What would you say is the most striking, eye-catching part of any kitchen? There’s plenty to be said about flooring and cabinets, but most would agree that the true stylistic driver is your countertops.
Choosing a countertop is one of the most important decisions in a kitchen remodel, and sets a tone both visually and emotionally. Plus, depending on the material, it could take up a significant percentage of your budget, which you should know up front. Therefore, choosing the right countertop material is an essential step in both the planning and design phases of your kitchen remodel.
While you may have been dreaming of granite countertops for years, there are other options available that you should be aware of in addition to granite. Here are the most common kitchen countertop materials every homeowner should consider before starting a kitchen remodel.
1. Granite Countertops
For years, kitchen remodelers have flocked toward granite countertops as a top option. And for a good reason, it is both beautiful and durable with few downsides.
- Granite comes in a wide range of colors, patterns, styles, thicknesses, and can be customized to fit any kitchen layout.
- These countertops are incredibly durable. Few materials will scratch it, and it’s unlikely that you’ll crack or chip it. Additionally, most of the time hot pots and pans will not damage this natural stone.
- At times, granite is viewed as a luxury option for a kitchen remodel. However, even granite has options that will fit into any homeowner's budget. You can find granite countertops priced anywhere between $25 and $140 per square foot.
- Granite is porous, which means that spills can potentially damage the countertop if left uncleaned. Luckily, sealers have come a long way and can usually last up to a decade, protecting your granite from water damage and staining.
- Another downside to a porous material, is that it will need to be resealed. Check with your granite supplier to see how often you will need to reseal your granite countertop.
- Not all granite is equal. Make sure you are getting your granite slab from a reputable source as inferior slabs may cost less but won’t be as good quality.
2. Quartz Countertops
After decades of completing kitchen remodels, we’ve found that granite and quartz are often lumped together in the minds of many homeowners. They’re similar in some ways, but you should evaluate these options separately.
- Engineered stone like quartz comes in an even wider range of colors and customizable options than granite. And because it is manufactured, your sample will be very accurate to the actual piece you receive.
- Quartz material is incredibly strong and nonporous, so you get an added level of durability and longevity.
- Because the prices are typically comparable between this material and granite, quartz is gaining popularity (and even surpassing granite for some contractors).
- While quartz mimics the look of natural stone, some homeowners can tell the difference and prefer the natural veining of granite and marble.
- Quartz is heavier than some other materials and may cost more to install.
- With the shiny, nonporous finish, quartz shows more fingerprints than most natural stone.
The reality is that many contractors see a 50-50 split between quartz and granite for kitchen remodels. However, you shouldn’t get locked into the idea that those are your only two options. Here are a couple of other kitchen countertop materials to consider:
3. Solid Surfaces
Think of this as a lower-level version of quartz. You get the seamless look and style of engineered stone but without the durability. However, damage can usually be sanded out.
In modern designs, concrete countertops can help you stand out from the granite and quartz crowd. The material can be dyed in a wide range of colors, and it’s more durable than just about any other option. However, it is incredibly heavy, so modifications to the cabinet structure and higher install costs may affect the price.
A truly luxe surface, marble can fit both traditional and modern designs. However, marble comes at a much higher price point and is higher maintenance. It is very porous and soft enough that pots and pans can easily nick it.
Even if you’ve narrowed your material down ahead of time, finding a kitchen remodel contractor you trust is critical. All of these materials come in so many styles, colors, and patterns that it’s almost impossible for the average homeowner to decide.
Find a contractor that’s always looking out for your best interests—one that will sit you down with an experienced Design Consultant (not just a salesperson) to figure out how all the different pieces of your kitchen fit together.
Brothers experienced bathroom remodelers are ready to walk you through the planning and design of your dream bathroom. And our skilled craftspeople will turn that dream into a reality. Schedule a consultation to get started today.