Which Countertops Offer the Most Benefit and Value

Verani Realty

Kitchen countertopsThe kitchen is the heart of the home and one of the most important rooms when it comes to pleasing potential buyers.  Countertops in particular play a big role in just how fresh and stylish the room appears at first glance.

Countless meals may have been prepared and veggies diced on its surface, but which materials hold up best, which are the most expensive, and which are less likely to attract buyers?

There are more than a dozen types of countertop materials out there to choose from. It pays to know which perform and look the best. Here are the 6 most common:

  1. Granite
    Benefits: Granite’s beautiful mottling and the host of colors and patterns found in nature make each piece one of a kind. It stands up well to splashes, knife nicks, heat and other wear and tear. It does need to be sealed every year or two, but other than that maintenance is low and involves simply keeping it clean from food prep bacteria. Cost: $35 to $100 per square foot, installed.
  1. Solid surface material – Corian
    Benefits: The surface is nonporous, so it’s maintenance free — no sealing or special cleaning required. It can be scratched and burned, but those marks are easy to sand out. Color and pattern options are extensive, and installation is seamless so there are no cracks to trap dirt and debris. Cost: $35 to $100 per square foot, installed.
  1. Quartz
    Benefits: Crafted of resin and quartz chips tinted with color, quartz surfacing (also called engineered quartz or engineered stone) is a good compromise between the beauty of stone and the easy care of solid surfacing. Like solid surfacing it requires no maintenance. As an engineered product, it’s available in a far greater range of colors and patterns than natural stone. Cost: $40 to $90 per square foot, installed.
  1. Marble
    Benefits: Marble is extremely elegant, but it requires regular sealing and even then can still stain, scratch and chip. It will attract potential buyers, but only if it is maintained and in good condition. Cost: $40 to $100 per square foot, installed.
  1. Concrete
    Benefits: Concrete is extremely versatile and very trendy: It can be custom tinted to any shade you desire. It is very durable even with heavy use, although it isn’t as heat resistant as some other surfaces and can stain without frequent sealing. Cost: $75 to $125 per square foot, installed
  1. Laminate
    Benefits: Laminate is very affordable countertop material, perfect for tight budgets. It’s low maintenance and easy to clean, but prone to scratching, burns and, in some cases, staining. With wear and moisture exposure, the layers can peel. It is not a selling point in the eyes of most buyers. Cost: $10 to $30 per square foot, installed

As a buyer it pays to be able to recognize which countertop material fits your kitchen needs and aesthetic desires. As a homeowner, it is wise to know before you choose your countertop material which one offers exactly what you need, fits your budget, and hopefully adds resale value.

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