KITCHEN
COUNTERTOPS

In any home improvements, choosing the right kitchen countertop that suits your requirements is a challenging decision. There are important factors to consider such as budget, functionality, and design. Moreover, you need to balance the benefits and setbacks of each type of countertop.

When doing kitchen remodeling, one must choose a good countertop that is easier to maintain and increases the overall value of one’s home. In doing so, you need to choose the right material for your countertop and there are several of it in the market.

Among these materials, granite and quartz countertops are the ones closely competing and dominating in the industry. Here, we are going to have an in-depth discussion about these two materials and other relevant information such as price, quality, kitchen countertop ideas, and more.

Kitchen Countertops Materials

When it comes to choosing the right material for your kitchen countertop, there are a few factors to consider. Some of these factors are price, durability, maintenance, cleaning, heat and scratch resistance, and aesthetics.

Some of the materials used for countertops in the industry are ceramic, stainless, marble, tile, quartz, granite, laminate, wood, and concrete. Among these things, we are going to focus more on granite and quartz as these two are the dominant players in the market.

We are going to have a closer look at these two materials as to how they have gained market dominance.

Granite Kitchen Countertops

Granite kitchen countertops have captured a huge portion of the market due to its elegance, functionality, and how it adds value to your home. In contrast to quartz, this one is naturally made and the mineral designs in its slabs are perfect for kitchen remodeling.

Most clients love its classic and mesmerizing feature which gives a standout for any kitchen. To further understand the benefits and setbacks of this countertop, below are its pros and cons.

Pros:

 The natural design of this mineral elevates the aesthetics and beauty of any kitchen countertop. The natural mineral lines of the slab look intricate and classic.

 This mineral has considerable strength and durability because it came from igneous rocks. It also has enough heat resistance so no worries when placing hot pans on top of it. However, enough care still must be given when handling this material.

 In terms of cleaning and maintenance, you will have zero to less of it because this mineral has lesser pores and higher scratch resistance.

 This mineral also has its innate sanitary or antibacterial function. This is highly attributed to the small pores of this mineral.

This mineral increases the overall economic value of your home when used in kitchen remodeling. Approximately, it adds around 80 to 100 percent economic value to your home.

Cons:

 Considering it is naturally sourced out, the variety of its design, texture, and color is limited or lower compared to quartz countertops. Approximately, there are twenty design variations of this mineral.

 This countertop needs a once a year sealant maintenance to keep its good sanitary function. Likewise, in cleaning its surface, you must not use any abrasive cleaner that will remove the sealant film of the countertop.

Quartz Kitchen Countertops

Quartz kitchen countertop is the top competitor of granite. With the increasing price of the latter, several clients are gradually more inclined to choose the former mineral.

There are things to gripe and admire from this mineral which can still depend on the client’s preference. The flexibility and variability of its designs and textures greatly attract several people.

To have a better understanding of the quality of this mineral, below are its pros and cons.

Pros:

 In terms of reputation, this mineral has long been used in the industry, beyond fifty years already. It had a strong track record for its aesthetics and durability.

 One of the head turner characteristics of this mineral is its innate luster. This can be linked to the mineral’s composition where it is made from various stones, quartz, and resin binders. The flawless look of this slab is perfect for both contemporary and classic ambiance.

 In terms of hardness, this mineral can never fail you. Why? Because 10 to 30 percent of its composition is made from cement-based resin binders while 90 to 70 percent are pulverized minerals and quartz.

 Unlike granite, you do not need to have annual sealant maintenance with this one because of its resin binders which close the majority of the mineral’s pores. Consequently, this increases the mineral’s antibacterial properties as well.

 In contrast with granite, this mineral is man-made which means design and texture can be readily customized depending on the market demand.

Cons:

 One main setback of this mineral is its cost. It has a higher upfront cost compared to granite and other mineral slabs.

 In terms of chips and cuts, it is harder to repair these things in a quartz countertop compared to granite. However, it will take much pressure to make a chip on its surface.

 This mineral has lesser heat resistance compared to granite. You need to avoid placing hot pans on its surface to prevent the formation of dark burnt spots.

Kitchen Countertop Prices

Cost is one of the main factors driving your decision in choosing which material to use for your kitchen countertop. The price of a certain countertop is influenced by a few factors such as material, the location from supplier, size and quality.

In the market, the average price you will get for any kitchen countertop ranges from $40 to $100 per square foot. If you aim to buy granite countertop, the best price you will get is between $15 to $35 per square foot. Whereas, for quartz countertop, the best price is around $50 to $65 per square foot for the low-quality ones.

The best discount price you can get for marble kitchen countertops is $40 per square foot. Its average price in the market is around $60 per square foot and the highest price you can pay is approximately $100 per square foot.

If you are planning to have soapstone, the cost is approximately around $70 to $120 per square foot. Compared to granite and quartz, it has higher material cost. A 30 square foot soapstone kitchen countertop will cost around $2,100 to $3,600.

Discount Kitchen Countertop

Finding a budget-friendly kitchen countertop is quite challenging, particularly for finding the best deals for popular ones like granite, quartz, quartzite, marble, porcelain and soapstone.

If you are looking for a great deal with a comparable design and quality, then you can go for porcelain slab countertops. These types definitely provide great cost-savings without jeopardizing quality and design.

