What To know When Selecting Countertops
- Granite Counters
Granite is by and away the top choice when it comes to the look and resale value of your kitchen & bathroom remodel, it defiantly the most common and safest pick. As the use of granite becomes more evident in the marketplace the pricing of granite will adjust to keep in line. The vast array of colors and patterns choosing granite to match your style and price point make it the best choice in today’s market.
Pros: holds up to heat; comes in an endless amount of colors; will last a lifetime; there are a verity of new sealers that are almost maintenance-free; second highest in hardness after diamonds; has a high resale value much more than laminate or wood.
Cons: expensive, but becoming more affordable in today’s market; requires annual maintenance; some stones absorbs stains if not sealed; knives can become dull if you cut on it; can crack if stressed or walked upon.
Marble is the top choice for all high end projects, because of its rare qualities and old world style; not to mention the high price that comes with it. To get that luxurious look, use it on an island or baking center for ease of baking and rolling. Marble requires continue maintenance because it stains easily. There are new sealers that retard staining on the market today.
Pros: waterproof; heatproof; one of a kind look and feel.
Cons: very expensive; porous; may stain easily unless sealed by a professional.
- Engineered Stone
Engineered stone is composed of 90% quartz particles and 10% epoxy resin. It has a nonporous surface that resists scratches and sometimes has a micro antibacterial additive included. It's easy to maintain, without the annual sealing required by Granite and/or Marble stone. Some brands on the market include DuPont Zodiaq®, LG Viatera®, Cambria Quartz, and Ceasarstone®.
Pros: Resistant to stain and acid; easy care.
- Solid Surface
Pros: comes in a rainbow of colors and patterns; seamless; stain resistant.
Cons: these types of countertops are vulnerable to hot items place on top of the counter and stains which can damage or discolor the surface; moderately expensive.
- Ceramic Tile
Ceramic tile is durable and fairly easy to clean. Add to that inexpensive and you've got a really good choice for countertops for the average home. Since this is a relatively easy product to obtain, most homeowners can tackle a project like this on their own.
Pros: not effected by hot items; easy to clean; wide range of price, color, texture and design.
Cons: counter surface may become uneven; tiles can easily chip or crack and grout lines become stained and hard to keep clean. Most homebuyers will become disinterested when faced with this choice in countertops.
Glass is quickly becoming a popular choice in the selection of countertops. With the glass market still new in the industry, the pricing for glass is very high.
Pros: made from real recycled glass fragments; comes in wide verity of color choices; easy to maintain
Cons: very expensive; new to the market; only about 15 different color selections available
Laminate manufactures such as Formica, Nevamar, and Wilsonart are the leading companies in the industry. These are made of plastic-coated synthetics with a smooth or honed surface that's easy to clean.
Pros: you can buy laminates in many different colors and textures; easy to maintain; durable; inexpensive.
Cons: scratches and chips are almost impossible to repair; all seams are easy to point out and when clogged with dirt and/or grim they stand out even more so.
- Wood or Butcher Block
Wood countertops are beautiful and rich in color warm, the wide range of colors and finishes. Hardwoods such as Maple and Walnut are most often used as countertop woods. These countertops are not only used as an additional work space, but can create a sense of old world charm.
Pros: easy to clean; smooth; can be sanded and resealed as needed.
Cons: can be damaged by water and stains over time if not properly maintained; scratches must be oiled or sealed according to manufacturer's instructions as needed.
- Stainless Steel Counters
For a really contemporary and industrial look for your kitchen, stainless steel is the best choice. These are heat resistant and durable, used in the professional restaurant industry these countertops can hold up to any abuse that you inflict upon it. Since they're constructed to your specifications, you can have a seamless countertop at almost any length and configuration .
Pros: takes hot pans; easy to clean.
Cons: Expensive; noisy; possible denting issue; fabrication is expensive
- Soapstone Counters
Soapstone comes in two popular colors such as dark gray and verde (or green) and can have a smooth or honed feel. Although often seen in historic homes, it is becoming increasingly popular to see them in modern homes as both a countertop and sink material.
Pros: rich, deep color; smooth feel; somewhat stain resistant.
Cons: requires regular maintenance with applications of mineral oil; may crack and darken over time.
Granite or Quartz Countertops
Whether choosing natural or manmade products, consumer choices are vast and very complex, but with ELEMENT you will be confident in your choices, because of our attention to detail and experience in choosing the right products for our clients. Natural stone is elegantly beautiful with its millions of years of fabrication to likes of which no man made product will ever duplicate. Engineered stone (or manmade), quartz and laminate try to duplicate the perception in natural stone such as Granite and Marble. Natural stone can be more expensive, and has varied levels typically 1-6 and a rare stone level. With Quartz there are hundreds of choice in both color and pattern selections, this means that you can find almost any variation in color and/or pattern you are looking for.
Granite can be more expensive than most manmade products, but will command top dollar when it comes to resale value. The resale value of your investment can be more rewarding and this is evidenced by the large numbers of realtor poles established by NARI and NKBA every year. Kitchen and bathroom remodels with natural stone choices can accentuate the space, and its value for custom one of kind color and graining texture. It’s a true piece of jewelry for your home.
Companies that don’t deal with Granite or marble will try to scare you with comments like; "You’re going to have to seal it all of the time, as well as buy expensive sealing products". There are pros and cons just like all choices, making the right one for you personally is what ELEMENT does for all of its clients, allow ELEMENT to help you with your next kitchen and bathroom remodeling project. Once annually you spray and wipe the stone with sealer which is as easy as normally wiping down the counter with a mild soap.
Quartz is a synthetic manmade material that is very easy to clean and keep clean. It is a nonporous material that often comes with a micro antibacterial additive in the counter itself. Quartz is part natural stone in the fact 90% natural stone and 10% apoxy resin which is heat sealed in the factory.
Decide for yourself, Quartz or Granite, understand that ELEMENT prides itself knowing that it can help with any selection you may have in your kitchen or bathroom remodeling project. Whether you choose Granite or Quartz Countertops educate yourself as to the pros and cons so that you are not disappointed with your choice. Make an informed decision and talk to a Sale Representative from ELEMENT before you make the wrong decision and choose someone or something you won’t be happy with. That decision will affect the price you get for your home or the appraisal.