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Consumer Report: Best Countertops For Busy Kitchens

Pros & Cons of 7 Best Countertops Material

Replacing a scratched, scorched, stained, or just plain unattractive countertop can transform any kitchen. Happily, there are lots of options in a wide range of prices.

Consumer Reports tested more than a dozen popular types of countertops to see how well they resisted stains, heat damage, cuts, abrasion, and impact, and found seven that passed muster. Here are the details for best countertops.

In their countertop tests,  performance varied from one material to the next but there was little difference among competing brands of each type, so be sure to shop around for the best deal on your countertop material of choice. The prices below are per square foot. For the pros and cons of each type, see the numbered entries below.

Countertop Intelligence

Quartz

Pros: It mimics the look of stone yet needs less maintenance. Most stains are no match for quartz, which is a combination of mineral, color, and resin. It comes in vibrant colors in addition to patterns that look like granite and marble.
Cons: Edges and corners can chip, and you’ll need a pro to repair them. Rounded edges help.

Granite

Pros: Each slab of this natural material is unique; rare colors and veining cost more. Heat, cuts, and scratches didn’t harm granite in our tests. Polished and matte finishes resisted most stains when properly sealed, so pick the look you prefer.
Cons: Periodic resealing is needed to fend off stains. Like quartz, edges and corners can chip and must be professionally repaired.

Soapstone, Limestone & Marble

Pros: Soapstone isn’t as common as granite, and it’s superb at resisting heat damage. Small scratches can be repaired by sanding finely and applying mineral oil. Limestone (pictured) and marble are classic materials. Limestone also has a natural-stone look without heavy veining or graining, and it resists heat.
Cons: Soapstone nicks, cuts, and scratches easily, and some stains are too tough to be washed away. Limestone and marble also have those drawbacks, and heat damaged our marble.

Laminate

Pros: Inexpensive, easy to install, and so much better-looking than you probably remember, thanks to new printing technology and decorative edges. Stains and heat didn’t damage the laminates we tested.
Cons: Cutting directly on it easily and permanently damages laminate, so use a cutting board.

Solid Surfacing

Pros: Available in a variety of colors and patterns, it can be used for the counters, sink, and backsplash, creating a seamless look because joints are almost invisible. And like quartz, its color won’t vary much from the store sample. Solid surfacing is resistant to most stains, and small nicks and scratches can be repaired.
Cons: It scratches and cuts easily, so a cutting board is a must.

Recycled Glass

Pros: Large shards give it a fun, contemporary look; finely ground glass makes it less busy. Most glass counters we tested resisted stains, cuts, scratches, and heat.
Cons: It’s the only material for which we found a difference among brands. Cosentino’s Eco counters were the only ones that developed a thin crack during our heat tests.

Butcher Block

Pros: It adds warmth and is easy to install and repair, but the finish makes a difference. Varnish improved stain resistance, but penetrating oils diminished it.
Cons: Nicks and scratches can easily happen, though they can be sanded out.

Check out Lewis Floor & Home’s countertop selection here.

For the Full Consumer Report, click here. 

Flooring & Much More

Chicago Tribune Featured Lewis Floor & Home in their local Businesses to Know Section “Flooring & Much More”.  Check out the article below:

In 1954, Earl Lewis started a small 800-square-foot carpeting and carpet cleaning business in Northbrook, which was predestined to become today’s 26,000- square-foot showroom and 33,000-square-foot warehouse.

About 30 years after his grandfather opened the store, Steve Lewis stopped practicing law to take over Lewis Floor & Home, and now is entering a fourth generation with the addition of his son-in-law.

In 1997, Steve Lewis, now president of the family business, purchased the building adjacent to the original location and began expanding to include all flooring, tile, wood, vinyl, countertops, window treatments, a rug gallery and fine cabinetry.

“Our customers were asking for it and giving the customers what they want has always been the key to our success,” says Lewis.

The convenience of a one-stop shop combined with what Lewis deems the best products the market has to offer are the reasons their customer base keeps growing.

“We shop internationally and import inventory from all around the world in order to make a visit to our showroom much more than just a shopping experience,” says Lewis. “We know our customers and work extremely hard to provide outstanding value and fashion.

“We also have professionally trained design consultants to help consumers make the right choices for their projects,” says Lewis. Lawrence Lambert is the new kitchen and bath designer bringing 24 years of experience to the company.

