kitchen countertops
Photo: Muffy Kibbey
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The mark of an excellent kitchen is one with lots of counter space. By lots, we mean: enough for three pizza boxes to sit side by side without knocking the adult beverages onto the floor.

Counters come in a variety of materials at a range of costs. On the low end, you have your laminate, which is basically a hard plastic material glued over plywood. Inexpensive, and actually fairly easy to build yourself (see How to Laminate a Countertop), but not as durable as stone. You can't, for instance, cut that pizza right on the counter unless you're going for a cat-scratched effect.

The counters that everyone drools over are made from stone, particularly hard-to-damage granite. Find out everything you need to know about the rock-hard slabs in . And if you choose this option, definitely keep a bookmark at How to Remove Spots from Kitchen Countertops. Because you will spill red wine on them at some point—we guarantee it.
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