ANDERSON — Countertops can make or break a kitchen remodel. No matter how beautiful the cabinets, the eye will always be drawn to the surface area of the smooth, glossy top that will provide workspace for meal preparations.
In fact, replacing the countertops and drawer pulls can often make the entire kitchen look new without incurring the expense of installing new cabinets.
“The most popular choice of customers in Madison County is laminate,” said Debbie Alexander, who owns Direct Kitchen and Bath, 10 E. 5th St., with her husband, Mark. “Outside the county, granite and quartz are the most popular.”
Often chosen for its proven durability along with its affordability, laminate continues to be a local favorite year after year. Granite and quartz may be the trendy choices and those most featured on home improvement programs, but the cost difference is significant whereas the hardiness is not – especially considering that homeowners often change countertops due to the dated appearance rather than wear and tear.
“Most people have had laminate countertops and seen them last 25 to 30 years,” said Alexander, who opened the shop eight years ago. “And the price point is the best of any of the countertop choices. New upgraded colors and edge styles have been developed that are great for people that love the granite look but not the price.”
Colors that mimic granite and quartz and can fool the eye have been developed. New to laminate is the ability to add interesting edges and undermount sinks – features that were previously only available in more costly material.
Solid surface countertops are crafted from an acrylic material. Because it comes in slabs, the labor involved in cutting and installing them are intensive.
“Solid surface is considered renewable material because scratches and nicks can be sanded and buffed until it looks like new,” she said. “The seams can be completely hidden and the sink integrated with no seams.”