“Larry’s father was a cabinetmaker and taught him at a young age how to build custom cabinetry,” says Lewis. “He enjoys creating efficient and useful spaces.”

Chicago Tribune Businesses to Know

Check out our Flooring Section

Make it Better Best Of Flooring 2017

The awards keep coming in!  Thanks to you and your votes, Lewis Floor & Home earned the title “Best of Flooring” by Make it Better’s Best of 2017!

In their BesMake it Better Best of 2017t of 2017 issue, Make it Better has compiled a list of the best businesses and services in Chicago and around the North Shore.  Categories include arts & entertainments, dining, travel, home “ and more!  Check out the complete list for a look at the “Best of 2017” in all categories.

Shout out to other Home Category winners including Ilene Chase Design, Best Interior Decorator, Get Dwell, Best Handyman, A Perry Homes, Best Builder, Chalet Nursery, Best Landscapers, and Crate & Barrel, Best Home Furnishing/Home Accessories.

Thank you to all our customers that continue to vote for us, without you we wouldn’t be here today!

 

Click here for a list of all the categories and winners.

Here’s our very own Susie and Djuro at Make it Better’s Toast to the Winners Party at A. Perry Homes. Make it Better Best of 2017

 

Cement Tiles

Hand painted cement tiles are all the craze and we don’t see the trend slowing down anytime soon.

Cement tile dates to 19th-century Europe, where it was developed and then used widely in Art Nouveau architecture. The tile was a popular choice for floors in Spain (such as in Gaudí’s Barcelona), France, Germany and other countries around the world. Later, with the arrival of Bauhaus and other 20th-century styles, it fell out of favor.

Today, however, cement tile is once again becoming a floor covering of choice, driven by the boom in all things vintage and the growing appreciation for handmade products worldwide. While traditional cement tile designs are enjoying a revival, new patterns also are gaining in popularity. Designers and manufacturers are updating these tiles with contemporary geometric patterns, giving them a second life through a more versatile look.

Often cement tiles are colorful, bold patterns but besides that they have other advantages over other types of tile:

  • Environmentally friendly – They’re made of natural components and because they’re not fired, no fossil fuels are burned in their production.  They’re also made with natural pigments.
  • Non slippery – Bare feet stay put, even when wet!
  • Customization – Each tile is hand crafted, If you don’t see an in-stock color combination, size or shape you like, Lili Cement Tile can create one for you.

Cement tiles are made by hand, which helps to explain why they’re so appreciated. The process of making them has remained unchanged for more than 100 years.  Here’s a great video showcasing how our vendor make their hand painted cement tiles.

LiLi Cement Tile Production

Lorely Lili Cement Tile
Lorely – Lili Cement Tile

Carpet Health Benefits

Many people don’t associate carpet as the healthy choice for flooring. Contrary to popular belief, there are many carpet health benefits, can be the green and natural flooring choice, and provides endless amounts of styles and color.

Carpet Health Benefits

New carpet is the lowest VOC-emitting flooring choice available and requires fewer cleaning chemicals than other floor coverings. Carpet actually acts as a passive air filter, trapping dust, pollen and other particles and removing them from the breathing zone. Studies have shown that people with asthma and allergy problems have seen symptoms improve with carpet.

Carpet also provides safety benefits. It provides cushion for our footsteps, reduces slips and falls, and minimizes injuries when falls do occur. Carpet provides safety protection for the whole family, especially for toddlers and older individuals.

Green and Natural Flooring Choice

Many of today’s carpet is made with material and technology that is designed to help limit waste and utilize renewable resources, ultimately reducing reliance on fossil fuels. Corn has become an important role and key ingredient used to manufacture a specific fiber — SmartStrand Sorona. The production of the synthetic fibers have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 40-63 percent in the past few years.

Wool and sisal carpets are especially eco-friendly options because of their all-natural fibers and non-toxic dyes, and there is minimal processing and treatment of the fibers.

Style and Colors

Carpet is very easy to customize. You can choose from thousands of carpet patterns, styles and colors. There are different ways to make carpet — looped, tip sheared, or a combination of both. Carpet is an easy way to personalize your home and go bigger and bolder than other flooring choices.

Fashionista alert: Bold and graphic patterns are gaining popularity in carpet as well as organic patterns created by combining looped and tip sheared carpet. Gray is still in high demand and we don’t see that trend waning anytime soon.

To learn more click on the link:

Carpet Health Benefits