Laminate provides the best selection of colors and patterns at the lowest prices. Laminate can be used to form a seamless cove backsplash to keep spills from seeping behind the cabinets. They’re also cheap and easy to install. The down sides? Laminate scratches or chips easily. It can be tough to clean, and its colors can fade over time.
Ceramic Tile Countertops
No surface offers more choices than tile. The price you pay for tile will largely depend on where you get them. Go for a big box store and you can go as cheap as $10 per square foot. Contact an artist in Florence, and you could pay $5,000 per tile. Tile can adapt as easily to Mexican fiesta as it can to Tokyo contemporary. There are two downsides of tile. One is that it can expensive to install, depending on the square footage of your counters. The other is grout lines, which attract crumbs and stains and require periodic sealing to repel moisture.
Stone Slab Countertops (Granite, Marble, Quartz, etc)
Not much can add dazzle to your kitchen or bathroom like a stone slab countertop. The sheer beauty, amazing selection and durability of stone makes it an excellent choice for your home. The depth and character of natural stone cannot be matched by any man-made surface (though some made-made alternatives have taken great strides.) Natural stone does not depreciate with time and this stone will consistently add value to your home. The costs of the stone depend on how rare its elements, the size and particularly the length of the necessary cuts, which must be finished, buffed and polished. You can sometimes save big money on stone slabs by shopping through remnants.
The most popular of the acrylics is Corian by DuPont. Corian provides the color versatility of laminates with a rich look (and price) that rivals stone slabs. It’s easy to maintain. Scratches and nicks can easily be buffed out. If you want to create a seamless look, Corian can even be formed into sinks, so there’s no gap between the counter and the sink. Price is determined largely by square footage.
You may want to also add a new sink or new faucets to your installation. This can be an additional cost, not only in purchasing the hardware, but the installation as well. If you’re going with a stone slab, you have the additional cost of cutting the hole. You also may need to hire a plumber, especially if you want to install something new like an instant hot water dispenser or side spray.