by Nicole Evans
Any remodel in the home is a fun, exciting home improvement project. It is the perfect opportunity to show your true design style through all the elements of the remodel. One of the most important decisions you’ll be making is your choice of countertops. With so many options out there, what is the right countertop for you?
NATURAL STONE COUNTERTOPS
Natural stone is a well-loved material known for unique beauty that can add an element of a refined, traditional elegance.
- Marble is a classic natural stone. Although it can be rather expensive, marble will not disappoint with it being heat-resistant, and it is available in a range of color. However, marble isn’t without its flaws. It is high maintenance, requiring regular resealing, prone to scratches, chipping, and etching; acidic juices such as lemons can remove the polish or finish from marble countertops.
- Granite is another popular natural stone for countertops. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but it’s more affordable, incredibly hard and resistant to scratching and heat. Granite is naturally porous and does need to be resealed to maintain its resistance to staining.
- Quartzite is often confused with quartz, but quartzite is a naturally occurring stone that is quarried in a similar way to granite. Quartzite looks like marble and is also highly resistant to UV rays, which is fantastic for an outdoor setting. Some cons to this natural stone are it does not hold heat and will scratch if used directly with sharp objects, so potholders and cutting boards are advised.
- Soapstone is durable and stain resistant. Unlike marble and granite, which have unique veins and specs, soapstone is smoother and uniform. It’s also very smooth to the touch, hence its name. It’s also resistant to acids like lemon juice and vinegar that could damage other types of stone.
MANUFACTURED STONE COUNTERTOPS
In addition to natural stone, there are man-made materials that make excellent and visually appealing countertops.
- Quartz is versatile, created from a combination of quartz chips, pigments, and resin. It’s tough, non-porous and can be made in a very wide variety of colors that might not be available for natural stone.
- Concrete countertops are durable and easy to clean during daily use, and you are able to choose from virtually an color, texture, thickness, or shape.
- Solid-surface countertops are made from unique synthetic polymer. This material has a smooth surface, can seamlessly integrate sinks and backsplashes, and has many color and pattern options. It can be easily damaged by heat, is easy to scratch and dent, and can stain.
- Tile (though this method is not used anymore) is an option for a unique custom countertop. Tile can be available in stone, ceramic, or glass. Use mosaics for a fun stylish theme or a large format tile for a more modern look.
- Wood countertops are unique, natural and add warmth to any space. Various types of wood and finishes can be used to fit different decor and styles. Although it’s very durable, it’s not impervious to damage. While the thought of using a butcher block countertop as on long chopping block may sound convenient, it does scratch and chip over long time use.
Whichever countertop type you choose, you’ll want to consider both your aesthetic tastes and your practical needs to pick the material for beautiful customized countertops you’ll love. For more information, stop by one of our showrooms to talk to a designer!