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Building a Home

How to Choose the Best Countertop for Your Home

Published on:

5/23/18

written by:

Carrie Barker

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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.

How to choose best countertopQUARTZ COUNTERS

LG Viatera Quartz Countertops

Quartz Countertops in my Kitchen

PRO

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!

CONS 

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.

VERDICT

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 COUNTERS

PROS

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!

CON

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.

VERDICT

As long as your granite is sealed properly, it is another FABULOUS choice for kitchens and bathrooms!

MARBLE COUNTERS

PRO

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!

CON

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!

VERDICT

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!

CONCLUSION

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?!

  1. Brandy says:

    One note that I learned with our granite countertops in our current home (I’m getting quartz for our new home) is that you can “cut” the countertops with a knife, but it was a porcelain knife. I had no idea! I had always cut directly on our countertops, because they never scratched or got cuts with my knives. Then my grandparents got us a super amazing, never dulls, ridiculously sharp porcelain nice. Yep, that knife can make cuts in your granite. They aren’t deep, but you can definitely see fine little cuts where I had been chopping some apples. Just an FYI.

  2. Denise says:

    I love everything about your house…the details and color choices are all so well thought out and put together. We are in the process of building and plan to have an asphalt roof with the metal roofing over our porches. We’ve been searching for the right color of metal roofing to match the asphalt we like and are having SOOO much trouble finding a good match. When we saw your house, it was the first one we’ve seen where the two colors go perfectly together. Is there any way you could give us the brand and color that you chose for your asphalt and metal roofing? We are using gray for the body of our house and love how yours looks. Thank you.

    • Thank you so much! I SO wish I could give you this info, but I never wrote it down! We built our home long before I ever knew I would share sources with the world (therefore I didn’t keep the best notes). I plan to look for all of my roof information in the near future and will add it to my home exterior sources when I find it. Sorry about that!

  3. I appreciate you helping me learn more about the different type of counter tops. I never knew marble counter tops were so beautiful. I will have to keep something like this in mind.

  4. Ellie Davis says:

    I loved that you elaborated on the benefits of quartz countertops since it does not require maintenance. My husband and I are thinking about remodeling our kitchen, and we are looking for advice to choose the right materials. I will let him know about the benefits of quartz to choose the right countertop materials.

  5. […] You might also enjoy HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST COUNTERTOPS FOR YOUR HOME. […]

  6. Carrie says:

    We are struggling to find a quartz to go with our new kitchen which will be bright white cabinets on the perimeter and gray on the island. We don’t want to quartz to look “dirty” next to the bright white. Any suggestions? What color is your quartz in the picture?

  7. Sunny says:

    Hi Carrie! I totally agree with you! Choosing a stone countertop will really depend on the user’s preference and home situation.

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