Selecting the appropriate counter top material for your kitchen can be a dauting task, as there are several different materials to consider.  I always suggest that my Clients visit two to three different local sources that have a very good showroom where they can demonstrate the variety of selections and share the differences in the material types and pricing.  By doing so you will have the advantage of making a material selection from a base of knowledge and most importantly you will get a feel for how each vendor source approaches their business.   Following is a brief overview of the most popular materials that may give you a 'jump start' in knowledge before you visit local sources.


GraniteGRANITE - A hard stone that is naturally very rough and textured, but when it is ground/sanded and polished the results are a smooth finish.  The rock is made up of numerous minerals and the composition of the minerals determines the color in the stone.  Granite should be sealed as it is very porous and absorbs fluids which can case stains and bacteria.  It is a good idea to ask the source you decide to use if they pre-treat the granite before they install.  Also, ask them how long the seal will last before you should re-seal.  While this stone is often recommended for the kitchen, it is not the best material to use for the bath area.


Marble BathMARBLE - Another natural stone,  marble offers spectacular beauty.  It can be used in kitchens, around fireplaces and in bathrooms.   In recent years, there has been a large growth in the popularity of using this stone in the bathrooms.  There are lots of reasons to use this stone in the bathroom;  1) It offers timeless beauty, 2) It never goes out of style, 3) You will not have to worry about replacing it if you decide to sell the home, 4) The neutral colors can be incorporated into any style, and 5) It is low maintenance, just seal twice a year.


QUARTZ - Although a newer material selection to granite and marble, quartz has found a loyal following.  This man made product is both attractive and durable, and offers a much wider range of colors then found in granite and marble.  While it is as durable as granite, it is more forgiving.  This is due to the fact that it is less likely to chip or crack and since it is non-porous it resists staining better than most granite, marble and concrete.  Additionally, the look is considered to be more contemporary than other selections.


CONCRETE - Features a striking good look, along with other benefits.  This material stands up to the heat of your cooktop, as well as hot pots and pans.  It is extremely hard and resists chipping and scratching.  With proper sealing the product is very stain and bacteria resistant.  It often looks like a natural stone and can be easily stained in a variety of colors to match flooring or cabinets.  With so many possibilities, this material gives way to a new countertop selection not often thought of.


TITLE - Ceramic tile is made from natural clay and is baked to remove excess moisture.  It is available in a very wide range of colors and designs that can be mixed and matched to any kitchen.  It is also very affordable, easy to install and very low maintenance.  It is both water proof and able to withstand high temperatures.  Having given the advantages, please be aware that ceramic title can crack or chip if heavy objects are dropped on it.  While the tiles themselves do not stain, the grout does stain so using a darker color of grout is advisable.  Still, in all, this material is often used to create a more traditional, craftsman like environment in the home.


I hope you have enjoyed this blog post, Linda


Posted by Linda Stewart on
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