If the kitchen is truly the heart of a home, then countertops are easily one of the most important design decisions you will make. It’s where you’ll gather with friends, prepare meals for your family and spend a significant amount of time. When it comes to kitchen surfaces, there are plenty of options to explore. Three of the most popular countertop materials are quartz, granite, and marble. If you’re wondering which will suit your lifestyle, read on for our expert opinion.
Quartz is quickly rising in popularity. Its sleek appearance is a perfect match for modern kitchen designs. While quartz countertops are mostly natural stone, they are around 7% color and binders. If you’re set on natural stone, they might not be the option for you; but, if you’d like a variety of color and finish options, different colorants and binders can be added to quartz surfaces to create hues and styles that match most any kitchen.
Quartz is also a great choice for families with small children because of its durability and minimal need for maintenance. This non-porous surface is resistant to stains, scratches, and heat. When deciding whether or not to use quartz, consider how much sunlight your kitchen surfaces will receive from windows. Direct sunlight over extended periods can cause fading, cracks, and warping. When thinking about your budget, the cost of quartz is comparable more expensive compared to laminate, wood, or tile, and only slightly more than granite and marble.
Granite surfaces have three obvious benefits—they’re strong, beautiful, and eco-friendly. Granite is a natural stone, quarried from large deposits from every corner of the world. As molten magma meets rock structures and cools down, granite is formed. Depending on what kind of rock structures it flows into, different colors will be produced. These include feldspar with its reds and pinks; quartz which produces pink, white, or black hues; and mica’s brown and black veining. While coloring options are few compared to other materials, no two granite slabs are exactly the same and each retains its own unique characteristics.
When buying granite, the primary drawback is the maintenance. The countertops will eventually need to be resealed. Improperly sealed surfaces can harbor bacteria or become weak and prone to chipping and staining. The good news is that resealing granite is relatively easy to do and the sealer is affordably priced.
The ultimate in timeless elegance, marble is traditionally the most desired countertop. It comes as no surprise that it is often the most expensive option as well. Many of our favorite HGTV stars love to include marble as the countertop of choice. What they often neglect to talk about is the maintenance marble requires. While marble is heat-resistant and a top choice for bakers because it is always cool to the touch, the porous stone stains easily. Marble countertops require meticulous cleaning and yearly resealing. The stone also should not be exposed to acidic substances or have to hold heavy items. At McCarley cabinets, we strongly suggest most homeowners steer clear of marble in their kitchens. Even among the most careful of cooks, marble countertops often become stained.
Because the stone is always cool to the touch, it makes a good choice for many bathroom countertops. Many color options are available, quarried from all over the globe. Carrara marble’s white and gray tones is a current favorite of the design world. Finishes include matte, polished, and leather. Like granite, marble is a natural stone, so each slab is different.
In summary, if you prefer modern and low maintenance and don’t mind sacrificing on character, quartz might be for you. For timeless elegance and natural finishes, explore your options for granite and marble and choose based on the amount of maintenance you’re willing to perform.