There are so many countertop materials on the market, it can be overwhelming to know which one to choose for your kitchen. It's a large purchase so let us help you get it right. Today we are going to go over the basic characteristics of 5 main kitchen countertop materials, so you can better understand which one may be right for you.
Soapstone is known for giving a beautiful old world look to a space. It's a low-maintenance natural stone because it requires no sealing. And how about this for a bonus: most dents and scratches can actually be sanded out. It's heat-resistant and because of its durability it has a high return on investment. As for coloring, it comes in hues of grey, black and even blue. To keep the color at its best, it's recommended to occasionally spread mineral oil on the surface of the countertops.
Let's talk about granite. Granite is a classic in a kitchen. It's a beautiful natural stone & there are many options to choose from. Granite countertops will have varying designs and patterns. Granite is heat resistant, not easily susceptible to scratches and quite strong but it does require proper sealing each year. It has a slightly porous surface so without sealing some stains can occur. If you want raw natural beauty with lots of variation and don't mind the upkeep, granite may be for you.
Quartz is the only engineered stone on our list. It has a non-porous surface which keeps spills and bacteria from penetrating the surface without any sealing. (yay!) While quartz is heat resistant, it can't withstand as much heat as granite, so get those hot pads ready. You won't want to put any pans directly on quartz countertops. When it comes to coloring, because it is engineered, quartz countertops have nearly unlimited colors available.
For centuries, marble has been known for its opulence and beauty. While the beauty of marble is unmatched, it does have some downfalls. The first is that is can scratch much easier than other natural materials. The second, is that acidic liquids can cause something called "etching". We think of etching as dull marks on the countertops that can be seen from certain angles. Sealing regularly can help prevent etching and staining that may occur in this porous material.
One of our favorite luxury countertop materials is quartzite, especially in a leathered finished. In fact, we just used it at our Laguna Beach kitchen renovation (check it out HERE). Quartzite is a natural stone and mostly devised of whites and grays. The coloring and natural veining patterns of quartzite closely resemble marble. You can occasionally find quartzite that has other natural materials like iron in it that give it a warmer look, which we love. Quartzite is heat resistant but like many natural stones, staining can be a problem if not sealed regularly.
Even the most modest kitchens seem like luxury spaces when beautiful countertops are installed. We hope this quick overview helps you choose the perfect countertop for your kitchen.