Granite Countertops · Solid Surface Countertops 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. The pros and cons of the 7 best countertop materials. Many designers believe that nothing can replicate the effect that real marble has on a space and, after all, they are right, there is a reason natural stone has had a place in kitchens, restaurants and workspaces for centuries.
Modern homeowners may be wary of telltale signs of aging, such as stains, etchings, and chips, but with proper care (which, according to this helpful Remodelista reference sheet, includes regular sealing, daily cleaning, and stain and etch removal), marble countertops can be wonderfully used for the next few decades. Granite countertops are perhaps the most familiar to most homeowners, and have been a popular choice for the past few decades or so. The versatile material has earned a bad reputation, thanks in part to its revealing “speckle” and popularity in quick-change homes. Still, there are many advantages to choosing a natural stone such as granite for your kitchen countertops (it's affordable, heat and stain resistant, and extremely durable) and, if you're mistaken for simplicity, it can also be a perfectly elegant option.
Described by Remodelista as “a countertop stone that looks like marble but dresses more like granite, quartzite is a familiar alternative for homeowners looking to use a natural stone but who care about the wear and tear of daily life. Quartzite is typically seen in shades of gray, tan and white, but it can also be found in more exclusive combinations such as pinks, reds and blues. Perhaps one of the most recognizable (and loved) countertop materials, quartz is praised for its easy care, affordable price, and wide range of styles. If you appreciate the ability to prepare on any surface without a second thought, butcher countertops are for you.
Terrazzo went through some difficult growth problems in the 80s and 90s, but it's back and it's better than ever. Prized for its high heat resistance and durability, terrazzo is a composite countertop material that combines a cement base with fragments of marble, glass, granite and more, creating a unique and often colorful countertop material. 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.
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.
The durability winner is quartz, the man-nature combined countertop. Crushed quartz stone is mixed with resin to produce countertops that range from solid colors to the look of real granite, but will outperform natural stone in hardness. 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.
Tile countertops can look handcrafted or contemporary, making them a beautiful and versatile countertop material. Replacing a scratched, burnt, stained, or simply unattractive countertop can transform any kitchen. However, how often this point in time occurs depends on the type of material you choose for your kitchen countertops. You have a variety of options when choosing the right type of material for your kitchen countertops.
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. Choosing a countertop surface material that fits your lifestyle is the first step to a functional kitchen. 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. One of the best parts of your kitchen renovation project is the fact that you can customize even the smallest details to help turn your dream kitchen into a reality.
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. Laminated kitchen countertops are a paper and plastic product that covers several layers of Kraft paper with a resin impregnated with almost infinite colors and patterns. A creamy travertine countertop gives a classic Old World look to this neutral kitchen designed by Lisa Stanley. For example, if you spend most of your time in the kitchen cooking, you'll want to make sure you have durable countertops that are resistant to scratches and water damage.