Have you ever envied the smooth, sleek countertops that pervade your favorite kitchen shows? Have you ever dreamed about getting a bright countertop to make your workspace appear wider? Or have you ever craved for a countertop with enough marble to rival an Italian museum?
Come to think of it, what are countertops for? And what are countertops made of?
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Countertops refer, in general, to the horizontal surface that coats kitchen counters, as well as other areas where food is prepared. Countertops also refer to any working counter, as they are installed on top of any surface, and are usually supported on the bottom by cabinets.
Countertops can be manufactured from a wide variety of materials. The selection of countertops depends upon the cost of the material, its appearance, its durability and strength, and the ease with which it can be worked on and installed.
Some common materials for making countertops include the following.
Polished and laminated granite, or other smoothened natural stones – These are usually cheaper than most other materials, since they are readily available, and easy to work with. They are, however, harder to replace once they are chipped or damaged.
Marble – Marble countertops are expensive, but if worked on skillfully and maintained, such countertops can last a long time. Depending on their color and veining patterns, marble countertops can also make a room appear stylish.
Wood – Although not often used, wood can give a homey appearance to a room. Wood, however, is not recommended to be permanently installed on kitchen counters, as it can accumulate bacteria, especially if it is constantly used as a butcher block.