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By : Larry Gallagher

When you are remodeling your kitchen, one of the most important things to think of is countertops. In today's market, there are a variety of options available to choose from. Granite countertops and those made from stone are durable choices, but these materials are also very heavy and can put a lot of pressure on a less stable base. Marble countertops have an attractive design, but marble is softer than granite, and can develop cracks over time. Ceramic tile is a very attractive option for kitchen countertops, and one that has been used for many years. Ceramic tile give you the option to create a unique look or design that is more suitable to your needs, since there are so many different colors and patterns to choose from.

However, ceramic tile can chip or become damaged over the years, and grout can become stained and serves as a suitable hiding place for kitchen bacteria. If you love the look of tile, and want to have an attractive countertop pattern in your kitchen, follow some basic tile and grout cleaning tips to help protect your overall investment. Routine tile and grout cleaning is not difficult, but knowing what kind of materials to use can be a bit tricky. When having ceramic tile installed, remember that colored grout matches well with stone surfaces and can also resist stains better. However, when cleaning colored grout, keep in mind that any cleaning agents that contain bleach can damage the color and the stain resistance of this kind of grout. If you are seeing significant grout stains or there is damage to your ceramic tile, locate a tile and grout cleaning professional in your area.

When installing kitchen countertops and fixtures, the style of countertop that you choose should match the coloring and style of the floors and cabinetry as well. Also, take into consideration how you will be using the countertop. A good countertop surface should be resistant to stains, water and heat damage, and also scratches that may occur when preparing meals or doing other tasks. When placing small appliances or other kitchen décor, adequate space should be allowed to make doing other routine tasks simple.

Cost is always an important factor in choosing the right kind of kitchen countertops for your remodeling project. Granite and marble, as well as other types of natural stone, create a luxurious look and feel. However, these types of materials are often expensive as well. Corian countertops are a newer option, and are rapidly increasing in popularity. Corian is inexpensive, but lacks to ability to resist heat damage. These kinds of countertops are lightweight and functional, but can melt when exposed to hot cookware. Ceramic tile is a more affordable option, but installation requires more time and effort.

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