By Diana Saufley
Choosing a countertop surface for your home can be confusing and overwhelming. But doing a little research and talking to professionals in the business can help you sort out what will work best for your particular family or needs. I will help walk you through some of the basics and give you a checklist to use when making your selection.
The first thing you should consider is how much you want to invest in your new countertop surface. This is one of the most important determining factors when making your choice. I often have clients ask, “How much is it going to cost?” And my standard response is “How much do you want to spend?” I can show a client many options in varying price, color, and featured surfaces. However, if I know my clients budget from the outset, I try to only show them products that will fit with their budget.
The second thing to consider is turn-around time. If you are in a rush to get the project done, then that needs to be understood. Some options will have to be omitted if the ability to get it installed in a short time is not possible. Some products have to be thoroughly measured, cut, polished, and existing structures might need to be altered or reinforced before installation can be completed. Other products can be installed very easily and quickly with less preparation work required.
The third thing to consider is how will the surface be used and to what it will be exposed? Considering what foods, crafts, or chemicals and even what degree of maintenance you prefer will help narrow down your choices. Some food products can potentially ruin some surfaces just as cleaning chemicals do.
There are a few other things to consider that will affect your final decision: how long will you stay in your home, what options are available in the choice of material you like, how do you clean and is maintenance require to keep the new surface looking good?
Here is the list to use when you talk to a professional to help you make your selection:
What is your budget? Don’t worry about costs, decide what you want to invest and work from that.
What is your timeframe for completion? Is it crucial it is done by a certain date, or would you rather wait to get what you want in something that takes more time?
Where and how will the surface be used? Will the surface be exposed to the elements, chemicals, acid foods or harsh crafts or utensils?
Is the investment worth your length of time left in the home or will it make resale more attractive? If you want to get your investment back or if you want to increase home value, consider which material will give you one or both.
How is the material cleaned? Can easily made or acquired cleaning products be used or will it require a specific product?
How much maintenance is required to keep the material looking good? Is the upkeep more time consuming than you care to invest? Are there many products available to keep the product looking good or is it limited?
What style of design are you looking to incorporate or change to with the new countertops? This might just be the home makeover starting point and is not easily or inexpensively changed, so choose what will last your taste and style for years to come.