Q: What are advantages/disadvantages of different counter materials?
Wood, granite, soapstone, slate, recycled glass in concrete, paper (like Richstone)?
A: Pros and Cons
For starters, going with the most expensive does not mean the best for the application. If you live in an earthquake zone, laminate counters are more likely to survive when stone cracks. But from the beginning again:
- Laminates like corian etc: PROS- cheap, readily available, easy to replace, above average durability, easy to clean, low maintenance. CONS- Average color choices, looks cheap, looks average. This is the goto countertop surface for 70% of houses built after 1968
- Stone, Granite, mica,quartz: PROS- durable, attractive, unique (to a degree... many styles look the same after awhile). CONS- expensive, glassware has higher breaking potential, porous=Higher maintenance to prevent bacterial buildup
- Wood: PROS- looks beautiful, doubles as cutting surface. CONS- high maintenance
- Tile: PROS- lots of color choices, relatively durable, CONS- uneven surface, broken glassware, high chance of bacteria.
- Epoxy: PROS- can be applied over any surface, infinite colors, low maintenance, durable, low cost, CONS- high heat durability concern
There are other materials to consider, Keep in mind porosity of the medium used, workability, and resale value. The perfect countertop solution hasn't been invented yet
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