One of the most important design selections in a renovation or new construction is COUNTERTOPS. Often, it is the first thing people notice when they walk into a kitchen or bathroom. The selection process can be overwhelming as there are many options available. So, I thought I would cover countertop basics and hopefully help you maintain a little sanity on your next shopping excursion!
TYPES OF COUNTERTOPS
A natural stone that is a timeless and a classic beauty! It can be honed (matte look) or polished (shiny look) according to preference. Many of my clients immediately get nervous when I mention marble. “Doesn’t it stain and scratch?” Well, yes it can. However, there are many new application products on the market today to protect and prevent stains. Personally, I LOVE marble, but am happiest when my clients feel their counter tops suit their lifestyle.
A natural stone that has become very popular these past few years. A fabricator must apply a beeswax sealant to the surface, which will alter the natural color a bit. I’ve used this material many times and all of my clients are exceedingly happy with the results.
Everyone is pretty familiar with granite and it’s been popular for many years. Granite is pretty indestructible and available in many color options. It can be polished or honed. I prefer honed for an updated look. This client selected granite for their perimeter countertops and limestone for their island.
A natural stone that is becoming very popular. I suggest it most often when a client loves the look of marble but wants the durability of granite. One of my clients will be installing quartzite in their entire kitchen this summer and I cannot wait to see it!
A man made surface that is INDESTRUCTIBLE. It’s offered in every color of the rainbow, so if your daughter is begging for lime green in her new bathroom, go straight to quartz! Quartz is very popular because of the durability. My personal preferences regarding quartz has changed over the years as I’ve found the patterns have improved greatly. One of my clients recently installed it in their master bathroom. She is continually asked “what type of marble is that,” which makes us both smile.
After you choose a countertop surface, your fabricator will ask for an “edge” selection. They can provide you with samples like the one below. When selecting, don’t forget to ask if there’s an upgrade for certain edges. In general, the more detailed, the higher the cost!
There are other countertop options such as laminate, wood, stainless, zinc, etc. but the five listed above are the most popular with my client base.
So, what’s best countertop for you? There are pros and cons to everything, and countertops are no exception. Do your research before shopping. It’s a big investment and you want to get it right the first time. I’m often asked the million dollar question “what would you do?” My response? You can’t go wrong by marrying the best design possible with your long-term needs.