When you are remodeling a kitchen the counter tops that you choose probably – together with the kitchen cabinets – have the biggest impact on the overall look and function of the space when the work is completed. Therefore it is very important that a lot of thought go into just which of the many options out there you pick.

These days consumers have more counter top choices than ever before so making the choice can be very difficult. Here though are some of the most important considerations to keep in mind once you start shopping:

Budget

New kitchen counter tops are a big investment and one that is expected to last for years so choosing the least expensive counter top just to save money now may not always be the best idea in the long run.

Laminates for example can be very inexpensive but the cheaper versions do tend to scratch easily and they cannot be resurfaced in the way that other counter options can so in the long term they may not be the best investment.

Determining just how much you are willing to spend before you head out is important though. That way with a solid figure in mind you can begin exploring all of the options in your price range from the least expensive to the most.

Installation Costs

There are very few people who are “handy” enough to install kitchen counters by themselves, especially if you are dealing with difficult to work with options like natural stone. Therefore when you are figuring out just how much a certain counter top option is really going to cost you it is important to remember to include the costs of installation into your calculations as well as the costs per square foot.

The Long Term ROI

Something you should keep in mind when shopping for new kitchen counter tops is the ROI – return on your investment – they are likely to offer in the future. Certain counter top materials – especially the natural stone varieties like granite – are very much desired by home buyers and installing them can significantly alter the perceived value of your home.

Kitchen Use

Homeowners tend to make  use of their kitchens in rather different ways. There are those love nothing more than to spend a great deal of time in their kitchen space preparing and cooking meals. Others though may barely use their kitchens for too much more  than fixing frozen dinners in the microwave and washing dishes.

If you are a serious cook some kitchen counter top materials are probably a better choice for you over others. If you go into a commercial restaurant kitchen you will usually find that they are using  stainless steel counter tops. Stainless steel is a great choice for cooks as it is stain and heat resistant and clean up is fast and easy. Natural stone is another great choice as well as it has similar properties but for many people is the better looking counter top option as well.