At Home in Berks April 2017 - 18

FEATURES

Choosing Countertops and Backsplashes
Let's face it. Many of us spend more time in our kitchens than
in any other part of our houses.
The kitchen is a place where we gather, whether it's to do
homework, play board games, cook, dine or just settle in with
a cup of coffee and a good friend. Because you spend so much
time in your kitchen, it's important to furnish it with materials
that you love, but also that are practical for your lifestyle and
will offer good value for your home.
Some customers tend to fall in love with a countertop or backsplash material based on its looks alone, and end up disappointed when the material doesn't meet expectations as far as
durability or maintenance.
"You really need to consider your lifestyle and the way you
use your countertops," advised Sydney Schoonmaker, a sales
consultant and office supervisor at Goodfellas Granite LLC
in Bernville. "If you have kids, for instance, you might want
something with which you don't need to worry about stains."
When choosing a surface for your countertops and backsplashes, there's more to consider than what it looks like. Let's have a
look at some popular materials for countertops.

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AT HOME IN BERKs April 2017

* Granite. A top choice among homeowners, granite can add to
the value of your kitchen while providing beauty and durable
work surfaces. It does require some upkeep, however, and
should be sealed about once a year to maintain its beauty and
quality. Goodfellas uses a high-quality sealer when installing
granite, but sealing granite surfaces as needed is still recommended, Schoonmaker said. Granite also can be used in an
outdoor kitchen or entertaining area.
* Quartz. Quartz countertops are gaining in popularity,
Schoonmaker said, probably due largely to its durability.
Quartz is heat and impact resistant and resists stains and
scratches. Plus, it comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
* Wood. When properly sealed, wood countertops are top-shelf
surfaces for food preparation. Wood is budget-friendly, and
it's heat-resistant, so you don't have to worry about marking
it with hot pans. Wood countertops often are combined with
other surfaces to provide a variety of work areas.
* Laminate. The most budget-friendly countertops, laminate
is enjoying a popularity surge due to patterns that makes it
look like natural stone or quartz. Laminate comes in nearly all
colors and fits in with many decors.



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