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How to Find the Perfect Kitchen Countertop Material

Modern Kitchen Design

A new custom kitchen design or remodeling project can go a long way towards improving your home’s timeless appeal and functional value. If you’re considering a new kitchen design or are otherwise looking to refresh this space, you’ll need to select the perfect countertop. There are many choices, ranging significantly in terms of cost, durability, and maintenance concerns. If you’re overhauling your entire space, professional kitchen designers can help you select the right building materials for your arrangement and will ensure a cost-efficient and organized installation process that allows your kitchen to look and feel modern.

When you’re selecting a countertop for your kitchen, you’ll need first to consider your existing design or the new design you’re aiming for in a custom kitchen project. The countertop occupies a considerable amount of your kitchen’s visual space, regardless of the size or scale of the room. If you have a modern or contemporary theme in your space, you’ll end up looking at different building materials than you might for a more traditional arrangement. Here are the pros and cons of some of the most popular kitchen countertop choices.

Marble

Marble countertops offer homeowners luxurious interior designs throughout their kitchen and bath space, setting the tone for other high-end design elements. The natural material and ornate veining of the marble surface allows the surface to elevate your cabinetry, light fixtures, and even your appliances. Marble matches up well with both a warmer and a cooler color palette. In many ways, it’s a foundational element of timeless kitchen design.

Before you start looking for a marble countertop for your new remodel, there are a few things you should know about this material. Marble can be particularly challenging to locate and source, especially if you’re looking for a particular veining pattern. As a result, the material is one of the more expensive options on the market for homeowners. In addition, marble usually requires significantly more maintenance than other countertops. You’ll need to clean and wash the countertop daily to avoid scratches and will also need to seal the surface annually. Marble typically requires professional installation, as it is one of the heavier materials.

Granite

Granite countertops are an excellent choice for anyone seeking a natural material that’s less expensive than marble. Granite offers considerably more flexibility in terms of color and thickness in comparison to marble. For these differences, pricing for granite countertops is relatively variable in comparison with other materials. Before you purchase a granite product, you’ll need to check the product’s quality rating, which is usually a number between 1 and 5. Modular granite is generally on the cheaper side, as it may have visible seams on the surface. On the other hand, honed granite is usually one of the more expensive choices.

Like marble, granite requires regular resealing at least once every two years. It’s significantly more scratch-resistant than marble and more durable than either quartz or laminate surfaces. While professional installation is available for granite, you can sometimes install the material yourself, particularly if you purchase modular granite. In some cases, the granite surface’s texture is less consistent than marble, particularly for larger kitchen spaces.

Engineered Stone

Manufactured stone, which is commonly referred to as quartz, is one of the most durable options on the market. The textures, finishes, and colors of the surface are all relatively easy to customize because the material is artificial. This ensures you can leverage this material to match with almost any kitchen design style, whether it’s modern and minimalist or traditional and quaint. Engineered stone holds up well against scratches and liquids, though the high heat from pans and baking dishes can sometimes damage it.

If engineered stone countertops are easy to customize, reasonably priced, and durable, why aren’t they more popular? Many professional kitchen designs stay away from this material because its visual appeal can sometimes be somewhat lackluster. Because the slab is manufactured rather than quarried, it sometimes looks unnatural and thereby offers less of the coveted timeless appeal you’re probably aiming for in your new arrangements. If you choose brighter colors for this surface, it will start to look out of date sooner rather than later.

Quartzite

Quartzite countertops are a form of natural stone that adds durability and visual appeal to kitchens with a cooler or more neutral color palette. Available colors are somewhat limited, restricting the homeowner to white, black, grey, or brown. The material is less expensive than marble but offers much of the same aesthetic value. However, granite, laminate, and engineered stone are all usually cheaper per foot. Quartzite is typically more heat-resistant than other countertop options, which means it’s reliable long-term. The surface is particularly popular for custom kitchen designs for traditional and contemporary spaces.

As long as quartzite is within your budget, there are minimal downsides to choosing this material for your custom kitchen. It can sometimes be a challenge to install, but this is more of a short-term consideration. In addition, quartzite is slightly less scratch-resistant than other alternative materials, though this usually isn’t too much of a dealbreaker. If you’re aiming for lasting durability and timeless appeal, this might be the right choice for your project.

Laminate

If natural stone countertops with materials such as marble and granite are too expensive for your remodel, you may want to consider laminate. For this surface, the low cost is the primary benefit. Colors and finishes for the surface are customizable, but you may need to replace the entire surface every few years because it offers less durability against scratches and burns and is tricky to repair. Most designers recommend that you look elsewhere for a countertop and invest in durability. However, for quick projects, laminate can sometimes be a good choice.

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