Kitchen countertops take unusual wear and tear in any household.

They have to be strong enough to withstand the rigours that preparing meals and cleaning up after takes year-in and year-out. As the kitchen has become part of the open concept home – a place where social gatherings are centered around – it’s no wonder the countertop has progressed from laminated plastic to granite, marble, concrete and now recycled glass.

Does your countertop look aged and tired; discoloured, scratched and need replacing?

There are a number of alternatives in the market depending upon whether you are a do-it-yourselfer, or you are happy to bring in the experts to replace your countertops with the latest in surface materials.

If you are a do-it-yourselfer, you might be adventuresome enough to repaint your countertops. Your local hardware stores will stock epoxy paint kits that imitate the expensive and luxurious granite look. Kits are advertised to imitate onyx, java stone and sparkling charcoal as well. In just three steps you could be priming, applying the stone coat, finally a sealant, and enjoying your new countertops in very short time and within a reasonable budget.

Of course we love the granite countertops, which have become almost customary to expect to see in newly built homes, and highly touted by REALTORS® making full use of kitchen descriptions in “for sale” advertising. And why not! Marble is a luxurious and rich looking product. It is an expensive product and mostly has to be shipped from international destinations. Both granite and marble are porous stone, and this means they may require resealing to keep them from staining.

With the expansive use of concrete, we are seeing more and more applications of the material, especially in sinks, countertops and floors for that industrial look. Whilst practical for many reasons, concrete is a hard and unforgiving surface and is prone to acid etching and discolouration as a countertop.

Let’s look at recycled glass countertops.

This product is 80 percent recycled glass and 20 percent polymer resin. It is manufactured locally so the carbon footprint is not excessive, especially since there is minimal waste; in fact it is said to “meet or exceed” all LEED’s recycled material requirements. The look is unique and touted as a good alternative to granite. Recycled glass comes in a full palette of colours and ideal for backsplashes as well. It is versatile, durable and non-porous, unlike its stone counterparts. This makes the surface stain resistant and therefore easy to maintain. There are few if any seams to concern yourself with, and you could love the product so much, you might wish to incorporate it in your bathroom for your shower walls as well.

Once again, the choice is yours. Your décor, your pocket, your time and energy, perhaps the environment and question of sustainability all come into consideration. All of the choices you are offered may eventually enhance the sale-ability of your home provided they are kept and maintained well. In the meantime, you get to enjoy your countertops and the new look and feel of your kitchen.

Real Home Advice