Angie's List: Questions to ask when picking a countertop - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Angie's List: Questions to ask when picking a countertop

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Updating your kitchen counter-tops might seem like a relatively easy remodeling project.

But you need to be careful. Experts say some new trends might not stand up to the way you use your kitchen and others might be a waste of money.

Counter-tops are true workhorses that can transform the look of your kitchen. Whether you want something more traditional...

"We still see most people in that granite and quartz world," said remodeling contractor Geoff Horen.

Or a bit tidier.

"Concrete and wood tend to be and recycled glass, tend to be what i kinda call our HGTV products," said Horen. 

The first thing you need to ask yourself is not just how much you're willing to spend, but how much you should spend.

"Counter-tops are no different than any other type of remodeling project. It's really important to assess the value of your neighborhood. You don't want to over invest in your house because you won't get the return. So, for example if you have a rental property that you rent out for $1000/month, installing counter-tops that are $80/square foot is way too much money to invest," said Angie's List founder, Angie Hicks. 

You also need to determine how you'll be using your counter-tops. Do you spend a lot of time in the kitchen? do you do a lot of cooking? are you worried about stains or scratches?

"Sometimes people will say things like, 'i want to be able to put hot pans right on my counter-top.' well, then those people, generally speaking, need to go toward a granite product because granite has a heat tolerance of like 900 to 1,200 degrees," said Horen. 

When deciding on a material, ask what fits with the rest of your home's style and design. A modern concrete counter-top may look out of place in a more traditional kitchen. But remember, you don't always have to spend more to get a superior look.

"I can take a couple of laminate samples and literally set them on our granite samples and show people. They look exactly the same," said Horen. 

Angie's List says be honest with yourself about how much maintenance you can handle. For example, materials like limestone and marble need sealing once a year.

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