Granite countertops are perhaps the most familiar to most homeowners, and have been a popular choice for the past few decades or so. There are many countertop options on the market for kitchen countertops, but 10 materials comprise most countertops in residential kitchens. They include granite, marble, quartz and more. Each material has its positive and negative aspects.
For example, some are very strong, while others can be scratched or damaged. And some materials cost a lot more than others. For some time, granite has been the countertop material of choice when there were no cost issues to consider. Granite defines elegance in a kitchen.
Even modest kitchens look like luxurious spaces when scented by the beauty of granite countertops. Knives quickly blunt when cutting granite. Soapstone is another natural stone, usually dark gray in color with a soft and silky feel. It has seen a recent resurgence as an alternative to granite.
Soapstone is often seen in historic homes, but it is also used in modern homes as a countertop and sink material. Over time, soapstone acquires an antique-looking patina that can be very attractive in certain kitchen styles. Contrary to expectations, the architectural soapstone used for countertops is actually quite hard and resistant to stains. However, it will scratch over time, although this may increase the ancient patina of the stone.
Another natural stone commonly used in kitchen countertops is marble. Because no two marble slabs are exactly the same, each marble countertop will be completely unique. Due to its extremely high price, marble is not often seen across the full extent of most kitchen countertops. More often, its luxurious appearance is limited to use on an island or section of the countertop reserved as a baking center.
Although highly prized, marble may not be the best choice for kitchens due to its penchant for stains and scratches. Newer sealants may reduce marble maintenance, but this is a considerably more temperamental stone than granite or soapstone. Sold by companies such as DuPont Zodiaq, LG Viatera, Cambria and Silestone, quartz was created as a more adaptable and better performing alternative to granite and marble. It is available in a wider range of colors than granite and has a non-porous surface that resists both scratches and stains.
Some types are convincing copies of natural marble, with similar veins. Unlike natural stone, engineered quartz requires no annual sealing. Solid surface material, sold under brands such as Avonite, Corian and Swanstone, is an artificial material that consists of a mixture of acrylic particles and resins that are pressed into sheets and other shapes. Solid-surface countertops and sinks have been around for nearly 50 years, but at the time of their introduction, they were considered alternatives to space-age natural stone, which they sought to imitate.
Once considered premium luxury countertops, solid surface material is now considered something mid-level, but it's still an excellent choice for mid-range kitchens. It can also be a good material in high-end kitchens with a lot of countertop space that would be prohibitively expensive to cover with granite or quartz. Ceramic tiles are durable and easy to clean, and are considerably cheaper than countertops made of natural stone, quartz or solid surfaces, especially for DIYers who want to do their own work. Recent innovations in porcelain stoneware offer many more design options than ever before, including tiles with the look of wood, marble or even leather or cork.
Ceramic and porcelain tiles offer more design options than almost any other countertop material. It doesn't have the same prestige as granite or quartz Laminate counters carry trademarks such as Formica, Nevamar and Wilsonart. Laminates are synthetic, plastic-coated with a smooth surface that is easy to clean. Countertops are manufactured by joining the laminated sheets to a particle board (MDF) core.
Laminate countertops can be purchased as preformed segments (called post-formed countertops) or can be custom manufactured to specifications, either on site or in a manufacturing shop. Although for many years considered more common than premium countertop materials, laminates have seen a recent increase in popularity, thanks in part to the thousands of colors, patterns and styles available now. Laminates are especially popular in retro designs, especially in mid-century modern kitchens. Being the best choice of most homeowners, traditional granite countertops offer a high-end look that increases the value of your kitchen while providing a prep surface.
Because granite is a natural material, variation in the pattern of stone is common and, for most people, increases its attractiveness, but can make it difficult to match the slabs. In most regions, the cost of granite and quartz are comparable, but natural granite requires a little more care than manufactured quartz to maintain its good appearance, clean all stains quickly, especially oils, wine, acids and soda, and follow a regular sealing routine, usually once a year. The current favorite of the design world, the gray veins of Carrara or Calacatta marble are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also help to disguise wear and hide light stains. With timeless appeal, this stone gives any kitchen a decidedly elegant look and, while the cost is comparable to that of some granites, marble is porous, so stains can be a problem.
Regular sealing and special care with anything acidic to prevent etching will maintain the best appearance of the creamy surface. Quartz is an engineered stone product that contains 93% quartz particles and other materials, in the form of slabs with resins. It is a better and more adaptable alternative to granite and marble, making it one of the most popular countertop materials. Quartz is sold by companies such as DuPont, Zodiaq, Cambria and Silestone.
