Here it is! A battle for the ages! Well, I admit that is a bit dramatic. When deciding what material to use to model their kitchen countertops, every homeowner has had a question to battle with. I can say with almost complete certainty that the right kitchen countertops can directly affect the value of your home.
A kitchen island with the right countertop can transform your mornings and leave guests in awe over your design!
But what design do you want to pick, though? And more importantly, with what material? Should you go for an Alaskan Pure White Quartz? Or a FUSION granite slab? How do you decide which is best for your kitchen countertop anyway?
Well, the best way to go about deciding what material you should go for is first deciding what you want most out of it. Do you want durability? Or do you want aesthetics? Do you want a little bit of column A and a bit of column B? Quartz Countertops or Granite Countertops? Do not fret! Today I will try and eliminate every doubt in your mind by going into the various materials and discussing their pros and cons as well!
Factors to Consider for Kitchen Countertops
For a countertop in the kitchen, you are going to need one that withstands heat well generally. There are going to be lots of hot pots and pans being placed on surfaces. So you need something that is not just going to welt under all that heat and pressure. Some materials lose their coloring with heat and begin to fade, so I always recommend getting something that will stand up to that.
Plus, you will also be using sharp objects like knives and other cutting equipment on the countertop sometimes, and you do not want to come away from that with a scratched surface, now would you? Chipping is also a big issue that you need to think about.
But aesthetics should always be a huge factor here as well. You will spend a lot of family time here, so why not get what looks best?
It is also well known that the right countertops can substantially increase the value of your home.
Granite, Quartz, Onyx, or Marble – Let Us Narrow It Down!
Let us make this a little easier for everyone and list down the most popular materials that you would use for a kitchen countertop:
These are the most common materials used in kitchen countertops around the world. As a rule of thumb, I would advise you not to deviate from the stones mentioned above for your kitchen. These materials have stood up to years of scrutiny and hard use. As such, they have built up quite the repertoire in the kitchen design world. Let us go through each of the materials mentioned above by taking a deep dive into them!
Granite Kitchen Countertop
Granite rock is sometimes referred to as the king of the kitchen design scene. Indeed, some people feel like there is just no match for granite and the various advantages it provides. Tune into any episode of House Hunters, and you will see people fawning over it all the time.
For one, it is heat resistant. While this should not be the only reason you should go for the material, I think, as we discussed above, that it should definitely be a deciding factor. Granite is very durable as well! On the Mohs Hardness Scale, it lands on 7 out of 10. That is pretty damn hard!
It is all-natural. It is formed by molten activity within the earth. It cut into slabs right from the quarry, polished, cut into your countertops, and voila! Farm to fork- well, almost!
Another great thing about granite is the fantastic selection you get with it. Nature is wild, random, and produces some beauty; I tell you what. Are you looking for a subtle yet attractive addition to your kitchen or an eye-catching color extravaganza? Mother Nature has got you covered with granite.
Though it is not all sunshine and roses here, folks.
Granite is a porous material. This means that your granite countertop can get infested with junk and stains easily. To counter this, you first have to make sure that it is correctly sealed upon purchase. I would recommend a yearly re-sealing as well so it can last you years.
Granite also chips easily!
Quartz Kitchen Countertop
Quartz has the advantage of being a natural and human-made hybrid. This opens Quartz up to a multitude of benefits that you cannot get with natural stones.
Quartz has a much wider color gamut than natural stones since engineers can customize it to almost any color you would want. It can also be made to look like any other material. Smoky Quartz slab is an excellent example of this!
Since it is custom-made, you will always get a seamless fit for your countertops as opposed to granite, where you will almost always get a disjointed look since multiple slabs will be used. Quartz countertop costs can vary depending on the ask.
Quartz is also nearly indestructible. You will not get chipping as easily as you would get with granite.
But the biggest con here, and maybe a deal-breaker to some: Quartz is not very good with heat. In fact- as soon as you place a hot pan on a quartz surface, it loses its color. It also does not perform very well in the light.
Quartzite Kitchen Countertop
Quartzite is what geologists refer to as a metamorphic rock, meaning its formed over decades with sand grains under the earth. This metamorphic process involving the quartz/sand grains gives Quartzite its incredible strength and durability. Though, as I tell everyone, the sealers used are detrimental to how your stone might perform.
Quartzite is forever! This excellent material is never going to lose its color. You can thus expect to have it in its brand new state for your entire life. This is because quartzite stone is UV resistant and, as a result, can withstand light to a greater degree.
Any marble enthusiasts will tell you that Quartzite gives it a run for its money. Quartzite mimics the dreamy, swirly patterns that you would find in marble stones and could be an excellent alternative for those looking to avoid the heavy maintenance that comes with marble.
However, it is important to consider that the quartzite countertop cost can be expensive. Quartzite is very hard, which can make the stone cutting very difficult and runs up the price quite a lot. Quartzite also has a minimal color selection, usually in the blacks or grays.
Onyx is a beautiful material. Its stark visual appearance is unmistakable. The fiery red, yellow, and oranges are absolutely breathtaking and just works of art. Off aesthetics alone, I think Onyx is right up there with the greatest.
You also cannot find this material everywhere! So if you want a visual edge, go for Onyx. Your kitchen will become the envy of anyone who lays eyes upon the work of art that is Onyx.
But I wish everything with Onyx was all fine and dandy. You see, while it is definitely a beautiful material, it is very fragile. Fragile enough that I would advise against having it in your kitchen. It can run you up a pretty penny as well since it is rare and difficult to source.
Marble Kitchen Countertop
Marble really needs no introduction here. It is probably one of the most beautiful materials in the world. Marble countertops add this incredible spacey, modern, luxurious aura that you would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
It also has a significant association with art and culture. This a marble countertop; you can bring this vibe into your homes. No material epitomizes luxury better than marble. I do not know about you, but I think of great Italians’ works of Bernini and his ilk when I think of marble.
Though, what the Italians realized generations ago was that marble is costly. And heavy too! So forget about installing it yourself. What the Italians also realized was that marble is a soft stone. Hence all the sculptures. This can spell bad news for anyone who has a busy kitchen. Marble might not stand up to constant use.
And there it is! An in-depth look into each material for your new kitchen countertop! Did this help you decide? Let us know! Or look at our breakdown into why you should choose granite for your office countertops!