4 Popular Kitchen Countertop Options
One of the reasons we love designing kitchens is because every element must serve at least two purposes: to be both functional and add to the overall design of the home.
Countertops have more requirements than many elements in the kitchen. As a food preparation site, countertops must be easy to clean and maintain. The surface must be stain proof, scratch proof, and heat proof. In addition, we expect countertops to be beautiful, as they are one of the biggest focal points in the kitchen. In a perfect world, countertops should also be economical and sustainable.
With the help of Stone Valley Granite and Marble, we are reviewing four popular choices in kitchen countertops: granite, quartz, quartzite, and marble.
Granite is a natural stone cut straight from the quarry. Because of this, every granite slab is slightly different, each with its own unique pattern and color. You can find granite slabs with subtle colors and others with bold patterns, which allows you to find the perfect match for your kitchen design.
While granite is very durable, it is a porous stone. This means that it can stain if something sets in the countertop. Granite must be sealed on an ongoing basis, typically around one time per year, to keep up its appearance.
Environmentally speaking, granite is made of 100% stone, which means no man-made elements are added to it. However, granite must be removed from the earth, which requires a lot of energy, especially if the stone is being shipped overseas.
Quartz is a manufactured material, made from 95% natural quartz and 5% polymer resins. Because the quartz is ground and combined with resins, quartz countertops can be customized while maintaining the appearance of stone. This can make your countertop search more manageable if you already have a particular vision in mind for your kitchen.
Quartz is extremely durable, as it is even harder than granite, and does not require sealing. The resins in quartz make this material non-porous, so it is resistant to staining and less likely to soak in any bacteria.
Even with 95% of quartz being made up of natural elements, quarrying is not required because it is made with left-over stone byproducts. If staying environmentally friendly is important in your decision-making process, choose quartz that is manufactured with stone in your region.
Though the name sounds similar to quartz, quartzite is a naturally occurring stone that is quarried from beneath the earth’s surface. It begins as sandstone and transforms into quartzite through a natural process of heat and pressure. Quartzite often resembles marble or granite in shades of white or gray.
Quartzite is comparable to granite in terms of durability. Sealing the surface helps to protect against stains. It is also similar to granite in regards to environmental factors, as the stone must be quarried and transported.
Another natural stone, marble often comes in variations of white and black, but also comes in shades of green, yellow, and rose. The elegance of the stone is a timeless design choice.
Marble is durable and resistant to heat, but is even more porous than granite, which can easily lead to stains if not cared for properly. Because of this, marble is more of a popular choice in bathrooms than kitchens (it is going in the Fish Flip bathroom!). Like all natural stone, it must be sealed periodically.
All four of these countertop options are durable and have plenty of colors and designs to match the style and design of your kitchen. Have you voted for the countertop in The Fish Flip? Our three options feature one granite, one quartz, and one quartzite countertop. Head to Facebook or Instagram to vote for your favorite before Thursday!