Ah, the ideal stone for kitchen counters. Which one is it? Well, that depends on several factors that include the stone’s durability, its maintenance, and its cost. You can look at a stone and imagine it to be perfect for your kitchen counters, but you need to keep these three factors in mind before you make a final decision. What do you need to do to pick the ideal stone for kitchen counters?
Another factor related to the previous three involves assessing how you and your family use your kitchen space. If you use your counters for constant food prep, putting together food items, such as making messy sandwiches, dicing and chopping fruit and vegetables, preparing casseroles, making cakes and cookies, and a host of other preparations you want a countertop that withstands the constant use along with the other factors in spills, heat, moisture and general messes that will probably occur.
Choices for Counters
Even if you have your heart and mind made up on a counter selection and it simply doesn’t go with your style of living or coordinate with your style or design, there are definitely other choices out there. Just don’t make a final decision on countertop materials until you have actually seen the surface up close and personal. That can be through going to a showroom or getting samples and going through them at home. making a decision on a countertop material, see the surface in person, whether that means visiting a showroom or looking at samples in your home.
For one thing, granite happens to be the first choice for kitchen counters. Granite is available in varying shades with no slabs or tiles being the same. There are beiges, greens, blacks, whites, and corals and those different shades come in polished finishes, which means a shiny surface and look that gives the stone a darker appearance. Honed granite is an alternative to the shiny look. It has a softer matte finish with more of a texture to it.
The cost of granite depends on its color, finish, and stone’s source. As granite is a fairly easy stone to get, it can be affordable, but if you choose a granite that’s imported and then shipped at different times of the year, it can get expensive; however, granite is a good choice for kitchen counters as it’s harder than most other natural stones, plus it’s resistant to heat and handles hot ovenware well. These features make granite an excellent candidate for your kitchen counters. If you’re looking strongly at a natural stone, you’ll want to locate granite companies nearby in order to look at samples and slabs.
Other Natural Stone Materials
There are other natural stone materials, such as soapstone, slate, limestone, and marble. These stones are softer and somewhat more delicate than granite and require effort in care, which also entails periodic sealing. So, you need to take a hard look at any of these choices for kitchen counters as upkeep is required and they can be costly.
Engineered Stone Counters
With a countertop that is engineered, which includes variations of quartz and quartzite, there is a wide variety in colors and styles. Engineered stone is extremely durable and is easy to maintain and would be a good choice for kitchen counters, though engineered stone is comparable in price to granite so there wouldn’t be any major savings.
Solid Surface Counters
Solid surface countertops are tough, seamless surfaces available in many colors and various patterns that take on the appearance of real stone. They are available under the names Corian, Formica, Wilsonart, and others. They’re resistant to stains and any scratching that may occur can be easily buffed out. Hot pans and ovenware can be damaging to solid surfaces but overall basic upkeep is eliminated.
Concrete has come into its own for kitchen counter use and it’s entirely customizable with different pigments and finishes in smooth, sanded, and pressed textures. With concrete, warping and curling can occur with temperature extremes and discoloration can happen when wet dishcloths and sponges are left on its surface. Maintaining concrete counters entails sealing them several times a year and waxing them at least every two to three months. There is upkeep involved with concrete and you may not have the time or inclination to deal with them.
A wood counter such as a butcher block can bring a cozy and warm appeal to a kitchen. They are easy to maintain and any scratches that happen can be smoothed out with sanding. Water does have a damaging influence on butcher block and that means frequent oiling and sealing. Though wood can be hard to clean because of its porosity it can form a slimy feel to it if not cared for properly, so if you like wood be prepared to care for it.
Laminate choices are the most affordable kitchen counter material. They are available in a wide range of designs and colors. It can chip, scorch, and scratch easily and it doesn’t have the depth of natural stone materials, but there are higher-end substitutes today that replicate natural stone and are also resistant to scratches.
What to Pick
Let’s face it, kitchen counters get a lot of wear from
- Hot ovenware
- Scratches from knives/utensils
With all that in mind, less durable surfaces and those that are porous will not be the overall best choices. Though they may be less expensive, you’ll pay for their less desirable features. So, what is the best surface for countertops?
The answer is natural stone. Their surfaces are durable and they’re ready for continual use and withstand just about anything you throw their way, plus each one has a beautiful element of design and color choices to coordinate with almost any kitchen setting. You’re also increasing your home’s value with high-quality stone. Whether you choose granite, quartzite, marble, or engineered stone in quartz or porcelain, you won’t be disappointed.
If you have further questions about picking the ideal stone for your kitchen counters, call Marble Concepts at 215-396-7393. Make an appointment to view slabs to get a better idea of why stone is the best way to go with kitchen counters.