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My Hope For This Blog

The ability to differentiate between home repairs and improvements that you can make yourself and those that will require the help of a contractor is a very important skill to have. Not only will this skill prevent you from spending more money than you need to on professional services, but it will also help you to avoid costly mistakes by attempting DIY projects that are out of your league. It is my hope that this information contained in this blog will help you to obtain this skill. More importantly, it is my hope that once you have identified a project you wish to take on, this information in this blog will help you to get the job done.

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Pros And Cons Of Granite Alternative Countertops

Ross Stewart

Granite was long considered one of the most desirable materials for a kitchen countertop. The stone offered a natural beauty and supposed durability that was hard to surpass. But homeowners on a budget might find granite out of the question for a kitchen remodeling project and the counters also require more maintenance than often assumed.

Luckily, there are a few granite alternative materials that can offer a similar look of elegance for a lower price and/or lower maintenance. Each of these alternative materials has its own pros and cons that you should consider before meeting with your kitchen countertop installer.

Concrete: Customizable -- With A Wide Price Range

Poured concrete countertops are highly customizable in both color and size. Your kitchen countertop manufacturer can add a variety of colorants and stir-ins such as pieces of glass, pebbles, and flecks of gold to create a custom look. Concrete is a great choice for counters that are irregularly shaped or overly wide, which can make for a hard fit when using natural stone.

Poured concrete countertops can be a bit pricey but with concrete, there is another option on pricing.

Homeowners on a budget can also choose to cover existing laminate countertops with a concrete finish using a mix found at many hardware stores. You can dye the mix and add limited stir-ins if you work quickly. The material will need to be sealed, and sealed again in the future, but the resulting look can offer a touch of elegance at a far lower price tag.

Quartz: Durable With Custom Colors -- And A High Price

Quartz countertops match granite in the areas of heat- and chemical-resistance. Quartz isn't porous, like granite, and so isn't vulnerable to staining without sealant, which is the case with granite. The quartz material is also available in a wider range of colors including those not found in nature. You can also select stir-ins such as flecks of gold, marbled patterns, or other colorants when using quartz.

On the downside, quartz is more expensive than granite in some markets. Talk to your kitchen counter installer to find out more about the material prices in your area and if there are any financing offers available.

Wood: Eco-Friendly And Natural -- But High-Maintenance

Wood countertops won't look like stone but do offer a similar natural elegance found in granite countertops. Warm wood countertops suit a wide variety of décor styles, which gives you some wiggle room if you want to change the look of your kitchen at a later date. Wood counters are also eco-friendly and often made of recycled or reclaimed materials.

On the downside, wood counters can be as high-maintenance as granite. The counters require sealing, and retouching of the sealant, and can show nicks from the constant use of knives. Water damage can also happen if the counters aren't kept properly sealed.

For more information on kitchen countertops, check with a professional near you.