Countertops are one of the pivotal elements of any kitchen. They take up a great amount of space and grab the attention of every eye. If you want a great kitchen, you need amazing countertops. There are so many options that choosing can feel like a burden. But when you find ways to break down your options, a daunting decision can turn into a fun experience.
With so many options, you have to pick your material first. Do you want stainless-steel, wood, tile, or stone countertops (and yes, there are more options than these)? For most people, the option ends up being stone. It’s the most popular because stone countertops make a statement. They are strong and beautiful, and they often need very little maintenance. These are the most popular types of stone countertops and the main pros and cons of each.
Granite is pretty much the standard for stone countertops. It’s strong. It’s beautiful. It’s valuable. Granite counters can stand up to normal wear and tear quite well. The stone is very hard, so it does not scratch easily. While it can be chipped, the strength of the stone prevents that from being common. Granite is also very heat resistant, making it quite safe in kitchens.
Granite is not cheap, but it’s not the most expensive stone option either. What might matter more is that granite typically retains its value. The returns on any home investment will vary with the markets, but generally speaking, what you spend on granite you can get back if and when you sell the property.
Granite is fairly low maintenance. It’s important to reseal it periodically. As long as you do, it will stay safe from stains, which are the biggest threat to granite. When you consider that granite is popular because it has the largest variety of attractive options, stains are something to take seriously.
Quartz is another very popular option, and it’s probably the most misunderstood. Countertops that are marketed as quartz are actually engineered and fabricated. While they are made mostly of actual quartz, the engineering that goes into them creates some unique pros and cons.
Quartz is still very strong. It’s resistant to stains, heat, and scratches, but it’s not as hard as granite. You also don’t need to seal quartz, which is a nice plus. You can get quartz fabricated to custom dimensions, making it the only stone option for places with quirkier layouts. Overall, quartz is in the middle of the pack when it comes to stone countertop costs, and it tends to retain its value.
Quartzite is the name for naturally found stone of the quartzite variety. It’s less common than quartz, and it trades the engineering pros and cons for its own set of natural characteristics. Quartzite looks a lot like marble and is nearly as beautiful, but without the expense. It’s also the most resistant to UV rays, making it the best choice for outdoor spaces.
Quartzite comes in a variety of hardnesses, and that means it isn’t always as resistant to scratches and heat as other stones. It’s also more vulnerable to heat than other stone options.
Marble is still the premier stone. When you want classy elegance, it’s the first choice. It’s usually the most expensive stone, but it’s also widely considered the most beautiful. It also holds its value very well.
Marble is a very strong stone, so chips and scratches are less of a threat. It’s also safe against heat. The major downfall of marble is staining. If you let the seal slip on your marble, it can stain pretty quickly, and that completely destroys the main reason to get marble in the first place.
Soapstone offers a classic look, and it’s coming back into vogue. In the Victorian era, it was a common countertop. It’s typically a dark gray, and it is extremely smooth. Because it is so dark, it’s more stain resistant than most natural stones. It’s also not prone to chipping. Instead, it’s vulnerabilities are denting and scratching, but you can sand out light damage.
It’s important to know that soapstone needs mineral oil (or comparable treatment) to be food safe, and this treatment needs to be re-applied with regularity.We can talk about stone countertops all day, but seeing is believing. It’s always best to look at the stones yourself, and you’ll find a great selection at Wholesale Granite Direct. Call us or drop by. You can see a wide selection and get a great feel for which countertops will look best in your space.