Countertops 101: Everything You Need to Know Before Remodeling Your Kitchen

Countertops 101 Granite Marble Quartz Quartzite Cultured Marble Solid Surfaces Ultra Compact

Countertops 101: Everything You Need to Know Before Remodeling Your Kitchen

 

Nowadays, interior design has become more complex than before. New styles are being cultivated that are different, unique, and fresh. Kitchen countertops have evolved into more than just a piece of compressed paper to place food and other items atop; it has become a piece of art and a statement to the home.

There are many kitchen countertops to choose from: granite, marble, quartz, quartzite, solid surface, ultra-compact, cultured marble, and so on. Deciding upon a countertop for your home may be difficult. What look do you prefer? Do you prioritize style over maintenance? Or would you rather a sturdy stone over one that is softer and more fragile? These are all things to consider, but we know it can be overwhelming. Thus, we have provided you with a countertop 101 that lays out everything you need to know before purchasing the stone that suits you best.

Marble

When it comes to marble, style comes easy! It is elegant, shiny, and has a timeless element to it that appears effortlessly beautiful. But be careful – marble is softer and more porous than other stones, making it more susceptible to damages such as chipping, staining and scratching.

Marble Kitchen Countertop

PROS

  • Beauty – classic & timeless
  • Availability – because of its high demand, marble can be found at almost any stone fabricator
  • Smooth surface

 

CONS

  • Prone to scratching/chipping
  • Susceptible to stains
  • Higher maintenance – in order to prevent damages and stains from occurring, it is important to professionally seal the surface every six months and clean spills/messes immediately

Granite

Granite is one of the most popular stones found in American homes. It is extremely durable and resistant to heat and scratching. However, due to its porous nature, granite has the possibility of obtaining stains from acidic liquids if such products are left on the countertop for too long.

PROS

  • Heat resistant
  • Scratch resistant
  • Low maintenance
  • Resistant to chemicals and stains – this is true when granite is properly sealed by a professional

 

CONS

  • Porous material – if not sealed properly, or if sealant wears off, granite can absorb stains that are impossible to remove
  • Cost – depending on the rareness or “level” of the design, cost can be high
  • Chipping/cracking – this is a rare occurrence, but still possible if a heavy object is dropped on a corner or edge

Quartzite

Quartzite is arguably the strongest natural stone option for your countertop; in fact, it is sturdier than marble and granite. It has the same beautiful essence that marble portrays but can withstand a little more abuse. It is a great solution for an outdoor kitchen because it is resistant to UV rays, but be careful, as quartzite is more prone to scratching.

Quartzite Kitchen Countertops

PROS

  • Durable
  • Low maintenance
  • UV resistant – no need to worry about fading if placed outdoors

 

CONS

  • Scratching – we recommend using a cutting board
  • Damage from heat – use trivets for hot pots and pans
  • Sealing – make sure it is installed and sealed professionally on a regular basis to prevent future damages
  • Limited color options – due to its naturality, quartzite contains more neutral colors and less variety of color

Quartz

Different from quartzite, quartz is a non-porous stone that is durable, resistant to many damages, and is very easy to maintain. Because it is a manufactured product, quartz offers a wide range of hues, seeveral finish options, and its final appearance is rich and luxurious.Quartz Kitchen Countertops

PROS

  • Very durable
  • Non-porous – there is no need for a sealant
  • Wide range of designs and colors
  • Scratch, chip & crack resistant
  • Stain resistant
  • Does not harbor bacteria

 

CONS

  • Price
  • Receptive to heat
  • Should not be used outside

Solid Surface

Solid surface countertops are a man-made material composed of polyester resins, pigments or other elements that do not require seam installations. It is a highly flexible material, comes in a variety of color options, and integrates smoothly with sinks and backsplash.Solid Surface Countertops

PROS

  • Durable
  • Smooth surface
  • Seamless
  • Ability to sand away stains or scratches
  • Wide range of colors & patterns

 

CONS

  • Receptive to heat
  • Can scratch and dent
  • Possibility of stains

Ultra Compact

Ultra compact surfaces are made from raw materials found in glass, porcelain, and quartz, which are then put under extreme heat and pressure to create an almost indestructible material. These countertops are one of the most durable options on the market today!Ultra Compact Countertops

PROS

  • Durable
  • Heat resistant
  • Scratch, chip, and crack resistant
  • UV resistant – perfect for outdoor use

 

CONS

  • Limited fabricators and installers – because proper install requires certification, it may be more difficult to find a reliable pro who can do a beautiful job

Cultured Marble

Cultured marble is a fun twist to the regular, natural marble. It is made up of a blend of marble dust and polyester resin to produce a wide range of color and natural looking patterns. Because it is a man-made product, cultured marble is non-porous and thus does not require sealant. The molds are lined with a special, clear gel that creates a transparent finished surface.Cultured Marble Countertops

PROS

  • Low maintenance
  • Durable
  • Customizable
  • Affordable

 

CONS

  • Difficult to remove scratches
  • Prone to stains

All of these countertops are great options for both your kitchen and bathroom. We recommend you list your priorities, such as style and durability, in order to properly choose the best countertop for your home. If you need assistance to further understand which will work best in your house, please contact us or visit our blog for creative inspiration.

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