It’s time to choose the countertop for your custom kitchen. Granite gets all the hype, but what are the other options, and how do they compare? Below we have analyzed 5 countertop materials to help you make the best decision for your custom Oklahoma City home.
Granite is known as the most desired countertop surface in homes today, and for good reason. Granite counter tops will last a lifetime and add value to your home. Granite is a natural stone that is durable and heat resistant. It is low maintenance and easy to clean after an evening of cooking. Each granite slab is unique and many homeowners love this, but for others the variations and inconsistencies in patterns and markings may be considered flaws. You may want to see and inspect the entire slab of granite before you buy and install it, or else you could be left with surprises.
Granite countertops may need to be re-sealed periodically, and although it is a resilient surface, it is still vulnerable to scratches and stains under certain circumstances. Clean your granite with hot water and mild cleaner or soap, not harsh chemicals, vinegar, or acidic liquids.
Quartz countertops are almost completely natural stone. They are manufactured with around 90% – 95% crushed quartz and a then mixed with a small percentage of resins. This process takes the negative aspects of using a natural stone and turns them into positives. Because the surface is man-made you can almost guarantee the colors, patterns, and markings will be consistent. There are many options available for quartz in different colors and patterns. Mixing the quartz with resins creates a non-porous surface that is extremely durable and easy to maintain (more so than granite). However, because of its mix with resins, quartz is less resistant to heat than granite. Quartz countertops are easy to maintain and clean using soap and hot water and the cost of quartz and granite countertops are comparable.
Soapstone is a soft, non-porous natural stone. It is a unique stone that is usually medium to dark gray in color and will darken over time. It is durable, resistant to stains and bacteria, and is unaffected by heat. However, it is a soft stone, so scratches and marks may accumulate on its surface, but these can usually be sanded out. The finish on a soapstone countertop is usually honed, and many homeowners will apply food-grade mineral oil to deepen and enrich the color of their soapstone countertop.
The most luxurious option, marble countertops are infamous for their unique veining and color variations. Marble is a classic, timeless option, but it does require more caution and care. It is a soft and porous stone, so it is vulnerable to scratches, stains, and etching from acidic foods. Marble needs to be cleaned with warm water and a soft cloth, therefore avoid soaps and cleaners unless they are specifically made for cleaning marble surfaces. Marble countertops may need to be re-sealed periodically, too.
With an increase in industrial-modern style homes, concrete has been making its way into home countertop surfaces. There are three different types of finishes among concrete countertops, including: trowel (smooth), ground (sanded to expose the sand aggregate), and pressed (a tool is used to reveal marble-like veining). Concrete countertops can come in an endless array of colors. They are highly heat resistant, but they must be stained and sealed in order to protect from stains and become water resistant. Caution should be taken when placing hot items on a concrete counter that has been stained/sealed. The options are endless with concrete countertops as you can create them in any size and shape, and endless edge details by using molds. You can even embed items into the countertop, like recycled glass pieces, seashells, or pebbles. Concrete countertops are unique and over time will develop a warm patina. Depending on the style and details, it can be much more affordable to concrete over granite and quartz. Maintenance will be needed, including resealing and sometimes waxing.