Your countertops serve an important job. They bring the design of the kitchen together and possibly serve as the heart of the household. Choosing the perfect countertop that provides a design focal point and delivers daily functionality is important to consider when starting your kitchen renovation project.
There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to kitchen countertops, but not all of them are equal in quality. We will explain the pros and cons of each common material to help you decide which countertop material is right for you.
Natural Stone Countertops
The three natural stone surfaces that are the most common are Quartz, Granite, and Marble. See how they compare to these four categories: Durability, maintenance, porosity, and hygienic quality.
Quartz is a popular choice for homeowners and designers due to the wide array of colors and design options. As one of the hardest minerals on earth, quartz is very durable. It is also scratch resistant, does not stain, and is basically maintenance free. It does not require any sealers or polishing agents and cleaning quartz is fairly easy. All you need is a soft wash cloth, warm water, and mild dish soap. Unlike marble and granite, quartz is a non-porous material so it does not stain or harbor bacteria, making it a safe choice as well.
Granite is not the most durable material, however it can handle normal wear and tear in the kitchen fairly well. Granite is more prone to chip and crack if a heavy object is dropped on it. It is not heat resistant and is subject to more problems with rapid temperature change. Granite is a fairly high-maintenance material, requiring regular sealing – From every 3 months to once a year depending on how often you use your countertops. Since granite is a porous stone, it is more likely to absorb liquids and stain if not properly maintained. This also causes the hygienic quality to be low because if not sealed properly or the sealant wears off, it can absorb and harbor bacteria.
Granite Kitchen Countertop
Marble is strong, but it is not the most durable of the natural stone options available. One hard hit from a pot or pan and it will chip or may even break a piece off. Marble is even more porous than granite, making it more prone to chipping, cracking, and staining. If not properly maintained, marble will definitely stain if an acidic liquid is spilled on it. Marble is a high-maintenance material, requiring regular sealing. If not sealed correctly or if the seal wears off, marble can absorb and harbor bacteria making it less hygienic. Marble countertops are beautiful in a home, but they are more functional for less-used areas in the house.
Solid Surface Countertops
Solid surface countertops have a lot of appeal. They come in countless colors, are seamless, stain resistant, and offer customizable designs. Solid surface is very durable and can easily imitate other materials such as marble, quartz, concrete, etc. However, a hot object could damage the countertop. However this material is easily repairable, meaning you can easily buff out any scuffs, dents, and burns. Unlike natural stone, solid surface is seamless in appearance. Pieces can be tightly glued together and then sanded so the seams disappear. Solid surface is a very low maintenance material, not requiring any sealers or polishing agents. The material is also non-porous, making it resistant to stains and bacteria and easy to clean. Unlike natural stone, solid surface can be fully customizable. It can be carved, sanded, and heat-shaped to create, among other things, curved sink openings, sinks themselves, and integrated drain boards.
Corian Sandalwood with custom sink
To easily compare the four different countertop options, see below: