The top 3 Materials to choose for your Countertop

Let’s talk Countertop Materials!

In last months blog we talked about one of my favourite subjects, cabinetry.  So this month’s topic is the natural (or not) next step…  The Countertop!

Like cabinets, they are a lot of options of materials to choose from.  If you have ever looked up the differences between materials, there is a lot of opposing opinions on the subject. In fact, it can be a heated debate.  Let me help you slog through the choices.

Granite

Quarries all over the world mine the 100% Natural stone in large pieces.  From there, the quarries cut down the material for shipping.  Fabricators then polish and fabricate the stone to the shape of your choosing.

Granite comes in a variety of colours and stunning movement, as a result no two countertops are the same.  It’s strength, durability and beauty can be the appeal for some clients. Who doesn’t want every person who comes into their kitchen to say “WOW! look at THAT countertop!!”  This is the guaranteed result when you chose Granite.

Beauty aside, let’s look at the pros and cons of this material.

Pros

Granite is very hard, therefore, making it scratch and fade resistant. This material can hold up in the most active spaces.  Due to it’s fade resistant properties, it is the most recommended material for the growing trend of outdoor kitchens. Not many materials can stand the test of weather and time like granite can.

Cons

Like rocks that surround a lake or body of water, Granite can absorb liquids if left unattended.  One way to minimize this situation is to clean up any spills immediately.  In Addition, using mild cleaning products and resealing your granite regularly will minimize this situation as well.

Although, Granite is a hard stone, it can be delicate in comparison to other countertop materials.  Chipping may occur in active kitchens or spaces.

When it comes to Granite, there seems to be two sides of the line.

Team 1: Feels staining and chipping add to the character and beauty to their “one of a kind” countertop.

Team 2: Feel, the regular maintenance, possible “imperfections”  and inconsistent colouring are too much to handle.  I’ll let you decide which team your on.

 

Quartz

A man made product, made with natural stone.   The Manufacturer will mix 95% ground natural quartz with 5% polymer resin, the result, large coloured slabs.  Fabricators then polish and fabricate the slabs to the shape of your choosing.

Quartz has come along way in the last decade. Even in the last 5 years the options in colours with movement are outstanding. Truthfully, it had to, to compete with the originality of each piece of granite.  Because of these advancements, quartz also offers strength, durability and beauty. It can also get you the “WOW! Look at that countertop!” reaction you are going for, but in a more subtle way.

Pros

Quartz a harder material than granite, makes it less likely to scratch and chip in an active space.  Due to the man made origins of quartz, unlike granite, it is a non porus material.  This makes quartz stain and bacteria resistant and eliminates the need for regular sealing.

As a result of the control had during the manufacturing process, Quartz comes in consistent colours and patterns.  Little variation happens between dye lots, therefore, giving the client the reassurance that”What you see, is what you get.”

Cons

Excessive heat can damage a quartz countertop.  “Scorch” marks have appeared by an unintentional hot pot. Definitely something to consider when choosing the best material that suits your households needs.

As we see a rise in using countertop materials in many different applications, we have to consider which one is best for each situation.  Again with that trend of outdoor kitchens, quartz would not be the material that we recommend. It’s properties don’t stand well against excessive sunlight, wind and rain, making it prone to fading.

 

When it comes to quartz, so many people love the quality, consistency and subtle beauty of this material.  Again, you decide which team you are on:

Team 1: Feels staining and chipping add to the character and beauty to their “one of a kind” countertop.

Team 2: Feel, consistent colouring and subtle beauty with no maintenance makes a better fit for them.

 

Porcelain

A man made product, created from Heavy clay called Kaolinite. Then coated with a pigmented glaze and fired at a high temperature, creating a beautiful material. Porcelain has movement similar to granite ad comes in an endless variety of colours and styles.  Porcelain has been part of the growing trend in countertops in recent months.   This material gives the look of granite in large slabs at a 3/4″ thickness. It too can get the “WOW, look at that countertop!” that every client is going for.

Pros

Porcelain is the most durable, versatile and low maintenance of all the products, due to it’s man made properties.  This exciting material, allows all materials in a space or throughout a home to match!  For example: the vanity countertop can match the bathroom tile or wall surrounds of the shower!  Fabricators with improved ink jet technologies,are able to create porcelain with metallic and wood textures as well.

Unlike the other materials, porcelain is non porous fade and heat resistant.  Making it a perfect option for active spaces including outdoor use!

Cons

Limitations on edge profiles are due to the 3/4″ thickness. Squared polish, or mitered square polish will be the options for this material.  For this reason as well, sharp inside corners are not available either, as the material may crack in production.  The best suited space for this material has long linear, modern lines.

Porcelain may be susceptible to sudden blunt impact.  The result is cracking or splitting, similar to cracks we’ve all seen happen to floor tiles.

 

Choosing your countertop material can be hard, if you don’t have all of the information.  Your investment into this decision takes time and research.  Meeting your household and family’s need while recieving the “WOW!  Look at that Countertop!”  will be worth it’s weight in… some sort of stone…  lol.

 

Thinking about renovating a space in your home?

Not sure which way you should go with your cabinetry?

Then, simply start with – A PLAN! Ask us those lingering questions about the design, planning and execution of your renovation.   We look forward to hearing about your exciting project and to answer those questions!

 

We’ll talk to you soon

Kaeleigh

 

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