Great Kitchens - Countertops

Kitchens have gone high style, and remodeling them can mean high anxiety. One of the big decisions is what to use for the countertops.

Consumer Reports Rico de Paz has tested countertop material, eight in all. Among them, two stylish newcomers stainless steel and concrete, which is made to order.

First Rico tested to see how they did if you cut food on them. You can see here that the stainless steel scratched fairly easily with our slicing tester. The concrete didn't do much

Far better engineered stone. It resisted knife cuts and scratches very well and the granite did even better. Next consumer reports tested to see how the countertops did in combating stains. The stainless steel rated excellent in this Test, but granite showed its weakness.

Granite is porous and if you don't seal it, stains will soak in right away. If you seal it, it will slow it down, but stains will still settle in.

This coffee stain settled in two hours. As for concrete, its performance depended on the finish applied to it. This finish could not resist stains.

A second type of finish could resist stains, but look what happened when we left a hot pot on it. The pot actually stuck to the counter. And some of the concrete broke off with the
Pot. In the end, consumer reports found your best choice is engineered stone.

It was the toughest in the tests and did well protecting against heat and stains. Another plus, engineered stone never needs to be sealed.

Consumer Reports says be aware. Engineered stone is different from corian and other solid surface countertops.

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