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A Designer's Guide to Countertops

Style and use are the keys to choosing the right product for your kitchen

Jamie Gold designs kitchens with an approach she calls "sensible style." Its first principle is that a new kitchen needs to fit how the homeowners actually live. This includes the types of cooking they do, how often they entertain, and whether they use their kitchen for tasks such as folding laundry or helping their children with homework. The second principle of Gold's sensible style is that a new kitchen should honor the home it's being installed in--that is, elements such as countertops should complement the overall style and materials of the kitchen and its surrounding areas. Gold says that most kitchens fall into one of four primary styles--traditional, contemporary or modern, transitional, and eclectic--and that certain materials work best with each style. Throughout this article, Gold shares some of the ways in which she applies her sensible-style principles to her choices of countertop materials. She also describes eight of her favorite countertop materials and provides cost ranges for each: engineered stone/quartz, Dekton, wood, solid-surface acrylic and acrylic blends, slab glass, porcelain and ceramic slabs, concrete, and recycled glass.

From Fine Homebuilding239, Kitchens & Baths, Fall/Winter 2013 , pp. 52-57