We have been doing a lot of things around the house that we have needed or wanted to do for quite some time. I must admit, I have felt at times like the shoemaker, whose children go without shoes because he’s so busy making them for others. And it took us considering down-sizing to do some of the things I’ve wanted to do for the 12 years we’ve lived in the house – something I warn my clients about all the time (you’re living in the house now – make it what you want!). It’s been a lot of work, but also lots of fun. We still have things to do, but I’m enjoying what we’ve done so far. And none more than my new kitchen countertop!
Figuring out what I wanted was the really big challenge. There are so many alternatives, I decided to start with the most important thing – budget. How much was I willing to spend? Although possibly putting the house on the market was a factor in the spending decision, I also wanted to have something I would enjoy. Laminates are economical choices and have certainly come a long way since the formica of the 50’s, but I wanted (and had in my budget) enough for an upgrade, as long as I didn’t go overboard.
Natural stones can be quite beautiful and as long as I went with something relatively easy to get, it would fit in my budget. Engineered stones were another possibility, as were solid surfaces. Still so many choices! So I moved on to the next criteria…….my lifestyle.
It was immediately apparent to me that I wanted something that was easy to take care of. Many natural stones
require more care than I was willing to give. Granite can be the most reasonably priced, but can also feel busy and sometimes cold.
Next came engineered stone, which is practically indestructible. Certainly fits my lifestyle. The cost is quite competitive with natural stone, so I needed to stay at the low-end of the spectrum. But this brought me to the third criteria – do I really, really love it? And although there are many wonderful choices – and some colors that I’m not sure appear in the natural world – it didn’t fit this last criteria.
The only thing going against solid surfaces is their lack of environmental soundness. And while that is important to me, other considerations took precedence. And I’m very pleased with the results.
But just because I’m happy with my choice, certainly doesn’t mean it’s the right one for everyone. And there are so many different countertops that I didn’t even really consider for a variety of reasons. Stainless steel and concrete are two that are becoming quite popular, but are costly. But I think the way I went about selecting it definite works. Begin with budget, move on to lifestyle, and finish with whatever appeals to you. Then simply enjoy! Ann Anderson, Rooms Reborn, www.roomsreborn.com.