About Kitchen Countertops

Cabinetry may dominate your kitchen dreams visually (as well as financially), but your countertops will bear "the" brunt of day-to-day kitchen activity. Whether it's for fine cooking, crafting casual meals, doing homework, or paying bills, countertops are the hardworking surface beneath it all. Choosing the right material for your kitchen means comparing cost, appearance, ease of installation, durability, maintenance, and the possibilities for repair.

Kitchen countertop offerings are a mix of old standbys and new technologies. Laminate, ceramic tile, and natural stone continue to be popular, but solid-surfacing -- synthetics that mimic or even improve upon real stone -- is expanding its role with the addition of new materials, colors, and textures. Meanwhile, surfaces with more specialized appeal and applications, such as concrete, butcher block, and stainless steel, are gaining popularity.

No matter what's more important to you in planning your kitchen -- making a statement or watching your bank statement -- there's a countertop surface that fits your needs.