Granite is a favorite material for kitchen countertops due to its strength, durability and distinctive appearance. Other counter materials that look like granite may be more suitable for your specific needs or budget. It is worth considering all options before deciding on new material for your counters, as it is a major addition to your kitchen and a choice you will have to live with for a long time.
An alternative to granite for countertops is engineered quartz, which is more than 90 percent quartz and is sold under several different brand names. With no major differences in performance, function or cost between engineered quartz and granite, your choice comes down to personal preference in terms of available colors and patterns. While the quartz-resin mix does not need to be sealed for stain resistance, as granite does, both materials need to be cleaned and polished regularly. Both natural granite, when sealed, and engineered quartz have a high resistance to bacteria.
Acrylic polymer countertops are sometimes manufactured to resemble granite in appearance, but have many different qualities. While granite is heat- and scratch-resistant, greater care must be taken to avoid heat or scratch damage to acrylic polymer counters. A vast selection of finish patterns and colors are available for acrylic polymer countertops, including granite tones. Since acrylic polymer is manmade, it can be molded to incorporate built-in sinks, while granite cannot.
A laminate countertop can offer the look of granite at a fraction of the price. Laminate, under proper care, lasts for many years and does not require special cleaners, polishing or waxing. If you already have laminate counters, you can faux paint them to create the appearance of granite using a laminate primer, acrylic craft paint in your desired colors and a water-based high gloss polyurethane.
- Photo Credit granite image by Andrzej Solnica from Fotolia.com
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