When you picture a kitchen, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? I don’t know about you, but the first thing that comes to mind is the countertop. Not only does it help your beautiful cabinetry stand out, but it also helps set the whole atmosphere of your kitchen. You need to understand and figure out what type of countertop best fits your needs. Did you know that countertops can be made from a wide range of materials and each material has its pros and cons? In this blog, you will learn what are the top most used countertop materials and see if this is the material that best fits your needs.
(Dove Grey Quartz Countertop)
Quartz is the most commonly used material for countertops because it is one of the hardest minerals on Earth. One of its biggest selling points is durability. It has a non-porous surface meaning it is resistant to scratches, stains, and chips, and it is also waterproof. But even though it is durable, you should still take good care of the material by using a cutting board and cleaning up spills. The other concern that customers may have is how much they need to maintain to keep the fresh look. Natural stones are porous and are prone to water damage and staining which needs sealing to solve this problem. Well, the good news is quartz never needs sealing; it is always waterproof and non-absorbent. Unlike natural stone, which needs a special cleanser, quartz does not need those; a mild cleanser will do its job. In addition, since Quartz is man-made, it could mimic the look of almost any design including the beautiful natural textures and patterns that you see on granite.
Quartz countertops are super durable; however, they are only somewhat heat resistant. Placing a hot pot or pan directly can damage the quartz and discolor the spot. If you have the habit of placing a hot pan on the countertop, then natural stone may be a better choice. However, it is still good to form a habit of using hot pads and trivets. In addition, quartz is usually used indoors; the reason being because direct sunlight could also damage the surface and cause the countertop to fade and discolor. Granite, slate, and other natural stone countertop options are much better options for outdoor. Lastly, another drawback of quartz that you may or may not care about is the weight. Quartz can weigh between 20 to 25 pounds per square foot. So, if you are trying to do a DIY project then it is best to leave it to the professionals and due to the weight, you might need to consider some reinforcement and support for cabinets and flooring.
(Calacatta Veneto Quartz Countertop, Winston White Shaker Cabinet)
Porcelain countertop is much more durable than granite and is almost as hard as quartz. Due to the way it is made at a high temperature, it only makes sense that it is heat resistant. There shouldn’t be a problem putting hot pots and pans directly on a porcelain countertop. As mentioned earlier, Porcelain is highly durable; it is scratch and stain resistant. One advantage that porcelain has over quartz is that it is UV light resistant; unlike quartz, direct sunlight won’t discolor the surface so it would be placed outside or next to a window. In addition, porcelains are also engineered stone, which means patterns and colors can be added during the fabrication to mimic natural pigments.
Porcelain is very durable, but during the fabricating process, it can be very fragile and easily chipped or cracked. So it is extremely important to find an experienced fabricator to handle the job. Also, the edge finish options are limited compared to other materials. Porcelain has only two edge finishes, square or mitered. If you prefer another finish then you need to find another product. Lastly, the beautiful pattern is only printed on the surface. Any chips from blunt force will show the color beneath it and will be extremely hard to repair.
(Calacatta Porcelain Countertop, Rift White Oak Cabinet)
Granite is a natural stone that comes directly from stone quarries and is then cut into a thin slab, polished, and fabricated into countertops. Since granite is a natural stone, each slab is unique and has its unique patterns and colors. If you want a one-of-a-kind countertop that only you have, then this is the right choice for you. In addition, granite is a heat-resistant material so it could also place outdoor similar to porcelain. It is also scratch and stain resistant if sealed correctly. Lastly, unlike porcelain, installing a granite countertop can potentially increase your homes value.
One of the biggest cons of granite countertops is that they are strong as long as it receive sealing each year. If the sealing job is not done correctly, the porous granite can suck up liquid that will be impossible to remove and bacteria can go in and damage the stone. Also, granite is strong but not as strong as the two materials listed on top. Granite is prone to cracking; a heavy pot or pan can crack and chip the granite. However, unlike porcelain, the crack could be restored with the help of a granite repair specialist. In addition, the cost would be the biggest problem for homeowners because granite usually costs more than the two materials listed above. Some complaints from homeowners is granite countertops could be very cold to touch especially during cold weather. This is because granite has a natural temperature, so most of the time it could be cooler to touch.
(Sonora Shaker Cabinet, African Persa Granite Countertop)
Every Countertop have its own advantages and disadvantages. In the end, you are the expert of yourself, it is up to you to decide which countertop best fit your own lifestyle. We hope this blog can help you understand more about each countertops.