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Countertops

Kitchen Countertops are a unique and diverse field. Detailed below are simple explanations of the variety of countertops that we provide. We will replace countertops only, or provide them as part of your new kitchen.

Plastic Laminate Countertops are the least expensive way to provide a work surface. They can also be upgraded to provide unique surface solutions without much cost.

Postformed Laminate Countertops have a "rolled" front edge and an integral backsplash. They are premade, and trimmed to length for the specific installation. They are best suited for straight runs. These tops come in standard depths and are not suited for unique shaped islands or configurations of cabinets.

Self Edged Laminate Countertops are so named because the countertop fabricator must install the edge himself. These countertops are available in 200 or more colors. They are custom fabricated to each individual situation. Radius corners and curves are all possible, thereby giving unique shaped kitchens an economical surface.

Decorative Edge Laminate Countertops are the same as the self edged countertops, but with an upgrade edge, either in wood or some beveled piece, or sometimes even solid surface material. Again this is a way to spruce up your countertop without adding a great deal of money.

Decorative Deck Laminate Countertops are the same as self edged countertops with upgrade plastic laminates on the deck. Some of these combinations would include color through laminates, and those with special finishes, such as Touchstone® or Crystal®. It doesn't cost very much more for these upgrade laminates, you just have to know they are out there, and be willing to wait an extra week or two for your countertop.

Wood Countertops are suited for specific locations. We generally use them for desk tops in kitchens, office or study tops in rooms of the same designation, and for bar tops. They would have wood edges on them. There are three ways to make them. The first is with a veneered deck. This is generally the most used because it is cost effective and the technically preferred solution. A second way is to make the top of solid hardwoods showing faces. This is adequate for some applications but because wood moves with changes in humidity and temperature, this is not acceptable for larger tops. The third is with solid wood showing edge grain. This type of top is traditionally called a "butcher block" top, and is commonly made of long oak or maple laminations of stock turned sideways. The rotation in the grain helps overcome the tendency of the wood to expand and contract. This method is also moderately expensive because of all the labor involved in assembling all of the laminations. In all instances these tops can be stained and finished as the customer desires.

Solid Surface Countertops are upgrade tops for the kitchen industry. Here again there is a wide gamut of products; styling and pricing varies widely. All solid surface countertops have common features. Materials are stain resistant due to low porosity, and repairable because of color through manufacturing. Cleaning is with a damp cloth and ordinary household cleaner. When properly fabricated seams between two sheets are almost always imperceptible. Corian by Dupont is likely the most popular solid surface selection. Please use the link page for more information. Carter's Cabinet Shop offers a wide range of solid surface countertops and encourages you to discuss your specific countertop requirements with your designer. Oh yes, these tops are generally templated after the cabinets are installed; you should be prepared to wait a week or so for them after the cabinets are set.

Natural Stone Countertops are very popular now. They behave opposite of the solid surface materials. They have no problem with heat or scratching. The seams are butt jointed and sealed, and will be obvious. These countertops come in a variety of stone from all over the world. Please link to the Marble Institute of America for more information. We use many subcontractors, but prefer our relationship with Johnson Granite. For more information on granite fabrication and national accreditation, visit the following page courtesy of the Marble Institute of America and Johnson Granite. Pricing is competitive with the Solid Surface Tops or higher, depending on the stone and edge option selected. Again, these tops are templated and will normally take two weeks to be installed.

Hybrid Countertops or Engineered Countertops such as Silestone, Cambria, and Caesarstone (etc) are man-made products meant to simulate granite.  They have no problem with heat or scratching, and will never need to be sealed.  Hybrid counters are priced comparable if not higher to natural stone because it is currently a buyers market for granite in this area.  

Ceramic Tile Countertops are also popular. However, we don't do them. We suggest you contact any number of tile setters in the area. We will be glad to prepare the deck and edge if you so desire.

Concrete Counter Tops are a newer item offered. Concrete countertops are composed of concrete mixed with special additives for additional support. Method of production varies from company to company. Just like concrete used elsewhere in construction, concrete countertops must be sealed in order to protect the material's integrity from everyday wear and tear. Such countertops will develop hair-line cracks over time, but are seen as part of the natural appeal of the surface, and a contrast to smoother, polished solid surface countertops seen in granite. These countertops can also feature drain boards or other additional kitchen support items, varying by provider.