About Me

Planning and Executing Construction and Contracting Projects: Tips for Consumers

Welcome to my blog. My name is Deborah. About 15 years ago, I bought an old home. We worked with several contractors to rehabilitate it, but ultimately, the foundation simply wasn't stable enough, and we had to tear it down. After that, we worked with a construction crew to build a home from the ground up. The experience was exciting and challenging, and I learned a lot through that process. I want to share construction and contracting facts and information with others so I decided to start this blog. I hope that you like the results, and I thank you for reading. Enjoy!

Planning and Executing Construction and Contracting Projects: Tips for Consumers

Tips For Choosing the Right Kitchen Benchtops

by Samantha Russell

Remodeling a kitchen not only improves its appearance, but can help with functionality and increase your home's resale value. One excellent thing to do is replace the benchtops. Here are some tips for choosing the right ones.

Choose Your Design Preferences

To start with, you need to select your design preferences. This can make a big difference in which kitchen benchtops will be best for you. First of all, decide if you want to go with manmade or natural stone benchtops. There are a variety of pros and cons of each, from choosing manmade for its ability to withstand different types of elements, to natural stone's unique look that is hard to replicate. Also decide on the overall colour and look you are going for, such as choosing marble or granite for a contemporary kitchen, or solid countertops for a modern kitchen.

Set a Realistic Budget

You should then come up with a realistic budget that not only includes the cost of materials, but the cost of installation and labour costs as well. With the cost of materials, natural stone is going to be more expensive. Granite, marble, soapstone, and other natural stone materials are considerably more expensive. The less expensive ones include concrete, solid surface, and of course laminate benchtops. It helps to know the costs of benchtops first so you can decide how realistic your budget is and adjust accordingly.

Decide How Much Durability You Want

If you tend to be a little hard on your benchtops, going with natural stone or tile is probably not the best option. While these are fairly durable, they can't handle a lot of knife scratches and putting heavy appliances down on the benchtops. A better option is to go with concrete, which is one of the strongest materials to use in your kitchen. Concrete fits in well with industrial and modern kitchen styles, and can include different colours or finishes to add more interest to your kitchen.

Think About Care and Maintenance

Finally, consider the type of care and maintenance that is required of each type of benchtop for your kitchen. For example, solid surface benchtops have very little maintenance required, so those are good if you don't have a lot of time. With natural materials like granite and marble, they are prone to damage and need to be sealed routinely. You also have to be very careful what materials you use. Soapstone will need to be oiled regularly, so that is another unique maintenance task to keep in mind.

If you want the look of natural stone without the added maintenance, consider engineered stone. This starts as natural stone, then is put through a chemical process that protects it from damage. Quartz and marble among the more popular stones to have in engineered form.