What about countertops; there is such a variety of materials one can use today;
- Ceramic Tile
- Engineered Stone
- Glass-Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC)
- Granite, Marble, and Travertine
- Limestone, Soapstone, Slate, and Lava Stone
- Natural Stone
- Natural Stone Tile
- Plastic Laminate
- Solid Surface
The above list was borrowed from http://www.hometips.com/buying-guides/countertop-materials.html. I will just touch on some countertop materials that are most popular in our remodeling work.
Solid Surface: We use Corian (http://www2.dupont.com/Corian_Global_Landing/en_US/index.html) pretty often; it is the brand name for a solid surface material created by DuPont. It is composed of an acrylic polymer and alumina trihydrate. It is a tough material and clients often order it in patterns that resemble marble or natural stone.
It has consistent color throughout its thickness. Nicks and scratches can be buffed out with a Scotch-Brite pad. In fabrication, joints can be made invisible. It has been in use since 1967. Some pros and cons of Corian are listed on this website: http://kitchen-remodeling-pictures.com/kitchen-countertops/corian-coun.
Solid Surface: LG’s Hi Macs is another product that is commonly requested for kitchen and bath applications. It is similar to Corian in durability and maintenance requirements. Both Corian and Hi Mac can be manufactured to resemble real stone or granite and yet are much less expensive. As with Corian, Hi Macs is a tough material, however when cleaning abrasive materials should not be used and heat from pots and pans can damage its surface.
Natural Stone: Granite has been around for millions of years. It is one of the best materials for hardness and durability and is resistant to burns, scorching, and stains. Abrasive cleaners and harsh chemical cleaners should not be used. A sealer should be applied after installation and reapplied every one to three years.
Plastic laminate: I include this category since so many homes have plastic laminate installed because of the low cost and ease of installation. We don’t install this type of countertop in the higher end homes. This material combines layers of paper between two sheets of clear plastic, creating a tough surface that is then attached to a fiberboard or plywood backing. The plastic protects the decorative pattern and color from scratches and moisture.
Well, I think that is probably enough for now. For more information, check out the links embedded in this article, and you can get more information than you want! 🙂