or maintenance. They are also very durable and will usually last for many years, even with daily use and high traffic. If you choose laminate counters, be sure to inquire about the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning routine for the product. Some kitchen counters, such as metal, may be more susceptible to scratches if they are used regularly and dirty. Fortunately, the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning routine for these surfaces includes using a damp cloth, mild detergent, and a brush with a soft bristled surface. If any scratches occur, they can usually be repaired by sanding the scratch away.
Many people are more concerned with purchasing the right color choices for their home, rather than considering the maintenance level required of the countertops. In general, most natural stone kitchen counters require very little upkeep, but it is important to make sure that the color you select is one that you will be pleased with for many years. In terms of maintenance, most stone countertops require at least yearly sanding, and polishing, as well as sealing and weather proofing. If you want a granite countertop, for example, you will need to have it sealed and protected against stains, heat, and scratching.
Cast aluminum kitchen counters, like those used in commercial applications, generally require very little care, but once in a while it does become necessary to do a quick wax application to keep the finish looking good. For this type of application, you will need to purchase a pre-waxed aluminum polishing paste that contains beeswax. When applying the paste, it is best to use a spray gun rather than a foam applicator, because the foam applicators will create too much lather, which causes the wax to be unevenly applied across the surface. Because aluminum has a low density, the product must be applied using light strokes rather than spraying with an overly heavy amount of product.
When it comes to solid surface countertops, nothing compares to granite. This is simply because granite represents one of the most beautiful, durable, and attractive counter top materials available today. It is the ultimate in luxury, with its cool polished look and intense colors that are difficult to reproduce. For high-end kitchens, granite is the only counter top material that can be purchased in standard slab or tile form, with the option of a natural stone sub-material. For more details on countertops visit www.lakitchenremodeling.net.