(Guest Writer: Nikki Kingsley)
How to Choose Which Countertop is Right for You
Remodelling is always a fun project, but it can be difficult to choose the perfect countertop. Most homeowners wind up choosing a countertop based on the appearance of the material. Aesthetic appeal is always important, but homeowners should consider the pros and cons of each material, like the durability and cost.
This article will help you learn more about the most popular materials used and give you all the information that you need to pick the countertop that is right for you.
1102 Stella Glitz. Image © Aurastone Pte Ltd
Quartz countertops remain a popular option among homeowners for a variety of reasons. One reason quartz is so popular is because, there is a wide variety of quartz used in countertops offered by many of the top brands in the market.
Quartz comes with distinct features that will help a countertop maintain its beauty for years to come. It is less likely to chip when compared to other stone countertops, such as marble, because of its superior flexibility. Not only will quartz not chip or crack easily, it also does not stain easily. This non-porous stone will not absorb spills, making it a spectacular option for busy kitchens.
Quartz countertops only have a few drawbacks. Over time, quartz is known for becoming discoloured when exposed to direct sunlight. Homeowners will need to invest in a window treatment that can protect their countertop from sunlight to keep it looking brand new.
In addition to becoming discoloured from sunlight, countertops can become discoloured from any consistent exposure to heat, such as putting a hot pan on the countertop repeatedly. Owners must use an oven mitt to place pans on.
Most homeowners enjoy the low maintenance that quartz countertops offer. They require little to no scrubbing, do not need it sealed and can add a certain amount of value to a home when it is sold.
Granite countertops easily rival marble countertops in the popularity contest among homeowners. Their superior durability makes them well worth the additional cost. Granite is naturally heat resistant, eliminating the need for special window treatments and oven mitts to sit hot pans on. Granite is also scratch resistant, and the colour will not fade over time. Granite countertops are more than just a nice option, they are an investment for homeowners that would like to add more value to their home.
The one downside to owning a granite countertop is that they require a bit of maintenance when compared to their quartz counterparts. Granite is naturally porous, meaning that it will absorb liquids. Because of this, homeowners will need to seal their countertop yearly, if not more. If harsh chemicals are used for cleaning, countertops will need to be sealed more often.
Homeowners will also need to be diligent in cleaning up spills. Countertops that are sealed properly are still porous, and liquids that are left sitting on the counter often result in stains.
Homeowners that do not have busy kitchens will enjoy the unique, modern look that can only be found in granite.
Soapstone countertops offer a subtle hint of elegance that can only be described as timeless beauty. They are more expensive than both granite and quartz countertops, making them a superb option for homeowners that are remodelling before selling their home. One thing that soapstone remains known for is its ability to resist damage from heat.
Homeowners that would like to enjoy soapstone countertops in their home will need to keep a few things in mind before deciding if this is the right stone for them. First, these countertops can scratch quite easily. A cutting board will need to be used instead of the countertop.
Diligent cleaning is also a necessity with these countertops because of their porous nature, making this stone less than ideal for busy households with smaller children. Most homeowners find that they must treat the stone with mineral oil so that it does not crack, and so that it maintains a uniform colour.
Homeowners that prefer an exotic colour, such as country apple red, will find that soapstone is not for them due to the limited selection of colours available. Those that enjoy a neutral colour are encouraged to consider the pros and cons to decide if soapstone is perfect for their home.
Marble countertops add a certain amount of class to a room that no other stone can. Their elegance is enough to make them a popular option for homeowners to consider. In addition to their aesthetic appeal, marble is often cheaper than other slabs of stone, and it is easy to find. People will not have to spend hours searching for a quarry that sells marble.
While many benefits are offered by marble countertops, they do require quite a bit of maintenance and homeowners must be careful to maintain their beauty. Marble will scratch easily, and it can stain easily. Acidic things, such as lemon slices, can easily stain the counter if they are left sitting on top of it for a few hours. Water or other liquids that are not cleaned up immediately will be absorbed, resulting in a stain.
Marble can, and should, be properly sealed, but this is not enough to prevent stains. Harsh chemicals can wear away the sealer quickly, resulting in homeowners sealing their marble countertop several times a year.
Ceramic Tile Countertop
Ceramic tile is the most popular DIY option. Thousands of colours and patterns available guarantees that every homeowner can find something to suit their style, and their budget. The tiles are often cheaper than slabs of stone. Ceramic is a popular option for countertops because it is naturally heat and stain resistant.
Ceramic tiles have their place in the kitchen, but homeowners should keep the cons in mind as well as the pros before deciding on this style countertop. These are not as durable as slabs of stone. They can easily chip or crack, which will require homeowners to constantly repair the countertop to maintain a brand-new look.
The grout lines on tile countertops are also a problem in the kitchen. Grout absorbs stains quickly, and it is extremely difficult to clean. Ceramic tile countertops are a nice idea, but they are not a good option for high traffic areas.
Homeowners are encouraged to carefully consider all their options before deciding on the perfect countertop for their home. Every countertop has its own list of pros and cons, and every homeowner has a budget to stick to. It’s important to keep in mind what you want in a countertop, whether the home is going to be sold in the future, and a budget to guarantee that the final decision is one that you are happy with for years to come.
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