There are several types of countertop material to choose from and a plethora of spaces in your home where they can be used. The space they will be located in your home and how you will use your countertop play a huge role in determining what the best option is for you. One way to narrow down the material options is deciding if you’d like a natural or engineered stone. Below is your guide to choosing your next countertop based on material and your lifestyle. If begin to feel overwhelmed, our designers at Dalton Carpet One will be happy to guide you in the right direction. Just make an appointment here!
Compared with other options, like laminate or butcher block, natural stone countertops will add value to your home. Historically, granite countertops have been the most popular stone choice for countertops, in large part, due to their durability. Well maintained granite is safe to put hot items on, like pots or baking sheets out of the oven, without the risk of creating a hot spot or cracking the slab. Granite is one of the hardest, strongest, and most scratch resistant natural stone options as well. As far as aesthetics go, each granite slab has a unique appearance with a variety of compositions displaying grains in a range of hues, typically in medium to dark shades.
Marble is another natural stone that is considered premium quality and varies in grain size and the amount of veining from slab to slab. Fine-grain marble tends to be more consistent in color, while heavier grains produce more variation. Known for its soft touch and beautiful veining, marble adds a sophisticated, classic look to your space. One of the downsides of marble is that it’s a softer stone, which means it’s more susceptible to scratching. Keep this in mind when determining if this is the right material for your space and your lifestyle.
The most popular finishes for both of these countertop materials are polished, honed, and leather.
- Polished finishes are buffed until they have a glossy appearance. This finish is the easiest to clean, because it seals the pores to keep out moisture, but this finish will show scratches more than others.
- Honed finishes are sanded to create a smooth, soft touch. This helps to hide scratches, but without the gloss of a polished finish these might need to be sealed more frequently with a nature stone countertop.
- Leathered finishes are made by taking a honed surface and running diamond-tipped brushes to add texture. This makes leathered finishes more stain resistant compared to honed. Why? A leather finishes is usually preferred for darker marble as it adds some texture while hiding scratches.
Granite countertops are typically less expensive than marble countertops, and both stones require proper care to maintain their beautiful look and quality performance. Granite is a harder stone than marble, and with the proper care, it is more resistant to chips and scratches. Both stones are porous, so they will absorb spills such as wine, juice, or oils if not sealed properly. Both products will need to be resealed over time. Marble is especially prone to stains by acidic foods and liquids, so it is important to immediately clean the stone after a spill.
Engineered stones, such as quartz, were created as a more durable and better performing alternative to natural stones, like granite and marble. These countertops are made by grinding natural quartz into dust and combining this dust with synthetic materials such as polymers, resins, and pigments. Due to the manufacturing process, quartz is available in a wide range of color options, which are created by adding pigments and other materials such as recycled glass.
Unlike granite and marble, quartz has a nonporous surface that offers a similar look without requiring an annual sealing or additional care. This means that it is resistant to staining from any spill that could cause irreversible damage to a natural stone. Quartz countertops are considered ultra-durable for their ability to resist cracks, scratches, or chips better than natural stone. This makes quartz perfect for any space in your home from the kitchen to the bathroom to the fireplace. All the elements that make quartz a great countertop choice come with a price. Quartz is more expensive than most countertop options, but keep in mind the quality of quartz, style, design, and type of edging will impact the price as well.
When it comes to countertops, your lifestyle is an important factor. Our talented Designers at Dalton Carpet One are here to help you weigh the pros and cons of each countertop material, to help your select an option that will best fit your lifestyle. Schedule your appointment today to meet with one of our Designers!