Have you ever considered how important are countertops to a kitchen? We dare say they are the heart of this special house space.
The average American spends 37 minutes a day preparing, serving food and cleaning up. That amounts to 225 hours per year, and most of them, if not all of them are spent on a countertop.
This highly functional working surface is where you prepare food, eat casual meals, clean dishes and writes notes. Thinking carefully about which material you will use on it, is the least you should do to ensure your own quality of life and the value of your house.
However, there are so many choices and so many brands you might feel overwhelmed. To help you make up your mind, we will share with you the reasons why choosing natural stone for countertops is your best option.
Natural stone for countertops
You probably heard before that natural stones are the best material for countertops. A few years ago this was a trend only seen in the houses of extremely wealthy people.
Although the price tag is still higher than other options, nowadays, with proper planning we all can afford to remodel our kitchen with beautiful granite countertops for instance. Actually, there are plenty of reasons everyone should do it.
Natural stone countertops, require very little maintenance and care in order to last for a lifetime.
They can resist water splashes, heat, scratches and stains. And although it’s possible for them to crack or chip, it takes a real accident for that to happen. If any of those things do happen, they can be repaired, repolished and look like new again.
Every stone slab is completely unique, there will never be another countertop of the same pattern and color.
Natural stones offer the complex natural looks other materials try to copy, it’s appearance is unbeatable.
All you need to do in order to have them as good as new for decades is to wipe up spills when they happen and seal the stone again when required.
Even with the higher price, using natural stone for countertops pays off in the future. If you ever want to sell your house, they add substantial value to it.
What do you think? Is that enough to make you consider upgrading your kitchen countertops?
In case it isn’t let’s compare it to other materials so you can get to know your options well.
Natural stone comparison with other countertop materials
Although it seems like there are hundreds of countertop materials on the market, that’s not really the case.
There are hundreds of brands of manmade surfaces that are always evolving their technology and calling them different names. Nevertheless, there’s only a handful of materials.
It’s possible for us to evaluate your top choices and consider it’s cons when compared to natural stone for countertops. Let’s start with what’s definitely your best choice in case you decide not to go with natural stones.
Quartz (Engineered Stone)
Not to be confused with quartzite, quartz is what’s normally called engineered stone.
Composed of 90-95% ground quartz crystals bonded together through a polymeric resin and colored by pigments, quartz aims to offer the best of both worlds.
That being, the pros of a stone countertop plus the pros of being able to carefully control the countertop traits. Nevertheless, that does bring some cons to the table.
By selecting quartz as a countertop choice, you’re opening yourself up to hundreds of design possibilities, slightly less maintenance, since it doesn’t require sealing, and similar durability.
However, quartz can’t be installed outdoors or exposed to sunlight for long. It also can’t handle hot cookware, and if damaged repairing is very hard.
Laminate is a very popular countertop solution, having once been a rule of thumb in most American houses.
While it was once relegated as a bad choice, new technology has improved its appearance, mostly by copying stone and wood patterns better. Due to that, we can see a growing trend of laminate countertops.
When compared to natural stones, nevertheless, they lose in many aspects. Plastica Laminate countertops are not heat and scratch-resistant, and can’t take water splashes very well. They definitely won’t last for a lifetime and can’t be repaired.
Besides, laminate countertops don’t work with under-mounted sinks, which means you are stuck with that lip top-mounted sink are bound to have.
Concrete countertops are durable, heat resistant, and can be colored. They offer a very different yet refreshing look for kitchens, but are they worth it?
If you’re thinking about price, the answer is a solid no. They are as expensive (or more expensive) as premium natural stones are. While they also must be sealed, even so, they will be more susceptible to stains, marks, and scratches.
To top it off, they can crack and repairs are very very difficult.
Created as a solid countertop option to laminate, solid surface is made of acrylic, polyester and sometimes both. They are low maintenance, can be repaired, and are offered in a large variety of colors and patterns
However, for its high cost, it’s unforgiving that it fails to look as good as quartz. Besides that, it’s not as heat and scratch resistant either.
Wood is an ideal working surface, being heat resistant and able to take spills without staining if you perform proper maintenance.
Although it is easily scratchable, the thought of chopping on top of it is very compelling. That’s why wood countertops are also called butcher blocks countertops.
When compared to natural stone for countertops, however, wood will age to look very different with time and require much more maintenance. It’s also not cheap, so unless you love the look, you’re safer with natural stones.
That’s it for our comparison list. As you could see from our analysis, to invest a bit higher on natural stone countertops or quartz countertops means a lot less of headache and a beautiful kitchen for life. Plus the aesthetic of stone countertops is very hard to beat.
Selecting the right stone for your kitchen
While you may think yourself familiar with natural stone countertop looks, you will definitely be surprised with the huge pool of options mother nature finest creations offer to your house design.
Not only there are different stone types to choose from, but amazing looks are also possible by choosing unique stone slabs. Whether you’re looking for a countertop that firs a modern contemporary kitchen or a classic one, you will find the right stone and the right slab.
We advise you to look for a stone supplier so that you can see the options with your own eyes, especially one that will also handle the fabrication and installation job.
If you’re living in Sarasota or Manatee, come check out the largest indoor selection of stone slabs and tiles of the area. We will love to have you over. Or, schedule a free in-home estimate and start making your dream kitchen come true.