Countertop (also counter top, countertopping) usually refers to a horizontal worksurface in kitchens, other food preparation areas, and workrooms in general. It is frequently installed above and supported by cabinets.
When installed in a kitchen, countertops are usually about 635 mm (25 inches) from front to back and are designed to slightly-overhang standard kitchen base cabinets. This allows a convenient reach to objects at the back of the countertop. They often contain some sort of integrated backsplash to prevent spilled liquids from falling behind the cabinets and the face of the countertop may be decorated in ways ranging from plain to very elaborate. They may be cut away to accommodate the installation of sinks, cooktops, complete ranges, or other accessories such as integrated drain boards and cutting boards.
Countertops can be made from a very wide range of materials and the cost of the completed countertop can vary very widely depending on the material chosen. The durability and ease of use of the material often rises with the increasing cost of the material but this is not necessarily so; some very expensive materials are neither particularly durable nor easy to use, just stylish. Some common materials are as follows:
Wood and butcher block
Pre- and postformed high-pressure decorative laminates such as Wilsonart Laminate, Formica (plastic) and Arborite
Solid-surface acrylic plastic materials such as Corian
and Wilsonart Solid Surface
Synthetic stone (quartz
crystals contained in a plastic substrate) such as Silestone
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