The most commonly renovated rooms in a home are kitchens and bathrooms. One common feature among these rooms is countertops. The countertops in kitchens and bathrooms go through a lot of wear and tear. They are also constantly exposed to moisture.
Moisture occurs due to water spillage present around sinks so the countertops used in the kitchen and bathrooms should be made of durable material. Kitchen countertops have to withstand the wear and tear caused by spills, hot objects, and scratches from knives and other kitchen utensils.
So using materials such as wood and laminates is not the best choice for kitchen counters. So what are the best choices for durable countertop materials?
Stone! Yes, you heard it right, a stone countertop will only withstand the wear and tear in the kitchen or bathroom but it will also act as an elegant piece of design in your home. Large stone slabs are ideal for countertops, and the use of premium quality stones in the real estate sector has seen a sharp rise due to this reason.
1. Know the common types of stone.
There is a wide range of stones but there are only a few kinds of stones that can be used for kitchen countertops. Most popular choices are granite, quartz, marble and soapstone. Slate and limestone are less popular. Each one of them has its pros and cons and your choice will depend on the space you have. Quartz countertops are not made of natural stone and it is bounded by resin to make a man-made slab.
2. Know if the surface is heat resistant.
Natural stones are heat resistant so you can expect them to withstand high temperatures. But quartz cannot withstand extreme heat and can crack and scorch if a hot utensil is placed on it. While the other options can withstand heat better than quartz, it is highly recommended to use trivets or pads instead of directly placing the hot utensil on the solid-surface countertop.
3. Know if the surface is porous.
A nonporous surface such as quartz does not require regular sealing so it will not stain or absorb residue and spills that can cause bacteria, mold, and mildew. Similarly soapstone and slate are also nonporous.
Porous stones include granite, marble, and limestone. These stones can get damaged so they require regular sealing. Keep in mind that their seal can break down if acidic food, liquids, and cleaners come into contact with the stone surface. They should be cleaned using soap and water or a mild detergent. Other cleaners can cause stains.
4. Know if the surface is susceptible to nicks and scratches.
Softer stones such as marble, soapstone, and limestone can easily get scratches and dents so it is advisable to use a cutting board.
On the other hand, granite and quartz are more resistant to scratches and wear, though using cutting boards is still recommended.
Pros and Cons of the Top Kitchen Counter Surfaces
Here are the pros and cons of the most popular countertop materials.
Granite is one of the most common natural stone countertop options if you have no budget constraints. Granite countertops can give a unique look to any kitchen. Granite counters have a premium feel and style that adds to the beauty of your home.
In current times, the price of granite slabs has come down thanks to the increased supply and availability of engineered stone.
- Granite Counters can withstand extreme heat
- Can be less expensive than quartz
- Resistant and Durable
- Increased Real Estate Value Of Home
- Wide Variety Of Colors And Designs
- Colour and pattern inconsistencies contribute to its uniqueness
- If treated with a permanent protection, becomes maintenance free for many years
- Spectacular colours and patterns available
- No DIY Installation
- Blemishes or inconsistencies in Granite Slabs
- Can crack due to extreme forces
- Dulls the knives used for cutting
- Porous stone so requires sealing to prevent stains
Soapstone counters are one of the many different natural stone countertops options. It often has a dark gray color with a smooth and silky texture. It is a great option for people looking for an alternative to granite.
Historically, the use of soapstone was very common, but in modern times it has recently gained popularity. It is used in making countertops and even sinks. With use, soapstone gets covered with an antique-like patina that gives it a classical look that is very attractive in certain kitchens that have a rustic style. This process is often speeded up by applying oil or wax to achieve a consistent patina. Architectural soapstone is a resistant and durable rock that is difficult to stain. Even if it gets scratched it only adds to the antique patina of the stone, though scratches can also be sanded out easily.
- – Deep, rich color
- – Stain-resistant
- – Resistant to heat
- – Damage can be sanded out
- – Offers antique, historic look to a kitchen
- – May darken over time
- – DIY installation not possible
- – Should be treated with mineral oil or wax
- – Surface can scratch and dent, though this can create an attractive antique look
Marble is also a great option among different types of stone countertops that are currently trending.
No two marble countertops are the same because each marble sheet is unique. Because certain types of marble can be expensive, it is sometimes used only in certain portions of the countertops.
Among different types of countertops, marble counters are most prone to staining, etching and scratching. Although newer sealers have reduced the maintenance required by marble countertops it still comes after granite or soapstone in the list of most durable kitchen countertops.
- Can be as affordable as any other natural stone
- Loved by bakers for its coolness
- Adds to real estate value of a home
- Exceptionally beautiful stone, with unique veining
- Can be expensive
- DIY installation not possible
- Can be scratched; repairs are difficult
- Stone is porous and stains if unsealed
- Requires more frequent sealing than granite
- Etches easily. Etch marks are permanent
Quartz (Engineered Stone)
Quartz countertops are an engineered product that has quartz particles and other minerals that are combined with resin. They have a seamless texture and have a smooth feel.
These types of kitchen countertops are very durable and last very long so they are a reliable alternative to natural materials such as granite and marble. Quartz can be produced in many different patterns and designs. Some types can look almost like real marble counters.
They are also more resistant to scratching and staining which makes them a great choice for kitchens. Unlike natural stone surfaces, engineered quartz requires no sealing.
This technology is also being used to make other countertop materials. Recycled glass is being used to make countertops, particles of glass are mixed with resin and shaped into countertop slabs.
- Easy to maintain, no sealing required
- Slabs are uniform, with no imperfections
- Can be custom-fabricated in any size and shape
- Highly stain, scratch, heat and impact resistant
- Adds to real estate value of home
- DIY installation not recommended
- Can be expensive
- Patterns and colours may look rather
- unspectacular compared to many natural stones
In conclusion, these countertop materials are an excellent choice not only for kitchen countertops but bathroom countertops as well.
LOOKING FOR A STONE COUNTERTOP SUPPLIER IN NOVA SCOTIA?
If you are getting your property constructed or your kitchen/bathroom renovated, you might be looking for a reliable countertops manufacturer. Stonewrights is one of the industry-leading firms that crafts stone surfaces into kitchen countertops.
At Stonewrights we help you to choose the best countertop for your kitchen. We control every aspect of the production cycle of our countertops to ensure that there is no compromise on quality. You can consult our countertop expert in making the right choice about your kitchen counter in Lower Branch, NS.
Call us at : 902-530-4545
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