Glass's Non-Porous Nature Keeps it Stain-Proof and Hygienic
Courtesy of Tom Henry w/ Koechel Peterson & Associates
Designed by Sawhill Custom Kitchens, Minneapolis, MN
One of the newest materials to hit the kitchen, glass is losing its china doll status. The highly polished surface is available in almost limitless colors, shapes, thicknesses and textures. Its non-porous nature keeps it stain-proof and hygienic, and it can handle hot pots.
Take note: dropping a heavy object on a glass countertop can cause a crack, chip or break; such a break cannot be repaired, and the countertop must be replaced. Glass will also scratch, and should not be used as a cutting board. Like stainless steel, it shows fingerprints. Edges must be rounded for safety purposes.
The challenge of keeping it streak-free, as well as a relatively high price point, mean that glass is often used as a raised bar top or dining counter rather than for all the work surfaces in the kitchen. Colored glass is a popular choice for backsplashes.
$60-$300 per square foot.
This Enameled Material Comes in an Unlimited Pallet of Colors
Courtesy of Pyrolave
Lavastone is heating things up in more ways than one. Best suited for homeowners craving a natural top in a color well outside the typical range, the enameled material comes in an unlimited pallet of colors. Offered by manufacturers like Pyrolave, the glazed volcanic rock is non-porous, keeping stains at bay.
$210 and up per square foot
Things to Think About When Selecting Countertops
(You can print out the questionnaire and refer to it as you read through the site and while visiting a designer's showroom.)
Do I want a smooth or textured feel?
Do I want the ease of cleaning an integral sink?
Do I like a consistent color or one that's broken up by granules or veins or that's patterned?
Do I care if the materials are natural or manmade?
Will I want to chop, slice, and dice on my countertops or can I make do with a cutting board?
Will I want to roll dough on them?
Do I care if I can set hot pots on them?
Am I going to worry that my kids or my guests will spill orange juice or red wine on them?
Do I have time to often reseal them?