Choosing the right countertop for your kitchen is an important investment in the style, character, and detail of your design aesthetic. Stone countertops present a high-end look and offer a wide variety of benefits and design choices. To determine the right stone material to complete your kitchen, there are a number of considerations. The right choice will offer the design you seek with ongoing maintenance requirements that fit your lifestyle.
Comparisons of the Best Materials
Granite is perhaps the most well-known of stone countertop material. Taken from quarries, the characteristics and colors of granite are varied enough to fit just about any design concept. Because it is a natural material, each slab will have different patterns and veins of color, so it is often a question of finding the right pieces to complete your look. Choosing your slabs should be done in cooperation with your kitchen designer and those who will install your granite. This will provide you with the benefit of their expertise in placing each piece in precisely the right place in your kitchen. While granite is a strong and beautiful material, it does require regular maintenance that consists of sealing the surface. However, when properly maintained, granite’s surface is stain-resistant and difficult to mar.
Another popular stone for use in countertops that is also quarried is marble. Like granite, the colors and veining of this stone vary with each slab and they offer unique decorating accents. Marble is a timeless choice that can add to your home’s value. If you want to use marble, but are concerned about the price, you should consider using it as an accent material on an island or other smaller area to complement other countertop materials in your kitchen. Marble offers a wider range of color choices but tends toward white or off-white shades, which many find more versatile in planning an overall design scheme for a new kitchen. Marble requires more frequent routine maintenance than granite to protect it and keep it in top condition.
Limestone is another natural stone material similar to marble in properties but is usually found without veining in its patterns. For a more monochromatic look, limestone is a great choice. It also has excellent heat resistant properties.
Unlike what its name implies, soapstone that is used for countertops is not as soft as soap, although it may get nicks or scratches more easily than granite, marble, or quartz. This can be an advantage for minor scratches, as they can be gently sanded out and buff with mineral spirits. Many homeowners choose soapstone for a historic look, and it can develop a patina with age that is very desirable. It tends to come in darker, grey tone colors that are a beautiful fit for vintage-inspired remodels. Soapstone is a great material for heat resistance.
Although it may look like natural stone, quartz is actually an engineered material that is increasingly popular for countertops throughout the home. There are several different manufacturers of quartz, but a recent review from Consumer Reports found no significant difference between brands. As a material, quartz is made from combining quartz pieces and other minerals with a resin and then shaped into slabs. There are quite a few advantages for quartz. First, it doesn’t require regular maintenance. It is manufactured with a nonporous surface that doesn’t stain or mar easily. Because it is a man-made material, it is available in a huge array of colors, so it can be highly compatible with your design aesthetic. Depending on the pattern you choose, it is often less expensive than granite or marble but is still a high-end addition to your home.
Professional Countertop Installations
There are other materials for countertops, but natural stone and quartz are widely regarded as an investment in the overall value of your home. With choices that provide an elegant and timeless design, you can’t go wrong with any of these options for your kitchen, bathroom, or other custom additions. It is vital when using natural stone or quartz in your designs to work with professional installers. Authentic Customer Cabinetry can provide the attention to detail and accurate sizing needed to make sure that the vision of your project is realized in exquisite detail. Contact us to start working on beautifying your project with natural stone or quartz today.