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Countertops 101:
Ace Your Next Kitchen or Bathroom Renovation

With hundreds of materials to choose from, selecting the right surfaces for your kitchen or bathroom counters can be a daunting task. Each surfacing material has inherent properties that you should be aware of when beginning a kitchen or bathroom renovation. For example, some surfaces require annual maintenance or special cleaning products, while others may not stand-up well to stains or direct heat. In the same vein, some materials may be a stretch to your budget, while others won't break the bank.

Sound complicated? Finding the look you want that meets your practical needs-and is within your budget-can be easier than you think.
To help you determine which surfacing material is right for you, here is a quick look at the “pro’s” and “con’s” for four of the most popular countertop materials: Granite, Quartz, Laminate and Solid Surfacing.

1. Granite

Pros Cons
Has highest heat resistance of all materials Among the most expensive surfacing options
Is very durable Is porous and requires frequent re-sealing
Resists bacteria and stains WHEN SEALED Is not easily repairable
  Requires special cleaning products
  Visible seams and limited color/patterns available

2. Quartz

Pros Cons
Resists bacteria and stains Among the most expensive surfacing options
Is very durable Is not easily repairable
Has high-resistance to scratches Edges can chip
Easy to clean and maintain
Visible seams 

Limited color/patterns available

3. Laminate


Pros Cons
Value; one of the least expensive surfacing options Seams can be visible depending on products used and countertop design
Is durable  Not 100% scratch or heat resistant
Relatively easy to install; can be installed by knowledgeable DIY'rs Not easily repairable
 Widest variety of color and pattern options, in addition to many texture choices
 Easy to maintain

4. Solid Surfacing


Pros Cons
Is very durable Not 100% scratch or heat resistant
Is virtually seamless and allows for integrated sinks
Resists bacteria and stains
Repairable and low maintenance
Variety of color and pattern options

Think you've got a handle on materials through "Countertops 101"? 

Then, it's time to get inspired! Browse our gallery for beautiful, installed kitchen and bathroom photography. And, don't forget, you can order free samples of Formica® Laminate and Formica® Solid Surfacing

This content is for informational and educational purposes only. This information is not meant to be technical in nature and does not provide any warranties. Information about Formica® brand product warranties and technical data can be found at www.formica.com.