How to Choose Countertops

kitchen countertops in all materials are available this is just one exampleKitchen & Bath Countertops for Your Home

Granite vs Quartz vs Corian®?

What should I choose for my countertops when I’m designing or remodeling my kitchen?

Granite countertops have been a cornerstone for our new and remodeled kitchens for years in Colorado. Quartz countertops, which experts say will be the material of choice in 2013 due to its durability is also an option.

Kitchen Countertop Comparison: Granite, Quartz and Solid Surface Countertops

We know the choices you have for selecting your kitchen countertop can be overwhelming and JM Kitchen designers are here to help.  We will discover first what style of kitchen you are looking for, then color preferences and then what sorts of use your kitchen is going to get. An active family that loves to cook, eat and play in their kitchen might need a different surface for their countertops than a young couple just starting out who mostly use their microwave to reheat restaurant food. That’s where our 20+ years of experience will come into play. Below we’ll outline the pros and cons of each type of countertop surface to give you some ideas about your priorities.

Significantly, the market is choosing between Granite and Quartz and the choice is usually made on, man-made Quartz and consistent looking colors (like in contemporary or modern kitchens), or natural Granite with the flow and variations (like in the more rustic or casual kitchens).

To get an idea of the range of colors available with granite take a look at Cactus Stone’s gallery of options that you can explore by type of stone or by color here. 

Tiger Stone granite a new countertop design from Cactus Stone

Tiger Stone Countertop Surface from Cactus Stone

Granite Countertops Natural but Not Perfect

Pro’s of Granite

If you love a rustic or natural look in your home then what could be considered “con’s” to some might not apply to you. It’s crystalline nature causes it to have tiny pits or spaces where the minerals collect along with natural fissures that appear as cracks but are not defects and won’t hurt the function or durability of your granite countertop.

Your countertop will not look the same as the one you might see on a showroom floor. This is the nature of “natural” countertop surfaces. The colors and patterns can vary greatly from slab to slab.

Durable but not indestructible. Granite countertops are extremely durable, scratch resistant, and impervious to water and heat. If not abused, it will hold its luster forever.

Con’s of Granite

  • It is impossible to hide a seam with granite.
  • Granite must be sealed
  • Granite is a natural stone product that has a certain degree of porosity and must be sealed before use.
  • Maintenance is required, the stone must be resealed at least once every three years, or you could have a 15-year sealer put on it so you don’t have to maintain it as often.
  • Can discolor in rare instances. While granite counters are ordinarily considered to be stain-resistant, some pigments or oils can be absorbed into the surface. This could cause discoloration. The sealer does not prevent this discoloration, but it slows it down to allow more time for clean-up. The more permanent 10-year sealer is warranted for 15 years against stains.
  • Because it is a natural rock, it can be chipped and broken if abused and is very difficult to repair. In rare instances, fissures can crack from intense heat.
  • Must be professionally installed.
Golden Flower Stone Granite Countertop Option from Cactus Stone

Golden Flower Stone Countertop Option from Cactus Stone

Quartz Countertops (Engineered Stone)

A man-made non-porous material, made from a mixture of 93% quartz and 7% resin binders and pigments. It has the strength of granite but is more flexible – making it somewhat easier to handle.

Quartz Countertop Pro’s

  • Needs no sealing
  • Mold & mildew resistant.
  • Extremely hygienic, making it a food-safe choice.
  • Uniform appearance.It has the general appearance of natural stone, but with a consistent pattern and color. (The final product should be very close to what you see in the showroom.)

Quartz Countertop Con’s

  • Seams are visible.
  • Durable but not indestructible.
  • It is resistant to stains caused by wine, fruit juices, liquid food coloring, tea, nail polish and remover, and felt-tip markers. It can be damaged by high heat and prolonged exposure to heat. As with any other stone or surface material, strong chemicals and solvents such as Drano®, Liquid Plumr®, oven cleaners and floor strippers will damage the surface.
  • Continuous long-term exposure to direct sunlight (UV rays) may result in slight discoloration of Quartz Stone countertops.
  • Must be professionally installed
  • Is much heavier than granite

On granite and quartz with polished finishes, do not clean with any ammonia based products (like glass plus) as they will, over time, etch the polished finish.

Solid Surface Countertops also known as Corian®

This is a man-made solid surface is a 100% acrylic material which is colored by resins.

Corian® Pros:

  • Uniform appearance, consistent pattern and color.
  • Final product very similar to showroom sample.
  • Seams are inconspicuous to invisible.
  • Virtually maintenance free, no sealing required

Corian® Cons:

  • Durable but not indestructible
  • Mold and mildew resistant.
  • Susceptible to heat damage and burns )Avoid exposing the surface to harsh chemicals such as paint removers/thinners, acetone based cleaners, stove/drain cleaners, etc. If these come in contact with the surface, quickly wash off with water, using the appropriate safety measures to avoid injury.
  • Must be professionally installed.
  • Must be professionally re-surfaced.

There a lot of information here to digest but don’t let that discourage you, this is where our expert design and construction team come in. Just give us a call or click here to fill out the form to schedule your free consultation either in our showroom or in your home.

Source: Yahoo

Laminate Countertops

Solid Surface Countertops

  • Corian
  • Surell (by Formica)
  • Gibralter (by WilsonArt)
  • Fountainhead® – by Formica solid surfacing material is a polyester resin-based product. Because it has solid color throughout, it can be routed, shaped, sculpted, engraved, and sandblasted. Fountainhead® is available in sheet stock for counter and wall applications, kitchen and bathroom bowls, vanity tops, and shower bases, and is offered in an extensive range of colors and textures.
  • Avonite
  • LG Hi-Macs
amazing custom countertops

Quartz – Engineered Stone

Granite – Natural Stone

Traditional kitchen with large center island

Metal Countertops

  • Stainless Steel
  • Copper

Recycled – Glass & Concrete

As you can see your countertop options are limited only by your imagination. Our designers will help you select the best option keeping your design options and lifestyle in mind.