Friday, February 20, 2009

Granite Countertops- SO Yesterday!

For nearly two decades, granite has been the number one choice for kitchen countertops. Like its predecessors laminate and solid surface, granite will soon become a thing of the past. The theory is that once a material is found in apartment complexes and tract homes, it's on its way out. So what's next? Here are few a new options:







WOOD & COPPER
The trend now is toward warmer and softer materials like wood, copper and soapstone. The most popular woods for counters today are walnut and teak sometimes paired with copper. Both require more maintenance than granite. Wood needs frequent sanding and oiling, while copper requires buffing and polishing.






SOAPSTONE

Some soapstone is mined in Georgia and some people feel that soapstone is more subdued and warmer than granite. It looks old immediately and achieves an attractive patina with use. It can also withstand hot pots and pans.






FIRESLATE
The material has become more popular in the last few years as a material for counters, but it has been around since the turn of the 20th century when it was invented to shield the undercarriages of trolley cars from sparks clicked up from the tracks. It is made of a mixture of cement, sand and recycled paper.






GLASS

For a sleek, modern look, some people are choosing seamless sheets of textured glass."ThinkGlass" has a line of luminous and glacial-looking solid glass countertops that are more sanitary than granite and just as durable.






TERRAZZO
New terrazzo products made of recycled glass are also generating enthusiasm. Vetrazzo and IceStone are manufactures who make this product. Both products are as durable as granite, are less porous and therefore more stain resistant. Resealing is recommended every year or two.



ENGINEERED STONE

This is a quartz composite surface that is manufactured by Silestone and Caesarstone. The appeal is a soft more uniform look than granite. Engineered stone is virtually maintenance free and is available in a wide range of colors. While it looks like stone, this material is non-porous. It does not stain or require routine applications of a sealant.


VOLVIC LAVA

THIS IS HOT (no pun intended). This product once fired, becomes seamless and looks like a polished gem stone. It is oh so GORGEOUS! It will not stain, chip, scratch or scorch and it stands up to acidic foods. Lava Stone is expensive, and because the factory is located in France, they can fill only about 200 orders from the United States a year.



GREEN MATERIALS
There are kitchen counters made of recycled paper or sustainable wood pulp by companies like Richlite and PaperStone. They are made of layers of paper or pulp mixed with pigment and a resin binder that are pressed together with tremendous force. The product is extremely strong and water resistant. (the material is also used for cutting boards, rain guards and skateboard ramps). This material has a soft texture and mimics those qualities of soapstone and holds up well to hot pans and spilled foods. Scratches disappear after scouring with a Scotch-Brite pad and an application of linseed or mineral oil.

6 comments:

Granite-sealer said...

Nice Pictures! But Granite is still Granite, I think granite is the best for the countertops.

SS said...

Don't get me wrong,I LOVE granite, and it is always my first choice for counter tops...just spreading information on choices available.

Blogalicious Designs said...

Those are some amazing options for counter tops!! VERY COOL!!

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John said...

hi....
Most of the people suggest granite countertops and marble countertops for their homes, buildings and monuments. Granite countertops are a durable material, with good resistance to scratch and stain.Custom Granite Vanity Tops

Rohan said...

We love your terrazzo and we want to see it come back to life.Terrazzo Floor Cleaning is our specialty and has been for over twenty years.We have state of the art equipment and knowledgeable technicians.