If you are considering updating your counter tops or install a new counter top project there are a few things to consider before you make that purchase.
Let’s begin by making a list of things to contemplate when shopping for the perfect counter top for your lifestyle and maximizing the utilization of the space.
- Basing your decision on how you plan to use the room will make for a better surface material choice.
- Compare your surface materials strength and weaknesses
- If price is a consideration, compare the prices for your selections
- Keep in mind, the cheapest price does not always make up for Quality.
- What are the Trends? See what people are using in your area.
What are your plans for your space? Whether you are building a home and looking for all new surfaces or doing a remodel, do your research. Choosing the right counter top can be overwhelming if you don’t narrow down your options a bit. Let’s consider your lifestyle and “the look” you want to achieve for your space. Picking colors to compliment your walls, flooring, and cabinets will go a long way in narrowing your counter top selection. Will you’re your home be a long-term investment or a turnover for resale?
Now for a little research. We are going to compare the pros and cons of three popular counter top materials: Granite, Quartz and Marble.
Granite – A natural stone which can resist heat associated with cooking and serving food. It is a hard material which under normal wear and tear is difficult to break, crack and scratch. Even though it is a porous material with the proper care you will have a counter top that will look new decades later. Sealing and polishing the granite will help repel against stains, cloudiness and scratches. Granite offers traditional elegance which will help with resale values.
The drawbacks to granite do not necessarily outweigh the advantages. Take into consideration that granite will need to be sealed upon installation to prevent against stains, cloudiness and scratches. Depending on the amount of use in your space, you will want to polish your counter tops once up to a couple times a year with a granite polish compound applying with a soft clean cloth. To minimize against water spots, keep counters clean and free of water. When you clean your counter top be sure to use a nonabrasive neutral cleaner and dry afterwards. Granite has less color options when compared to Quartz. Unlike color enhanced quartz, granite is a natural stone.
Overall Granite is a practical choice if low maintenance, durability and price are a factor.
Quartz Counter tops – The primary ingredient is ground quartz mix blended with polyester resins to solidify it and pigments to give it color. The resins help make quartz stain and scratch resistant. A nonporous material, Quartz never needs to be sealed. Put to the test quartz survives against spills, hot pots and knives. Add these together and you have a choice that makes for a durable kitchen.
If you are leaning towards quartz you may consider the following downsides to using this material. Some patterns may appear unnatural compared to natural stones. Edges and corners may chip resulting in a repair job that only a pro can perform. Having rounded edges can help to cut down the chance for chipped or broken edges. If exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods, the material will yellow. Having said that quartz would not be a good choice for an outdoor space. Quartz is heavier and more difficult to install compared to its counterparts, resulting in higher costs for labor and installation.
If extensive color options, non-porous surfaces and very low maintenance are a requirement then quartz may be a good selection for your space.
Marble – Of the three materials we are exploring, marble is the most luxurious offering a traditional and sophisticated look. Mable is a natural stone containing crystallized limestone. This stone also helps increase the resale value of your home. It does have to be sealed upon installation. Does not emit radon. Most, use marble to top a piece they will showcase in their homes. Examples are an Island, Bar or maybe even a conversation piece, buffet.
Because of the porous nature of this stone it will stain if not sealed. Of the three choices it is the softest material and will need care as to not break or chip. Proper care and cleaning will go a long way to preserve your counter top.
If the look you are trying to achieve is unique with fluctuating veining, then marble should be a consideration.
Hope the information has been helpful.