The first option to have is porcelain slab countertops because they are much cheaper compared to granite and quartz. They have comparable hardness as granite while providing more options for design and color.

The second option is granite. This mineral has enough toughness and resistance to heat. Its available designs are highly competitive with quartz. It is more affordable than quartz and it adds much elegance to your kitchen.

The third option can be quartz or quartzite. These two sound similar and may seem to have equal quality. However, there are evident distinctions between the two materials. Quartzite is much tougher than quartz and has a higher material cost.

In terms of design and color variety, quartz and quartzite almost have comparable options available.

Other materials to choose from include marble and soapstone. These two minerals are great alternatives to granite. Soapstone provides that elegant antique looks with its gray color. Marble, on the other hand, cost slightly higher than granite. It has intricate looks and sufficient resistance against moisture and heat. However, marble has very little resistance against scratches and dents.

What Type of Kitchen Countertop is Best

The problem of choosing a kitchen countertop should have been easy but the presence of several options makes the whole process more complicated. These materials can be grouped into two main categories: natural minerals and man-made minerals.

There are benefits and setbacks between the two categories which must you must weigh before making any decisions. Some examples of natural minerals are granite, soapstone, and marble. Meanwhile, examples of synthetic or man-made minerals are quartz or engineered stone, quartzite, and porcelain.

We have done some market research about the best materials for kitchen countertops. Below are our top seven kitchen countertops which best suits your home.

#1Granite

One main reason for choosing this mineral is because of its magnificent elegance and how it greatly adds value to your home. Other things to love from this mineral slab are its durability, sanitary function, low-cleaning requirements, heat resistance, and natural designs.

In contrast, the things to gripe about this mineral are its price and the annual sealant maintenance you need to do to keep its non-porous features.

#2Quartz

This mineral is much harder than granite and it offers more variety of design and texture because it can be customized in the production plant. The major things to admire from this mineral include its innate luster, hardness, and variety.

The things we did not like about it is its price, low heat resistance, and chips and cuts are hard to repair.

#3Soapstone

This is a natural mineral and serves as a good alternative to granite. It has a smooth texture with natural gray color. This mineral provides an antique look as time flies by.

It also has stain resistance comparable to granite but it does not have enough hardness to resist scratch. Likewise, it has good heat resistance like that of granite.

Some noticeable setbacks of this mineral include the following:

 color becomes darker over time

 not enough hardness to resist dents and scratches

 you need to apply mineral oil to make it shiny and serves as a coating

 The DIY installation process is hard

#4Marble

This is another natural mineral slab. This countertop has very intricate and beautiful designs but the price for this mineral is quite high. Similar to granite, it adds an overall value of the house when used in kitchen remodeling.

It also possesses sufficient resistance against water and heat. However, one setback of this mineral is its low resistance to stains and scratches. Likewise, the installation process is difficult and pricey.

#5Solid Man-Made Materials

Examples under this type are those having brands of Corian, Swanstone, and Avonite. These man-made minerals have super hardness because it is made from cement-based resins.

Consequently, they have a good non-porous and sanitary feature which is comparable to quartz. In terms of price, they are slightly cheaper compared to quartz. The drawback from these solid man-made minerals is their price, low heat resistance, and expensive installation.

#6Quartzite

This material sounds similar as quartz but definitely it there are differences between the two. Quartzite is a man-made mineral made of 90 to 99 percent pulverized quartz and other minerals and 10 to 1 percent cement-based resin binders.

When compared with granite, it has greater strength and does not require annual re-sealing maintenance. Likewise, because it is synthetically made, there are more design and color variation available for quartzite compared with granite.

The typical color of this mineral is gray and white. The other colors you see such as green, blue, yellow, and more are due to the other minerals present in quartzite. In terms of overall variety of designs, there are lesser options to choose from quartzite than in quartz.

Furthermore, quartzite has a rougher texture compared to quartz. This gives the former a more organic and natural feeling.

#7Porcelain

Porcelains slabs are catching up in the market due to its affordable price while having comparable traits with granite kitchen countertops.

This mineral requires very little cleaning and maintenance due to its non-porous trait. Unlike granite, porcelain does not require any re-sealing maintenance because the extreme heating process it undergoes glazed its surface and covered majority of the pores.

In terms of hardness, it can be compared to that of granite. Likewise, similar to granite, it has high heat resistance so there is no worry on placing hot pans on its surface. Moreover, the raw materials in making porcelain can be sourced from broken pieces of porcelain and other minerals.

Kitchen Countertop Ideas

When doing your kitchen remodeling, one can always play with their imagination in creating a unique look for their kitchen countertop. If you like, you can combine different minerals for various parts in your kitchen like the backsplash, countertop, and island countertop.

Here are a few things we can share to add some insights for your kitchen countertop ideas.

Granite Countertop – Modular Type

This type has a smaller size than the granite slab. It is a good choice for DIY installation. This size removes the noticeable seams made from a granite slab with standard size 12”x12” or 6”x6”.

Waterfall Countertops

If you want a seamless appearance, this design is a good choice. Here, you will see the counter coming from the edge of your cabinetry. Then the countertop drops down vertically towards the floor.

Wrapped Countertops

This design involves using the same material used for your countertop to the sides and the top surface of your cabinetry. This design becomes more eye-catchy of the color of the countertop is in contrast to other colors in your kitchen.

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QUARTZ COUNTERTOPS

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