There are so many material options, not to mention colors, that it’s hard to make a decision on the perfect countertop for either a kitchen or bath. You can choose from granite, quartz, laminates, solid surface, ceramic tile, butcher block or wood, stainless steel, marble and concrete. The decision can be tough and includes many factors such as personal style, color options, durability, maintenance, and cost. Let’s explore the four most popular choices.
Granite is the #1 choice for new kitchens and remodeling projects. The highly polished surface contributes to its natural beauty and can become the signature feature in your room. Granite colors range from black, gray, and white to shades of brown, blue, green and red. This natural stone is very durable and will last a lifetime if maintained. It resists heat and scratches but requires sealing once a year for stain resistance. Granite countertops are priced according to thickness and size and are becoming more affordable with starting prices at $65/sq. ft. installed.
Quartz countertops are an engineered product comprised of about 90% quartz particles and are the 2nd choice for countertops. Because it is a manufactured product, more color choices are available than with granite. Quartz countertops require the least amount of maintenance of any material. Its nonporous surface resists scratches and does not require an annual sealing like natural stone. The price for a quartz countertop starts at $75/sq. ft. installed.
Solid Surface counters are made of 100% acrylic, 100% polyester or a combination of both. There are many edge profiles to choose from and seams are almost invisible. Solid surface countertops come in a variety of colors and patterns, many resembling natural stone. Hot pans can damage the surface and they can stain. However, because they are a solid material, scratches and burns can be sanded out. Solid surface counters are priced midway between stone and laminates at about $55/sq. ft.
Laminate counters are made of plastic-coated synthetics providing a durable surface. This durability and price contribute to their continued popularity as laminates tie with quartz for second choice. Laminates come in hundreds of colors and many textures with newer options resembling quartz or granite. Laminates wear well with proper care and do not require any sealing. However, scratches and chips are extremely hard to repair. Updated profiles help to eliminate edge lines. Laminates are fairly inexpensive with prices starting at $20/sq. ft.
Make sure you take home samples to assure the countertop complements your cabinetry and flooring choices. It may take several trips to the showroom to make your selection or you may decide quickly what fits your decorating style and budget. A designer can help in the decision process too. Your ultimate decision reflects your personal taste and style to make your house your home.
Which one is your dream countertop?