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Kitchen counters, a material for every taste and budget

September 16, 2011 | 12:43 pm

Soapstone counter 

Anyone considering a new kitchen counter can count on dozens of choices: the ultra-modern look of enameled lava stone from France; the old-fashioned appeal of soapstone, above; engineered quartz in dozens of colors. Even the traditional choice of granite leads to an array of slabs and range of prices.

Glass is among the new stars of the lineup, because it's available in so many colors and sizes. But many people like the modern, industrial look of stainless steel, and improved finishes such as fine etching can help keep fingerprints from showing. This week's Home section takes a look at the choices in counters, and the pros and cons among them.

CaesarStone counter 

Engineered quartz (including a CaesarStone counter, above) continues to come out in new colors and patterns and is growing in popularity because of its durability and consistency. But if you want vagaries of nature and use over time to be part of the look, it might not be the right choice. Our coverage:

Beyond granite: Trends in kitchen counters

Pros and cons: The rundown on counter materials

-- Mary MacVean

 Photo credits: Top, Dan Campbell.  Next, CaesarStone.

Rachel Allen kitchen ALSO:

Homes of the Times: California design in pictures

Landmark Houses: An L.A. Times series

Daily Dish: The scoop on food in L.A.

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