Surfaces 101: How to Pick the Right Kitchen Countertop for Your Lifestyle

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(BPT) - Are you among the estimated 20 million Americans planning to take on a kitchen remodel this year? Countertops occupy a lot of visual real estate and are a major focal point of any kitchen. Choosing the right material that complements your décor style and lifestyle is one of the most important aspects of a successful kitchen design.

Selecting the right countertop can be tricky. The possibilities are virtually limitless between natural and engineered materials considering all the design and color options for each. It's important to balance design, function and budget when choosing the countertop that's right for your project. Engineered countertops combine durability and design at a variety of price points. Following is a primer on four of the most popular engineered countertop materials to help you home in on the one that's right for your home.

1. High Pressure Laminate

Today's laminate countertops are a far cry from what you might envision from the '80s and '90s. Thanks to advancements in technology and engineering, you no longer must sacrifice style for affordability or performance. In fact, High Pressure Laminate (HPL) can deliver the look of expensive materials like natural stone, wood, marble and more for a fraction of the cost. HPL boasts impressive longevity, as it's engineered to stand up to the rigors of everyday use through superior impact and scratch resistance. Whether you're a cooking connoisseur or a food-prep junkie, HPL is arguably the best value available in performance and design.

For those seeking eco-friendly solutions, Wilsonart® HPL features 2X more post-consumer recycled content than any other laminate brand and is one of the most innovative and decorative surface materials available on the market today. Moreover, it's a non-porous material, making it a low-maintenance solution that resists moisture and stains without the need for a sealant or topcoat.

2. Composite Countertops

For those seeking a unique modern countertop that offers a high-end look without spending a lot of money, European-inspired THINSCAPE® Performance Tops are a great option. Offering minimalist styling that pairs well with modern spaces, this countertop material features an innovative, 1/2 inch–thick profile that complements the slimmer cabinet looks trending in kitchens everywhere. This elegant surface offers a fresh style perspective from large-scale stone to aged metal and is made to elevate the aesthetic of any space.

THINSCAPE achieves a rare design combination of thin and sleek without sacrificing durability. Its impressive strength is crafted from hundreds of super-fine layers providing maximum density and a countertop that's ready to stand up to the test of time in the busiest room in the house.

3. Solid Surface

Blurring the lines between natural and engineered materials, solid surface is made to imitate the look and feel of marble, granite and more, while keeping a mid-tier price point. Solid surface adds ease of mind to everyday life with reliable durability and impact resistance.

Ready to take on the challenges of today's busy households, solid surface means there's no need to worry about nicks, cracks or spills. This material is engineered to be easily repairable, unlike other countertop solutions. The countertops can also be paired with solid surface sinks for a visually monolithic look. Made from cast-molded 100% acrylic, these sinks are incredibly durable and easy to clean with no lip or ledge to catch debris.

4. Quartz

Whether you light up your kitchen by entertaining friends and family or feeding them, quartz is guaranteed to impress. Mimicking the sought-after appearance of natural stone, engineered quartz offers peace of mind as a non-porous, highly durable, easy-to-clean option that doesn't require sealing or regular maintenance like its natural stone counterparts.

Quartz provides incredible strength and versatility and allows you to reimagine your own style story without limits. Designs range from expressive concretes to the coveted rare beauty of deep-veined marbles, offering elegant and tranquil looks ideal for any space. And they're made to maintain their brilliance even in your most well-used areas.

Whatever you can imagine, there's a surface for you. For more inspiration and information, visit www.wilsonart.com/home.

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