Countertops can make a statement in any kitchen or bathroom remodel, but remember to balance looks with functionality.
With so many solid stone slabs on the market to choose from, making your countertop selection for a kitchen or bathroom remodel can be overwhelming. Countertops can be expensive and can make or break the overall look of any renovation.Making the right decision is important for staying on budget and keeping the overall look consistent.
Although the overall look is always an important factor in the decision-making process, the durability of the product also should be taken into consideration. Some stone slabs are more durable than others. Keep in mind that man-made products are far less durable than natural stone slabs.
With most buyers gravitating toward solid countertops, using a stone slab is a great way to go. Stones such as granite, marble, and man-made quartz are all great options to finish off the look of any kitchen or bathroom remodel. Since the countertops in the kitchen get so much wear and tear, some solid stones hold up better than others. From an investment standpoint, your selection may come down to overall durability rather than the look. A durable countertop will better protect your investment since you cannot control how a potential buyer or renter will use the countertop.
Let’s take a look at a few of the options.
Granite kitchen countertops are always a solid choice because they are considered the best stone slab on the market. Granite is durable and dependable in terms of usage. It also provides beauty. Many homebuyers seek it out when looking for their next home to purchase.
The natural beauty of granite is expressed in a wide range of colors. Each slab has its own unique look, due to the stone’s speckling and the veins running through it. Because it is a natural material that comes from deep within the earth, after you make a selection, ask your representative at the granite warehouse to line your slab selections side by side so you can see how the stone’s colors will look when they are installed side by side. All too often, this step gets passed over and the end result can be mismatched stone colors and patterns that are not appealing.
Being the most durable stone on the market, granite can withstand high heat, is scratch resistant, and holds up well to staining because it is less porous than other stones on the market. Periodic sealing is required to help retain its beauty. The sealing process provides extra protection against stains.
Overall, granite costs more, but the benefit of such a durable product for a kitchen can outweigh the cost factor. Installing a less expensive, less durable product can cost you more down the road. A countertop with deep scratches from sharp knives or melted sections from hot pots are a beautifully renovated kitchen’s kiss of death.
You can’t help but love the look of marble countertops! The elegance, richness, and character deliver a look of pure beauty. With its unique veining and clean, crisp color, marble gives any kitchen or bathroom a feel of sophistication and luxury.
In recent years, marble has been used a lot in kitchens and bathrooms, a trend driven by popular home renovation shows. Marble can complete a number of design styles within a wide range, from mid-century modern to shabby chic. It’s also a favorite for a country farmhouse finish.
Marble is at the top of the list in terms of cost. The cost for the marble itself is higher, and it is also often more costly to install. Because it is more porous, it has a higher chance of cracking during the installation process. And, because marble is so heavy, it often requires more installers just to move it . Considered a “luxury stone,” marble can run anywhere from $20 to $50 a square foot more than granite.
Marble has its pros and cons. It is a natural stone, so it stays cool, making it a great surface for baking. It is also a solid surface, which today’s buyers prefer. However, it is not as resistant to high heat as granite is. Marble is also more porous, which opens the doors to concerns about staining. Additionally, marble is composed of calcium carbonate, just like antacids, so it is known to react to acids. Liquids like lemon juice and vinegar can etch marble, leaving a dull white mark where it gets eaten away by these liquids. Still, with a lot of maintenance and regular sealing, marble can be another solid countertop selection.
In today’s market, quartz is coming out on top for all-around popularly. Although it may not be strong in certain categories for countertop selection, it has a consistently even likability in the categories of price, looks, and durability.
Most people are not aware that quartz countertops are man-made. Comprised of loose quartz particles bound by a resin, it is an “engineered man-made stone surface.” Because of this, its color and overall look stay consistent, making its purchase much easier compared to natural stone.
Because quartz is a man-made product, the range of color choices offered is much wider than for natural stones. This also allows for more unique and creative designs. Quartz manufacturers can add metal flecks and chips of recycled glass during the processing of some of their more contemporary-looking slabs. Quartz countertops are available with all the same edges as solid stone countertops. From straight edges to half bevel, full bullnose, and half bullnose to quarter round and mitered, the sky’s the limit for the finished look of your quartz countertop.
Quartz has a very well-rounded rating for durability. With it being a “nonporous” product, its care and maintenance is minimal, requiring no sealing. Quartz is highly resistant to scratching, chipping, and staining. However, it has a higher chance of melting at high heat from resting pots and pans compared to granite or marble. Quartz countertops are less difficult and less time consuming to produce, and quartz is easier to transport to market, which helps keep the cost down. Because of these factors, the cost of quartz lands below granite and marble, making it appealing to a lot of budgets.
Balancing the appeal of a product versus its functionality will determine your countertop decision. Selecting countertops is but one of the many decisions you will make during any kitchen or bathroom renovation, but it’s one you should not rush through. Your decision not only has budget implications but also aesthetic ramifications because countertops cover a good amount of surface in a bathroom or kitchen.
In the end, topping off any kitchen or bathroom renovation with a perfect countertop selection inevitably makes those rooms much more memorable.