Counters are one of the most expensive finishes you will choose for your home … this fact ALONE makes this an overwhelming decision! Selecting a countertop doesn’t have to be hard though … all you need is a little info so you can confidently choose the best countertop for your home!
I’ll compare three of the most popular (higher-end) countertop options for you: quartz, granite, and marble. The material you choose really just boils down to which option is best for YOUR family, YOUR lifestyle, YOUR level of maintenance desired, and (of course) YOUR budget.
Quartz requires NO maintenance! It is a non-porous surface, so no sealing required! Whoo hoo! I have quartz in my entire house … kitchen, bathrooms, basement bar. I LOVE it and would definitely use in quartz again in a future home!
There is ONE con that I see with Quartz … it isn’t heat resistant. I learned this the hard way! (I’m here to make sure you learn from MY mistakes!) A hot pot or pan will take the finish right off of your quartz!
Another con (to some people … not to me) is that quartz is synthetic … it is a man-made product. I personally like this because what you see is what you get. You can look at a quartz sample and you will get exactly what you see. There isn’t the intense variation that you find in natural stone.
Other than the heat issue (which can be resolved easily … put a hotpad down first!), quartz is a highly durable, zero maintenance, FABULOUS choice for kitchens and bathrooms!
Granite is another HIGHLY durable product. It can take a serious beating … and even a hot pot! Although I still recommend putting a hot pad down (just in case). You can even cut with sharp knife directly on the counter … your granite will remain unharmed, but you’ll dull your knife.
Granite is a natural product, and therefore each slab will be unique and slightly different. You can pick out the exact slab that you want for your home!
Granite is incredibly strong and very low-maintenance, BUT it does require sealing. It is naturally porous (which means liquids can seep into microscopic holes) so make sure to seal it at install (and again as needed). If properly sealed (a.k.a. let the professionals do this task), granite is virtually non-porous.
As long as your granite is sealed properly, it is another FABULOUS choice for kitchens and bathrooms!
Marble is a product that I (personally) never even considered using because I always hear ‘marble is SO high-maintenance’. This is TRUE … however, after doing research for this post, I can see why people are so obsessed with marble. It is stunning … not practical, but STUNNING!
Marble is HIGH-MAINTENANCE, but if you are prepared for this and ok with this, then go for it! Just make sure you are comfortable with the patina look … or you are comfy forbidding your friends from drinking red wine around your kitchen island! And you might not even want to let your children IN the kitchen! J/K! Sort of J/K!
Marble is another natural product, so there is variation in slabs. It is highly porous, so you MUST seal it PROPERLY and OFTEN (again, let the professionals do this)! Drink spills and fruit acids can stain and etch the marble if not cleaned up immediately!
Marble does NOT take a beating well! As a matter of fact, a long metal necklace or belt buckle hitting the corner just so can crack the counter. Yikes!
In all honesty, marble is NOT a practical counter choice for a family. If you choose marble, just be fully prepared for the level of maintenance that comes with it! If you love the look of marble but don’t want the maintenance, there are many quartz options that closely resemble marble! I see this as the best of both worlds!
Choosing your countertop all boils down to what product YOU want and the option you think is best for YOUR family! If you are highly detail-oriented (and a perfectionist like me), then you probably want to steer clear of marble.
Don’t let budget be your guide on your counter surface. (You heard me right.) You can find any of these three counter surfaces at the high-end OR the low-end of the higher-end countertops (does that even make sense?!). There are higher-end granites and there are lower-end granites … this goes for marble and quartz products too. Choose the material you like best and then find a budget-appropriate level of the counter surface you want!
I hope you now feel armed and more confident to choose the best countertop for your home! I want to hear from YOU … what counter surface do you have, and would you use it again in a future home?!