Countertops you can bust a move on
April Dykman | Improvement Center Columnist | December 18, 2013
Hosting a get-together is one thing, but throwing a crazy-fun dance party is quite another.
Dance parties require the right preparation: music, light snacks, and a party-proof house. 'Cause when your party is truly a hit, things might get a little crazy -- -we're talking dancing-on-countertops crazy. You need surfaces your buddies can sway, twirl, boogie, get down, mosh, groove, or moonwalk on.
And while it's silly to replace countertops just for a party, if it's time to replace your counters and you routinely host epic dance parties, or you just like the idea of jumping on the countertops every now and then, you may want to consider these six surfaces for gettin' down (or is it gettin' up?):
For a girls' night: A non-slippery surface. If you anticipate a lot of countertop dancing in high heels, you don't want a slippery glass surface. That's why a wood countertop, like IKEA's Numerär butcherblock, is the way to go. Plus the surface is easy to repair the next morning: just lightly sand the surface with fine-grit sandpaper and treat it with a coat of mineral oil. Good as new, at least until the next time someone plays "Girls Just Wanna have Fun."
For red-wine-proof dancing: Are modern concrete countertops more your style? Get the same look in a more durable material by going with dark granite, like Stonemark's Absolute Black. According to Consumer Reports, a sealed, matte finish on granite also will ward off most stains, which is great if your guests are dancing with a glass of red wine in hand.
For serious foot pounding: Speaking of indestructible, if you like to throw some truly crazy dance parties, or if you're planning to host the members of Riverdance, you'll want manufactured quartz countertops. Manufactured quartz countertops are made from a synthetic material and come in a variety of looks and colors, including understated, stone-like finishes or wild, bright colors. Caeserstone is one option, and like most quartz countertops, it resists scratches and doesn't require sealant. We're also pretty sure it's Michael Flatley-approved.
For eco-friendly dance parties: If your zero-impact buddies like to hop on the countertops and jam to some indie rock, you need surfaces that honor Mother Earth and can take a licking. Enter Vetrazzo, a line of surface materials created from more than 85 percent recycled glass and made in the U.S. Some surfaces are created with finely ground glass, which is a subtle look, and others use large shards for a more artsy feel. Recycled glass counters also are comparable to granite in strength, scratch resistance, thermal resistance, durability, and care and maintenance.
For dancing barefoot: Stainless steel is becoming more and more popular, but it's really only an option for you if your gang is the type to kick off their shoes and dance. Why? Stainless steel can scratch easily, so it's not a good choice if your pals dance in stilettos. One big benefit of stainless: Its nonporous surface stays bacteria-free! Be sure to get it in a patina, though, which doesn't show fingerprints (or footprints) as much as a polished finish.
For the club effect…in your kitchen: If you like to take the party to your place when the house music starts dying down, consider a countertop that's truly club-worthy: The DuPont Corian Illumination Series. Corian is a solid surfacing material that can be cut, routed, drilled, sculpted, bent, or worked like wood. And the countertops in the Illumination Series can be backlit with different light sources, such as white light or colored light and fluorescent or LED. Plus, you can change the amount of light to fit the mood -- turn the light up for a fast dance, or turn it down for a slow dance for two.
Remember, for surfaces like granite and quartz, chipped edges and corners might be an issue. Go with rounded edges to mitigate some of the damage, and call a pro to fix any chips in your countertops.
Actually, if you like to routinely shake your groove thing on your countertops, you might just keep that pro's number on speed dial.