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Homeowners are often overwhelmed by the options when it comes to kitchen countertops. Almost everyday our designers are asked about the differences between granite, quartz, marble, and laminate. Each has its benefits and drawbacks, so it can be tough to decide the best option for your home.
Tips to Choose the Right Material for Your Kitchen Tops
- Consider your lifestyle and how you will use the kitchen counters. If you are a busy person who cooks often, you will need a durable material that can withstand heat and scratches.
- Consider the color and pattern of the material and how the pattern will look when repeated over a large area.
- Consider the durability of the material. Some materials are more durable than others.
- Consider the ease of cleaning and maintenance. Some materials are easier to clean than others.
Below are some insights into the more popular countertop options for Northwest Indiana homeowners.
Granite is a popular countertop material because it is heat- and scratch-resistant. It comes in various colors, so you can find the right compliment to your home’s style. However, since it is made from natural stone, it is more expensive than other options.
There are different types of granite, so be sure to do your research before making a purchase. Some of them are explained below:
Absolute Black Granite
This type of granite is very dark and has a smooth finish. It is made of gabbro, which is a type of igneous rock. It’s a good choice if you want a dramatic look for your kitchen.
Blue Flower Granite
This granite from Brazil is a swirling dramatic blue durable slab granite with both light and darker veins. Blue Flower works well for both interior and exterior projects and offers a lot of visual texture.
Luna Pearl Granite
This granite from Spain features a small intricate pattern of grays and whites. When used in a kitchen it provides a subtle, natural look.
Stream White granite countertops come from India and feature tiny specks of wine-colored dots and gorgeous gray veining across warm white backdrops. The patterns of the high-variation surfaces create lots of movement and interest.
This granite is perfect if you want a classic look in your kitchen. It has a deep brown color and some light cream tones. This granite is also perfect for those who want to add a little bit of luxury to their kitchen.
Quartz is a natural stone that is made of quartz crystals. Quartz crystals are the hardest minerals, making quartz a durable option for countertops. Quartz is also non-porous, meaning it resists stains and bacteria.
Quartz comes in a variety of colors and patterns. Other benefits of quartz include:
- Requires less maintenance than other natural stone countertops
- Does not need to be sealed
- Resists scratches and chips
- Withstands high temperatures
There are many types of quartz, but some of the more popular ones include:
Tiger’s Eye Quartz
This type of quartz has a unique banded pattern that can vary in color. The tiger’s eye effect is caused by fibrous gold or blue chatoyant materials.
Amethyst quartz is a purple variety of quartz. It is often used as a gemstone and has healing properties.
Rose quartz, as the name suggests, is pink in color. It gets its color from trace amounts of manganese, iron, or titanium.
Smoky quartz is a gray or brown variety of quartz. It gets its color from natural irradiation, which means it has been exposed to radioactive materials.
Snowflake obsidian is a black variety of quartz with white or gray patches. The patches are caused by gas bubbles that become trapped during the formation of the stone.
Milky quartz is a white or light-colored variety of quartz. It gets its name from the streaks of mineral inclusions that look like milk.
Laminate is a synthetic product made of different materials, usually paper and plastic. This versatile, budget-friendly material has come a long way. Its popularity is due in part to its affordability. While it’s not as durable as stone, it’s waterproof and comes in a wide selection of colors and designs. It is also very easy to clean.
Some common types of laminate include:
Wilsonart® Laminate is composed of sustainably managed eucalyptus and pine fibers along with up to 34% SCS-certified recycled content. It’s one of the most environmentally friendly decorative surface materials available on the market today. It is available in various colors, including wood grains, solid colors, and textures. It is also scratch and stain-resistant and easy to clean.
A solid surface is a man-made countertop material made of acrylic, polyester, or a blend of both. It is non-porous and resists bacteria, making it a good option for countertops in kitchens and bathrooms.
Solid surface is available in a variety of colors and patterns. It is also easy to clean and repair if scratched or damaged.
One downside of a solid surface is that it can scratch easily. It is also susceptible to heat damage and can discolor if exposed to direct sunlight.
The types of materials used in making solid surfaces:
Acrylic is clear, colorless plastic. It is often used in making solid surfaces because it is durable and easy to mold.
Polyester is a synthetic fiber that is often used in making solid surfaces. It is solid and resistant to heat and chemicals.
Blends are a mixture of two or more materials. They are often used to create solid surfaces because they are durable and have a variety of colors and patterns.
Our Kitchen Design Experts Are Here To Help
To help you narrow down color and style choices, we offer samples of all of our countertop materials at Von Tobel. We can even help you coordinate with other design elements, such as cabinets and backsplashes. If you have any more questions about choosing quartz or granite countertops, visit a Von Tobel showroom for a free consultation with one of our designers.
Download our Countertop Comparison here. When you’re ready to start thinking about upgrading your entire kitchen, make sure to check out our post on 6 Steps to Planning Your Perfect Kitchen.
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