You are here because you’ve finally decided to replace your countertop. And you obviously know the benefits of a countertop remodel as well. But can I just say that you have, in your hands, a chance to change the entire visual vocabulary of your kitchen or bath with quartz, marble, or granite?
In fact, changing countertops is one of the most important design decisions a homeowner can make. It’s undoubtedly one of the most central features in both kitchen and bathroom.
But here comes the real challenge: There are so many beautiful materials available in the market that the choice becomes perplexing. We have all seen beautiful kitchens done in many different materials, and it’s confusing just picking one. It can be hard to decide on one that fits our design theme and lifestyle needs perfectly.
In this article, we will try our best to help you make that decision for yourself.
How to Choose The Best Countertop Material for Your Kitchen or Bathroom
The choice of a countertop material ultimately depends on many factors, including cost and preferences. However, it should ultimately depend on your lifestyle. Especially if you have small kids at home.
It’s a given that whatever you choose be tough and long-lasting. The challenge is finding something that is both beautiful and durable. That’s why Quartz, Granite, and Marble are very popular. They are all super durable and highly sought after for elegant aesthetics.
Since counters take a lot of roughening up, you should ensure that whatever you buy doesn’t start looking dated in the next four to five years. That being said, cleaning them should be quick and easy, and they should be relatively scratch-resistant.
This blog compares the pros and cons of the top three countertop materials in the market today: Quartz vs. Granite vs. Marble.
Quartz as a Countertop
Quartz is the most widely distributed mineral found in the earth’s surface. It’s made up of one part silicon and two parts oxygen. However, the countertop is engineered in labs with the mineral, resins and dyes. Manufacturers may also add small amounts of glass or metallic flecks to create an aesthetic variety.
Quartz countertops are beautiful, and add a statement to any space. If you look at quartz in terms of its resistance to chipping, it’s certainly heftier than granite. Moreover, it doesn’t need to be sealed or polished.
It’s also a non-porous material, in addition to being bacteria and stain-resistant. These factors make it ideal for use within a family. Since the material makes kitchen-clean up easy, you don’t have to worry about your little ones creating a mess on your counter.
Quartz is also available in a variety of shades, ranging from white, black, and brown to alluring gold and blue. Despite their qualities, Quartz countertops are also moderately priced as compared to others.
Cost: The average cost for quartz countertops ranges between $50 to & 70 per square foot with installation cost running between $50 to $70 per square foot.
Oversized quartz countertops will need a seam, whereas natural stones may have no such limitation. For a contemporary no-seam look, dark colors can be an option.
The only major drawback of quartz has to be its comparatively low heat-resistance. It’s recommended that you don’t place hot pans on its surface directly. It can lead to some damage to its surface. Also, if you opt for a textured finish, smudges may show more frequently. However, this can be avoided by opting for a smoother finish.
Marble as a Countertop
Marble is a metamorphic rock, made up of recrystallized carbonate compounds. Though marble is available in a wide range of colors, the classic white marble remains the top-most choice for most homeowners. It is tough to find anything more white in nature than white marble.
As a result, marble countertops add a classic and luxurious touch to your space. With the right care and maintenance, they can be your companions forever.
Marble has a timeless quality that one simply can’t resist. The unique, unpredictable veining of the material lends it fine elegance. Over time, marble may develop a patina that helps in creating a lived-in look. Compared to many other materials, marble is strong and damage-resistant too.
Cost: The average cost of marble countertops ranges from $40 to $200 per square foot. The average cost of installation may range from $65 to $95 per square foot.
Like many natural stones, Marble is quite porous and stains easily. It needs to be professionally resealed every few months for long term performance. Acids like lemon and vinegar will etch marble — leaving a white mark behind. Marble is pricey as well.
Granite as a Countertop
Granite is an igneous rock made of mainly two minerals: quartz and feldspar. Since a number of homeowners have a preference for a natural stone look, it’s a popular choice for both traditional and modern houses.
Granite is labeled as the most durable natural stone countertop material around. And it’s true. It can resist cracks and chips pretty well. Also, you may place hot pans directly on to the counter, do your cutting on the surface, and even deal with the spills easily by wiping them away quickly. In other words, it’s a blessing in homes with toddlers and young children.
Also, granite is a stunning material. It’s sold in an array of unique colors and patterns too. Explore them in white, red, yellow/gold, brown, tan, grey, blue, and even black for a dramatic impact. Granite counters also come in three basic patterns, namely solid, marble, and speckled.
Cost: Granite is available in a wide cost range that runs between $50 to $200 per square foot.
Granite counters need to be sealed yearly to maintain luster and longevity. Seams may also be visible after you replace a large countertop. Since it’s a natural stone, there are limited color options as compared to quartz. Granite is also relatively expensive.
Making the Final Choice
Quartz, granite, and marble are easily the most beautiful and functional materials for kitchen and bathroom countertops. All three add their own value to your space with their visual presence. But like all things, they have their individual set of pros and cons. However with the right care and guidelines, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy your favorite countertop for years.
Having said that, replacing countertops is a serious business and one that you aren’t going to repeat any time soon. It’s a good idea to think carefully and discuss with a professional about your needs before you begin.