The Many Alternatives Available in Countertops

Certainly one of the most well liked trends in home design is by now stone kitchen countertops. These durable, heat-resistant, luxurious counters are a wonderful and practical addition to any home. But with of the different sorts of natural and engineered stones out there, determining the right one for your own home can seem daunting. It may take a while to research, but everyone of these counter materials do have benefits and drawbacks, so it is vital to judge what type is true to your needs.

Granite Countertops

Granite is a standard type of igneous (volcanic) rock that forms beautiful crystalline textures. A hard style of rock, granite is well suited to be used being a counter in kitchens and bathrooms as it is both heat and scratch resistant.

Granite is formed by heat and pressure over hundreds of years, so no two parts of this natural stone are ever exactly alike. This option-of-a-kind characteristic is particularly appealing to homeowners who want a truly unique space. Granite countertops can be found within a large choice of naturally occurring colors and patterns, from neutrals to striking blues and greens. Natural stone countertops like granite do typically raise the value of your home greater than engineered stones like quartz as buyers tend to gravitate toward natural materials.

Marble Countertops

Many homeowners are drawn beyond just the luxurious looks of marble countertops. The distinctive looks of marble can dramatically up the value of your house, because it is typically considered a prestigious, sophisticated material. Furthermore marble countertops are the preferred surface for serious bakers as the cool stone is ideal for pie crusts, pastries, as well as other baked goods. Marble countertops can also be is supplied in a huge range of colors from delicate blushes to vibrant blacks, each uniquely formed by nature.

Marble definitely has some distinct drawbacks for being countertop material. Foremost, marble is a much softer stone than granite, so it features a greater tendency to scratch and mar than granite countertops. Additionally, polished marble is liable to etching when acidic liquids are invariably spilled on it.

Marble this is usually a porous, absorbent stone, meaning it tends to stain. Though many others homeowners just like the patina their marble countertops develop through the years, many do contemplate it a drawback.

Quartz Countertops

Quartz countertops are crafted from an engineered stone made out of 93% quartz, pigment, and resin. This stone counter material has most of the same qualities of granite, but lacking the upkeep issues. Quartz countertops are heat and scratch resistant and won’t stain. And, unlike granite, quartz never needs to be sealed.

As a man-made material, quartz counters have an even color and pattern. Some homeowners do prefer this consistent expect to the unique aspects of natural stone. Additionally it signifies that should a segment of a persons quartz countertop is broken, the same replacement section can be achieved from the company without questions about matching.

Although it could seem that quartz countertops are inherently superior, they do have a number of drawbacks. The first issue is despite the same cost, engineered quartz counters don’t up the value of your home as much as granite countertops do. Home buyers prefer the natural material within the man-made counter, so you’ll be wanting to bear this in mind if you’re remodeling your property as a possible investment.

stone countertops

Quartz Countertops For a Kitchen or Bathroom Upgrade

If you are looking for an alternative to natural stone countertops, then consider engineered quartz countertops, which are very durable and require low maintenance.

Quartz surfaces are a great alternative to natural stone because they tend to be more durable. In matter of fact, it is worth pointing out that quartz is one of the hardest materials you can use as a countertop which makes it a good choice to upgrade your kitchen or bathroom.

Styles and Colors

Colors and patterns available are literally limitless because it is a manufactured product. You can even get patterns that mimic marble or granite.

In the past, one of the biggest drawbacks of quartz was that there weren’t many patterns or color choices. However those days are gone and now manufacturers offer many choices. Flecks, swirls and plenty of random patterning allows the creation of counter tops that look amazing and almost identical to the real thing.

Years ago they were only sold with a polished finish, but now you can get a variety of finishes. This includes sandblasted, honed or embossed treatment. If you want a countertop that has a glossy finish or the look of textured slate or matte limestone, just ask.

Quartz was extremely popular in Europe before gaining popularity in North America, because quartz boasts similar qualities of stone and laminate, as well as other special features.

Take a look at this beautiful installation

kitchen countertop installation

Sanitary & Easy to Clean

Another benefit that quartz surfaces offer is that they are easy to maintain, because they are stain resistant. Not only that, mold and bacteria have extreme difficulty growing in this environment.

Since they are very durable, it means that quartz resists staining, as well as corrosion from cooking oils and many household cleaning products. This is good news because you won’t have to reseal the surface. Excessive heat can cause a bit of damage to quartz, so it is a good idea to use heating pads or trivets.

The Manufacturing Process

As for the process involved, they are made by mixing 95% ground natural quartz and polymer resins. As a result, the finish product produces a low maintenance countertop that has the look of natural stone, with the added benefit of custom patterns.

One of the hottest markets in North America for this product is in the big cities. Vancouver British Columbia is one of those cities with hundreds of these being installed ever month. It is a city of only 3,000,000 but a hot market for home renovation projects. One of the best selling points of this product is the many color options that Vancouver quartz countertops are available in.

These types of countertops also feature various edging options, and there are other design possibilities you can look into. In other words, quartz is flexible and can be used for surfaces such as back-splashes or shower enclosures. Unlike natural stone, fissures and seams are not an issue. There are over 200 companies doing installations in Vancouver and dozens of fabrication shops.

Installation Procedures

You should not install engineered quartz countertops on your own because it is not really a DIY type of task. They can be heavy and awkward, and there are other considerations regarding installation which can vary from project to project.

The Good News is…

Demand for quartz countertops has increased over the years and as a result prices are gradually improving. They are still on the expensive side when compared to the laminate, but easily comparable to the cost of granite. It is easy to see why they are growing popularity because of the wide variety of styles, durability and fabrication options.

For more information on why you might want to have this kind of material installed in your kitchen or bathroom, then click on this link. There you will find a good article on the reasons why other people have opted for quartz over granite or marble.