In addition to being available in a wider range of colors than granite, it also has a non-porous surface that resists scratches and stains. In fact, you can also find excellent copies of natural marble with similar veins if you opt for a quartz kitchen countertop. Best of all, unlike natural stone, engineered quartz requires no annual sealing. Granite has always been a popular choice for countertop material.
In addition to this, granite is known to define elegance in a kitchen. Even the simplest kitchens begin to look like luxury spaces when accented with the beauty of granite countertops. Granite has always been an expensive material. However, quartz's growing popularity and increasing supply have reduced its cost.
In most places, the cost of granite versus quartz is relative, but natural granite needs a little more care than quartz to maintain its good looks. Soapstone is also a natural stone that has a soft and silky feel. Interestingly, there has been a recent increase in sales as an alternative to granite. Soapstones are often seen in older homes, but they are also used in modern homes as a kitchen countertop and as a material for sinks.
As time goes on, Soapstone takes on an antique patina that looks attractive in some kitchens. In contrast, architectural soapstone used for countertops is actually harder and more resistant to stains. Marble is also a natural stone that is commonly used in kitchen countertops. However, due to its extremely high price, most people don't buy marble to use it to the full extent of the countertops of most kitchens.
Instead, its luxurious appearance is limited to use on an island or a section of a countertop with less use. Although once considered premium quality and luxury, solid surface material is now a mid-level countertop material. However, high-end kitchens with a lot of countertop space can also use it, which would be expensive to cover it with granite or marble. Ceramic tile is durable, easy to clean and considerably cheaper than other, more popular countertops.
Recent innovations in porcelain stoneware offer more design options than ever before. That includes tiles that look like wood, marble, or even leather and cork. Granite comes in a wide range of colors, ranging from vibrant blues and assorted browns, to midnight black, deep red and speckled white. Cut into long, thick slabs that require little or no stitching.
After cutting and polishing the granite, it is treated with an impregnating sealant that makes the countertop stain resistant. This treatment usually lasts five to ten years, but be sure to use a stone cleaner, not an abrasive cleaner for daily cleaning. Most granite countertops are polished to a glossy shine, but you can also order a polished finish, which is much less shiny and more matte. And granite with leather has a slightly textured surface that gives a rustic, casual look to a kitchen.
Granite has been the number one choice of kitchen countertops for homeowners for several years. While it has more competition than in the past, granite remains one of the best choices among homeowners due to its natural composition, exquisite appearance, and designs that cannot be replicated. Each slab appears to be different from the next, making each piece unique. Each surface is unique, and when it comes to stone such as granite or quartz, you may find that the appearance can vary even between different cuts of the slab.
However, the characteristics that make each worktop unique are more than superficial. Feeling each countertop can also introduce a new look; after all, while it may be surprising, each material feels totally different. Different countertop materials will provide other aesthetic options. Synthetic options, such as laminated and solid surfaces, and natural options such as wood and granite, can vary significantly in appearance.
Taking the time to research each option down to the smallest detail and considering how it will look with your cabinets, walls, and even your backsplash will help ensure that you love the end result of your kitchen. Most mid-range to high-end kitchens use granite or quartz. Granite is one of the most popular options for kitchen countertops, with a particular favor towards high-end kitchens. Granite is a natural stone loved for its unique color, tones and grain.
With its natural beauty, it's a great addition to any kitchen. Granite is also one of the most durable materials for countertops. As a result, whether you cook often, have young children, or like to host, you'll find that you're able to withstand most of the daily wear and tear, while maintaining a luxurious finish. A trendy option right now is the butcher block countertop style.
Especially when mixed with granite or quartz countertops, the butcher block offers a rich variety of natural colors to your kitchen. The significantly thicker style of this material lends itself well to a chef-inspired look. Most mid-range to high-end kitchens come with granite or quartz countertops. However, if you are considering a dramatic aspect, you may want to explore the true three-dimensional presentation of deep-veined marble.
Marble is a softer stone compared to granite. However, if you are considering a white countertop finish, marble may have an edge over other options. When working with heavy stone countertops, such as granite or quartz, you need to make sure that the stone can stand on its own. Crossing a large space, such as a long kitchen island, working around imperfect base cabinets requires experience.
