Which of today's best-selling countertop materials to choose for your new home? Here's a short buyer's guide.
Countertops have a lot to do with how pleasant your kitchen is to use and how easy it is to maintain. And of course, they play a big part in the first impression the space makes on visitors. It's worth taking the time to choose the countertop materials that work best for you.
Homeowners have more choices today than ever, but let's consider the most popular materials: solid surfacing, granite and quartz. Each has strengths and weaknesses.
Solid surfacing has lost market share in kitchens but remains a top choice for bathroom vanities. Made from a blend of acrylic and polyester, solid surfacing can cost three times more than basic laminate, but it looks more stylish and doesn't have any surface or edge seams. Homeowners can choose from a wide range of colors and patterns.
Although solid surfacing isn't immune to scratches and burns, a skilled installer can often repair the damage. The material is also nonporous, so it's less likely to stain.
Some people like the fact that solid surfacing doesn't feel as hard or cold as granite, although others find it looks too artificial for their taste.
Granite has been hugely popular in custom homes for years. That's no surprise, given this natural material's beautiful flowing patterns and mottling, as well as each slab's unique look. Most homeowners enjoy visiting the granite supplier and choosing the specific slab they want their countertop made from.
Costs for granite are slightly more than for solid surfacing.
Granite stands up well to heat and isn't easily scratched, but its hardness means that ceramic dishes or cups can easily chip or break when dropped or bumped against the surface. Raw granite can also be stained by hot grease, so it needs to be sealed during fabrication and resealed at intervals recommended by the fabricator. Its heavy weight means it may not be the best choice for cabinets with particleboard frames.
Granite slabs are 9 to 10 feet long and 5 feet wide, so if you want something bigger you will have a seam.
Quartz has recently passed granite in popularity among custom homeowners, even though it costs 10 to 20 percent more. Made from a blend of crushed stone and resin, this material is harder than granite and impervious to stains, including those from cooking oil, wine and coffee. Quartz has a rich, attractive finish and a regular surface pattern. It comes in 8 x 4 feet sheets, so anything bigger will require seams.
These descriptions are just an introduction to today's most popular countertop materials. Other options are marble, wood, stainless steel, concrete and even soapstone counters. Your professional builder can help you sort through the pros, cons and pricing of whatever materials you are considering, so that you choose the right ones for your new home.
John P. Caulfield, Jr.
Celebrating 20 Years
4120 Douglas Blvd., #306-215
Granite Bay, CA 95746
(916) 783-0356 Phone
Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.
Click here to unsubscribe