Choosing countertops is a big decision. It's not only a significant investment, taking a large part of the remodeling project, but counters are design elements that keep us organized and make the kitchen more practical and easier to maintain. There are various options, from stone and tile to laminate, solid surfacing, and more, but most find a stone and ceramic tile to be the most beautiful and practical.
Stone countertops add almost immediate value to your home and have been used as building materials for centuries, so their ability to withstand time is well documented. Be sure to ask about sealing requirements as some are softer and more porous than others. Following are some of the most popular ones.
Granite is elegant, and you'll often see it on bathroom counters in 5-star hotels, but it's exceptionally terrific for kitchens. Granite is highly-durable, nonporous, and heat resistant; in fact, you can place a hot pan without the worry of damage. Granite, when sealed, requires little or no maintenance.
Soapstone is usually dark gray and has a smooth, silky feeling and a certain patina that, when it scratches, only adds to the gorgeous antique look of this stone. It's stain-resistant, durable, reasonably impervious to heat, and completely nonporous. Fun fact: It’s composed of a mineral that includes 50% talc, which gives it that soapy feeling.
The words "marble" and "luxurious" are strongly associated. You can't think of one without the other, and marble has a beautiful, distinctive, one-of-a-kind veining that you'll never see in another home. Marble is durable but soft, making it easier to install edge treatments.
Mother Nature got a little help with natural quartz stone. When used for countertops, it’s engineered with a small amount of resin and is then shaped into slabs. These counters are then custom fabricated with a large assortment of design options for edge treatments. No sealing is ever required.