31 May Reflections of You
How countertops mirror your priorities
In today’s housing market much is taken into account when buying a home. Does it offer any privacy? How close is it to schools? Is it modern enough to impress my friends? Ideally, we want a home that will accommodate all of the necessary functions to support a family’s everyday living. Some would like it to represent a level of success, maybe even portray a bit of luxury. Others just want it to be efficient and organized. Either way, the kitchen can be seen as an extension of oneself.
Studies of appraisals of properties have revealed that it is the kitchen that has the biggest impact on a home’s value. It’s the hub of activity, and how it appears and how well it functions is a direct result of how wisely the homeowner invests in it. When building, redesigning or remodeling a kitchen, what’s a more important consideration than countertops? They’re the first thing people will see; they genuinely set the tone of a kitchen. That’s because today’s countertops are so strong visually. The days of boring beige linoleum are over, we live in the era of creative fortitude – bold, sturdy, and if you prefer, intense.
Few costs vary as wildly as those of countertops. From laminates to quartz to granite, there is indeed a wide spectrum; depending on the material you choose you could be looking at anywhere between eight to one-hundred and twenty dollars per square foot! The high-end is reasonably comparable to what you will find in the mid-level. You don’t have to go the cheapest route, but you can find a fine durable countertop that won’t even get close to breaking your budget. But different mindsets have different priorities.
For some, functionality is the primary concern. They want a sturdy long-lasting countertop, one that will resist scratches and heat while requiring little maintenance. In this instance, they may be best suited for a quartz surface countertop. Unlike granite, they do not require the same maintenance such as annual sealing. The non-porous structure prevents the growth of bacteria that can stem from stains. Polished to replicate the rich style of granite, quartz (a naturally hard mineral) countertops are man made and engineered by combining a great majority of ground quartz with resin materials.
You can’t fault those who prefer the cost conscious options. The truth is, they don’t have to sacrifice quality, not by any means. For instance, ceramic tile is easy to install and heat-resistant. They’re made from clay, and may eventually crack or chip. If one tile breaks, however, replacing it is quite simple. Perhaps the greatest feature of the tiles is their affordability – less than ten dollars per square foot.
And then there are those who choose to make a statement. One can’t get much more bold than choosing concrete counters! Composed of a general purpose mortar mix, color is often added to concrete countertops to avoid the associated drab, gray appearance, making them each uniquely hued. Adding glass, shells or other elements may endow the appearance of terrazzo or mosaic. They are easily customizable, sealed and non-porous.
You have to be true to yourself. And if you are environmentally conscious, it’s got to be Green! Fully recycled, Paperstone (or “paper composite”) is the only choice for Green advocates. Fortified with petroleum-free resins, it is environmentally friendly, waterproof and available in a variety of textures. It’s resistant to staining and nicks and is lighter than natural stone. It requires a sealant to insure a non-porous surface that resists contamination damage.
Just as your choice of car or clothes represents a bit of who you are so do your kitchen countertops. In the contemporary market, there are so many options, one should be encouraged to do a bit of research and take a little time when choosing counters for your kitchen. You can sort, alternate and narrow aspects down to the point of being the personification of that unique artistry that lives within yourself!