Date: 08/03/2022

How to choose the right material for your countertop

Choosing the right countertop material for the kitchen is one crucial decision homeowners must make when building or remodeling. Countertops have many different functions in the kitchen, such as support for food preparation, a table for quick meals, or even the division of rooms at home.

The ideal countertop is the one that adapts well to a family's daily routine while keeping well-conserved over time. That’s why kitchen countertops are usually made from stable and very resistant materials, such as stone. Although other elements – such as stainless steel and wood – can also be used, stone is a preferred raw material for its versatility.

Kitchen stones can be completely natural or made from a combination of natural stones and synthetic additives. While the natural ones have different designs and veins, the synthetic ones are smooth and homogeneous. However, the differences go far beyond aesthetics.

Besides appearance, there are other important aspects to consider when choosing your countertop, for instance, purpose, heat resistance, stain resistance, scrap and chip resistance, water resistance, cost, and maintenance.

There are several options for kitchen countertop stones available on the market today. To help you choose the perfect countertop style for your taste and needs, we have prepared this guide with the characteristics and application of some materials.


1. Granite
 

Granite is today the number one choice for high-quality countertops, because of both its beauty and durability. Although previously associated with high-end properties, its cost has slightly dropped as supplies increased and engineered stone became more common.
 

Granite is an igneous rock formed by extreme temperatures and pressure deep within the Earth's crust that fuses small amounts of quartz and feldspar, resulting in great hardness and heat resistance, and in an attractive speckled or mottled appearance that makes each stone unique in color and pattern. 
 

As granite is a porous material, it’s a stone that requires care in maintenance, for it absorbs liquids and can become stained. Therefore, it is worth considering a sealing service. Once the granite has been sealed, and with proper maintenance, you can expect your granite countertop to last for years.
 

Granite’s great resistance makes it the best choice for the ones who really fancy cooking. You can cook on high heat, chop vegetables, work with meat, and more, knowing that your granite countertops will withstand any damage without losing their luxurious and unique appearance.

2. Quartzite

Similar to granite, quartzite is another natural stone that offers both beauty and real durability for a countertop. However, it is less commonly used than granite since it is slightly more expensive.
 

Quartzite (which is not the same as quartz) is a metamorphic rock formed when quartz sandstone is exposed to the same extreme pressure and temperatures as granite. The individual grains of quartz and materials holding them together recrystallize into a mosaic with a smooth, glassy surface, while impurities add color and form streaks that make the stone resemble marble. That might explain why some people prefer it since marble is considered more luxurious by many. Quartzite is also denser than granite, and therefore has a higher resistance to staining, scratching, and chipping.
 

Other than regular sealing, as well as other natural stones, quartzite does not require any maintenance other than cleaning.
 

Quartzite, like granite, won’t let down those who cook every day. You can confidently work with knives, heat, and water since it’s a highly resistant material., and have amazing meals with your family and friends.

3. Quartz
 

Did you know that the material known as quartz, one of the most popular countertops, is actually an engineered stone product? It is made of approximately 93 loose parts of quartz particles bound together with resin.

 

Quartz countertops are available in a range of different colors, and sometimes they even look like marble. Another advantage of quartz is its nonporous surface that resists both scratching and staining. However, although it costs about the same as quartzite, one downside to quartz is that it’s not as heat resistant, because of the resin.

 

If you don’t want any countertop maintenance, you should consider quartz countertops since they do not need to be sealed. This material is ideal for cooks who don’t have much time to take care of their countertops.

 

All in all, quartz is a countertop material with more pros than cons, with no sealing required, easy maintenance, and uniform slabs.


4. Marble
 

Since marble was the material chosen for classic sculpture and luxurious constructions for centuries, most people still associate it with wealth and opulence.

 

Marble is a metamorphic rock formed by the exposure of limestone or dolomite to extreme pressure in the Earth’s crust. Its impurities allow the marble to have a great range of different colors and patterns, making it a greatly desired material.

 

Despite all that, marble countertops are not as resistant and durable as other options. Its porosity makes it more likely to stain if it is not regularly treated with sealant. It is also not as hard as granite, or quartzite, which means it is more susceptible to scratches or chips.

 

One advantage for those who want a marble countertop in their kitchens is that marble has a more homogeneous pattern — which makes it easier to match with kitchen furniture. Its use is not very suitable on countertops with a sink. However, it is a material that can bring a lot of sophistication, luxury, and elegance to the surface of other parts of the kitchen, or even other parts of the house.
 

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