Remodeling a kitchen can be exciting... but also very overwhelming. Between researching appliances, choosing new cabinets and looking at tiles, there are just so many choices to be made. While we can't be there next to you at the paint store (remember, the color looks lighter on the strip!), we can take the guess work out of one big decision: the kitchen countertops.
There are literally dozens of products to compare, but we've narrowed down seven common options that you can't go wrong with. Whether you're an avid cook, a bit on the messier side or looking for a budget-friendly alternative, one of these materials will surely be a perfect fit.
1. Stainless Steel
What is it? It's exactly what it sounds like. Sheets of the metal are retrofitted to fit your unique design.
Why we like it: Chefs love how they're antimicrobial and super easy to clean and we love the metallic glow they give any kitchen.
Downfalls: Metal will scratch and etch over time, but this is part of the beauty of its patina.
2. Butcher Block
What is it? These beauties are typically made from a hard maple that is laminated and sealed.
Why we like it: If you're looking for the warm, rich look of wood, they're right up your alley.
Downfalls: This product needs to be sealed regularly because it is very porous. Unfortunately, it can scorch, stain and scratch.
What is it? Paper or fabric sheeting is glued to a plywood substrate.
Why we like it: It's available in thousands of colors and styles, it's inexpensive and pretty durable.
Downfalls: You'll see seams, you can't cut on it and it will scorch if you put a hot pot on the surface.
What is it? A strong natural stone which can be polished or honed.
Why we like it: This can be found with many beautiful color variations, it resists chemicals and bacteria and it's relatively easy to maintain if you seal it once in a while.
Downfalls: There aren't too many issues, but it must be sealed and there will be some visible seams.
5. Solid Surfacing
What is it? Plastic resins with a stone look.
Why we like it: This material can be made virtually seamless and it comes in many colors and patterns.
Downfalls: It's not as heat resistant as natural stone.
What is it? A combination of natural quartz stone and manmade resins.
Why we like it: It's extremely durable, non-porous and it resists heat. It also needs very little maintenance.
Downfalls: This one is pretty expensive and you will see some seams.
What is it? An elegant natural stone with notable veining and markings.
Why we like it: It's truly beautiful, and reminds us of French patisseries.
Downfalls: It can stain and etch pretty easily and has a hefty price tag.
Make sure to check out our slideshow of ten home projects you probably shouldn't DIY.
Cutting down trees, or even removing branches requires climbing and working with dangerous tools from a high distance off the ground. This is disaster waiting to happen, and definitely something better left to professionals who are trained and paid to do this!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/brockbuilders/3634078748/Knocking down walls might seem like a simple task, but behind those walls could be electrical wiring, gas pipes and plumbing that can cause huge problems in your home. Rather than taking a chance, consult a contractor first!
Paving stones can turn a boring driveway into a focal point. And while they look relatively simple to install, the reality is that the measuring and positioning of paving stones can be tremendously time-consuming. (Think of it as a game of Tetris on steroids.) But a team of professionals can cut installation down to a day, depending on your driveway size.
It's one thing to flip a fuse switch to the power in your home on or off, but another to attempt to repair faulty wiring or any other electrical issues without professional help. Working with electrical wires can be deadly and the proper precautions and knowledge are crucial.
Unless it's something simple like unclogging a toilet or fixing a drain, messing with plumbing can cause major dilemmas (Just think about an overflowing toilet or unstoppable burst in a pipe...not fun). It's always better to ask a plumber before trying to tackle any plumbing issues on your own.
While we're sure most people wouldn't attempt to tackle a project like this on their own, we figure we should mention that it would be extremely dangerous to make these repairs. All it takes is one loose piece of siding, and the entire pool could collapse.
Besides the fact that working on top of a roof is very risky because one could easily lose their footing and slip, it can also be detrimental to your home's structure if you don't know the proper way to install or repair roofing. If you are going to check the roof for damages or cleaning gutters, bring a friend and proceed with caution.
If done properly, siding can last for years. But if siding is not securely installed, weather conditions can tear it off, or seep underneath, causing harm to the frame of your home. Rather than taking this chance, it's safer to have a professional install it properly.
Specialized tools and methods are required to properly install new windows to make sure they are well insulated and secure. While it can be costly, a professional can ensure that you'll be comfortable in your home for years to come.
We're the first to admit outdoor kitchens are fantastic, but attempting to put one in yourself could be disastrous. It might seem easy enough (a little flooring and a grill-station) but you could end up with a half-finished patio and plumbing gone awry. So while it might be tempting to build one in your backyard, ask yourself if you'll really use the kitchen year-round...and then, of course, call in a pro.
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