Choosing a reputable stone supplier is the best way to avoid potential mishaps. While all kitchen countertops require maintenance, such as regular cleaning, some, such as natural stones, require more, especially porous materials such as granite countertops. In addition, you need to act quickly to remove stains from your countertops before the marks become permanent. When you invest in granite countertops, you will experience high-quality durability and damage resistance.
However, since granite is porous, it won't be able to do it on its own. In fact, if you don't apply a proper sealer regularly, you'll notice that you'll have to replace your granite countertops in no time. You may already be familiar with the sealing process. It is when a chemical seal is applied that acts as a coating for the material of your choice, helping to prevent damage from reaching the raw material.
Because granite countertops are porous, the seal will seep into the pores and fill them, preventing liquids or stains from damaging the rough stone. Unlike granite countertops, quartz countertops don't need to be sealed. Quartz is naturally durable, and because it's not porous, you'll find that it doesn't even fit the sealant. In fact, most of the time, you'll notice that if you try to seal your quartz countertop, the sealant stays like a film of liquid on the surface.
Quartz countertops are one of the main contenders for durability and beauty. Quartz countertops are made of crushed quartz crystals that are bonded together by an adhesive agent (polymer resin) and mixed with color, resulting in a non-porous product that is strong and easy to maintain, with no need for sealing. The engineered features of quartz countertops make them stain and scratch resistant, and manufacturers can design them in a spectrum of colors that mimic granite and marble. Some experts recommend installing quartz countertops with rounded edges, since corners and edges are known to chip.
As one of the most durable countertops on the market, quartz is also an excellent choice for commercial areas such as restaurants and bars. This exciting countertop option offers a sleek, contemporary look that is durable, bright and incredibly beautiful. Granite Transformations recycled glass countertops are comprised of 78 percent recycled glass (which comes from colorful beer and liquor bottles) and combine with artificial stones to create a bright, eco-friendly finish. They are heat, scratch and stain resistant, making them one of the best materials to remodel your kitchen, bathroom and commercial space.
Concrete countertops are a versatile and exciting new option for today's homes and businesses. Concrete serves as an extremely durable material for a countertop and can radiate the look and feel of natural stone, metal or wood. Concrete countertops are made from a mix of general purpose mortar, sand, and pigments, and are available in multiple color options. Please note that concrete is porous and may stain, so it must be sealed during installation.
You'll also need to have your concrete countertop sealed regularly. Large concrete countertops may also have visible seams, but these can be minimized with padding. Popular for their virtually seamless appearance, solid surface countertops are available in a variety of colors and patterns, and are used for countertops, sinks, and backboards. Because they are non-porous, they are resistant to mold and mildew and are easy to clean.
Although resistant to most stains, solid surface countertops are not heat resistant and can be easily scratched and cut. Experts suggest always using a cutting board. See for yourself why granite is one of the best and most durable countertops, and learn more about Granite Transformations' wide variety of countertop products. Schedule Your Free In-Home Design Consultation Today.
Marble countertops are a tedious surface for your kitchen or bathroom, as they are soft and susceptible to damage, such as stains, scratches and heat. After a thorough examination, we are ready to explain to you why you should or should not install one of these durable kitchen countertops. Tile countertops can look handcrafted or contemporary, making them a beautiful and versatile countertop material. Wood countertops are also commonly used in conjunction with other countertop surfaces as a complementary asset to enhance the other room designs.
Virtually maintenance free, engineered quartz countertops are stain, acid, scratch, heat and impact resistant and, thanks to their non-porous surface, do not need to be sealed like natural stone countertops. If you have unusual shaped countertops, or if you want a truly unique kitchen, concrete can be a good choice for your countertops. You want your kitchen countertop to be smooth and seamless, especially when it comes to stone. A creamy travertine countertop gives a classic Old World look to this neutral kitchen designed by Lisa Stanley.
You'll have a variety of colors to choose from, helping you create an exclusive look by choosing the perfect shade for your kitchen countertops. Best of all, if you're skilled, a tiled kitchen countertop is a project you can do yourself on a long weekend. You have a variety of options when choosing the right type of material for your kitchen countertops. Before you splurge on such a big upgrade, check out the pros and cons of the best kitchen countertop materials to help you select the right one for your space.
Busy kitchens and high-traffic areas can take a beating, so it's important to know the most durable countertops that withstand heat, stains, cuts, abrasions, and everyday impact. . .