Counter ar­gu­ments

Pros, cons of ma­te­ri­als, from gran­ite to lam­i­nates

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - By Paula McCooey

IF you’re re­mod­elling or de­sign­ing a kitchen from scratch, you can be sure coun­ters will eat up a healthy chunk of your bud­get.

There are many op­tions, with vary­ing price points, in the mar­ket­place. Some are shiny, heavy and pricey, in­clud­ing colour­ful gran­ite, while soap­stone and con­crete cre­ate a sub­dued im­pres­sion that’s more coun­try than ur­ban glam. There are frag­ile per­form­ers and the al­most in­de­struc­tible lam­i­nates that should be the so­lu­tion for busy fam­i­lies where knives nick and tear.

Of­ten, you can end up with a com­bi­na­tion of sur­faces in one kitchen, mean­ing it’s im­por­tant to know what best suits your life­style and bud­get. We spoke to kitchen-de­sign com­pa­nies to un­der­stand the pros and cons of var­i­ous sur­faces.

Here’s what we found: Some warn the counter may crack if a hot ob­ject is placed near a weak­ened area or hid­den fis­sure, or if the counter has not been in­stalled prop­erly.

A wet cloth cleans this sur­face eas­ily. It has the sec­ond-high­est hard­ness rat­ing af­ter di­a­monds.

Re­quires some main­te­nance, in­clud­ing a sealer. Some stone ab­sorbs stains if not sealed, and knives can be­come dull if you cut on it.

$55 to $200 a square foot, in­stalled.

Gran­ite is the top ma­te­rial of choice if bud­get is not an is­sue. Left: adding a dif­fer­ent tex­ture, such as this wood ta­ble sur­face next to a stone counter, adds in­ter­est

and depth to a kitchen.

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