How do you choose the right countertop surface material for your kitchen? Whether you are a gourmet chef or you just like to entertain for family and friends, the kitchen often becomes the heart and soul of the entire house.
As you search for a home with the perfect kitchen, or remodel your current one to make it the kitchen of your dreams, one of the most noticeable features is the countertop you choose.
For years, nothing has sparked more debate than what colour the counters should be, but most recently, the newest debate is not only colour, but material, as well.
Choosing the correct colour for kitchen countertops is an important decision and should not be taken lightly. Whether you are looking at gorgeous granite, colourful quartz, or luxurious marble, check out all of our tips for selecting the best countertops for your kitchen.
What are granite, quartz and marble?
Granite is known for being an extremely hard stone and it is 100 percent natural, being found all over the entire world. Mined from quarries and then later cut down to a more suitable size for residential use, granite is available in a variety of different natural colours and has a broad price range. It is polished to a smooth finish and is ready for use.
Whilst granite is found in quarries all over the world, quartz is not entirely natural and must be somewhat modified. Quartz counter tops are manufactured from 93-95 percent natural quartz and then the rest is made up of resin. As natural quartz can have a dull and fairly boring look, enhanced quartz is vibrant and can be chosen in a huge variety of colours to match any colour palette.
Similar to granite, marble is also naturally found on Earth and is a stunning stone in its own right. Marble countertops are very solid and structurally-sound, but they are a little more fragile than those made of granite or quartz.
Due to the fact that it is a natural stone, however, each slab of marble is completely unique and is known for its spectacular veining.
As mentioned, granite is a natural stone that is found all over the world. Due to the fact that it is not modified or manufactured, granite does not have as many colour options as quartz, but it does come in Earth tones, including tan, grey, yellow-gold, brown, off-white, taupe, peach and blue-grey. No two pieces of granite will be identical, so it is a great option if you are looking for a tough counter that will be as individual as you are.
Quartz is a hugely popular material in kitchen countertops at the moment as it has the look of stone but offers a much larger variety of colours than granite. Quartz can be matched perfectly to your specific kitchen theme and makes the design process much easier. One negative to quartz, however, is that because it is a manufactured stone, it is hard to duplicate the pattern and veining look that you would get from natural granite or marble.
Marble is a genuine natural stone that is famous for its gorgeous veining, which is where the term “marbling” has stemmed from. Each slab will have its own unique pattern and will differ from one to the next. Like granite, marble comes in a large variety of natural colours and the design will truly stand out.
Maintenance and Durability
Granite is an extremely durable material that is resistant to heat, many stains, and it doesn’t show watermarks. It is difficult to crack or scratch with normal wear and tear so it is often a great choice for young families. Granite countertops should be cleaned daily with soap and water or a mild household cleaner.
It is also beneficial to consider having your granite countertops resealed once a year in order to ensure the longevity. Due to its porous nature, granite can be stained if spills are left sitting for long periods of time.
Quartz is even harder than granite and is much more durable as a result. It is virtually indestructible and because of the fact that it isn’t porous, it is a breeze to keep countertops clean and bacteria-free.
The only thing that can cause damage to quartz is heat, so it is vital to use heating pads at all times. Just like granite, quartz can be cleaned with soap and water or a mild household cleaner, and any spills should be wiped away as soon as possible. Quartz does not need to be resealed.
Marble is the most porous of all three materials and is especially sensitive to spills and cleaners. It is necessary to wipe away spills quickly and to be mindful of having anything acidic on its surface; it will leave an etch mark on the stone if it is left on for too long.
Marble should be cared for in the same manner as a fine piece of wood, with a quality cleaner and minimal chemicals. A high-grade sealant is vital to protect the marble surface, but it should be applied by an installation specialist.
How to decide which is right for you
When considering materials for your kitchen countertops, it is necessary to do your research and find the piece that makes the most sense for you. Granite is an excellent choice if you want relatively low-maintenance countertops that aren’t sensitive to cleaning products and won’t fade or discolour over time.
Quartz is a great option if you are looking for a no porous counter that requires zero upkeep and never needs extra sealant or top coat applications. Choosing marble countertops will ensure you have a design with the most unique veining and natural patterns available.
Whether you select granite, quartz, or marble, you are sure to have an excellent countertop that will only add to the luxury and beauty of your kitchen.
And of course, if you have any questions on any of the above or other countertop-related matters, as always feel free to contact us!