POPULAR COUNTERTOP SURFACES
The table below outlines the 9 most popular choices for countertop surfaces. We have include details about the benefits and mintenance recommendations for each type to assist in customer's selection of the best surface for their project.
CHOOSING YOUR COUNTERTOP SURFACE
Granite is a natural material that is both distinctive and durable for a beautiful kitchen. Granites may have some white in the background, but mostly they are found in colorful shades with striking flecks – reds, greens, golds, creams, rusts, blues, silvers and even blacks are colors you can find in granite. Granite has a lower porosity than some natural stones, and many types of granite do not need to be regularly sealed. Some types of granite may need to be sealed at the time of installation. Preview Granite Choices >
Quartz is a marriage of a natural mineral and modern technology. The natural mineral quartz is, by itself, not much more than a sandy powder. Bonded together with manmade polymers, it becomes a highly durable countertop selection with the sparkling beauty of a natural looking stone and the wherewithal to hold up in the kitchen. As a manmade product, it can also be produced in a variety of colors to meet the demand for the most popular looks – it is even available in options that look like granite and marble. Quartz is available in pure white and other solid colors giving projects a more monochromatic and minimalistic designed for contemporary designed homes. Quartz is non-porous, does not require sealing, and is also heat resistant, chemical resistant, and fends off etches and scratches. Preview Quartz Choices >
Marble is also a natural stone that is easily recognizable. Its characteristic veining and bold, white backdrop makes it a classic option that can achieve modern looks. Marble is most commonly known as a bright white or grey look, but it also comes in other shades like pinks, blacks, oranges and reds. Marble is a porous stone and it is known to absorb spills as well as scratch and etch. With proper care, a marble countertop will stay beautiful so don’t rule it out. Sealants and cleansers for marble have come a long way! Preview Marble Choices >
Quartzite is often confused with quartz, but it is not the same. Quartzite is a natural stone that originated as sandstone and also includes the mineral quartz, which is what gives it sparkle. In essence, quartzite is a fusion of marble and granite, creating the elegant look of marble, with the durability of granite. Like quartz countertops, quartzite doesn’t etch, but does require sealing to protect its natural beauty. Preview Quartzite Choices >
Onyx countertops are a rare option – they are striking and luxurious and often used for vertical surfaces as bold statement walls in high-end residential and commercial designs. As a flat surface in the kitchen, onyx can be a functional piece of art you get to see every day, especially with under-counter lighting, as onyx has a transparent quality like no other. Onyx generally comes in swirling and pastel color patterns, and each piece is as unusual as the last. It is most suited as an accent countertop or bar area that does not see as much traffic, though with proper care, polished and sealed, onyx performs similarly to marble. Preview Onyx Choices >
Limestone is usually found in soft beiges and tans similar to its sister stone, marble, and is a subtle and comforting option that adds warmth and a welcoming nature to a room. It is a stone softer than granite and marble, which means it should be used as countertops in lower traffic areas or in a kitchen where hard objects will not be dropped on it to avoid cracks or chips. In terms of porosity, like granite and marble, with proper sealing, it can be protected from most kitchen culprits. Preview Limestone Choices >
Soap Stone is a classic choice that is coming back into popularity for both indoor and outdoor applications, as well as for kitchen countertops. It is a durable stone that is not very absorbent, so stains do not penetrate easily. It can be sealed or oiled, and owners who enjoy ageing a stone will see it darken with a lovely patina over the years. Soap Stone is also easily refinished and restored, so it can be updated over time if desired. Preview Soap Stone Choices >
Travertine, like quartz and granite, is a durable countertop solution, and highly versatile. The creamy neutral beiges and browns of Travertine lends itself to classic Old Word style; transforming kitchens into warm, inviting spaces. It comes in both slabs and coordinating tiles that can be used for flooring and backsplashes to create a muted look.Preview Travertine Choices >
Venetian Marble countertops are an affordable, sophisticated, and durable alternative to cultured marble, tile, and natural stone. Venetian marble is recycled natural stone that is pressed and heated to create an environmentally friendly countertop option. This engineered marble surface gives you all the benefits of traditional marble slabs but at a fraction of the cost. Its engineered strength also makes it much more resilient than cultured marble. Easy to clean and highly sustainable, Venetian marble countertops are an ideal option for those looking for the elegance of marble and granite stones but desiring lasting durability and longevity. Preview Venetian Marble Choices >
COUNTERTOP INSTALLATION TIPS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Selecting the right countertop for your home can be an overwhelming process. The following countertop installation tips and recommendations are to help ensure a smooth process.
- Countertop installation is a part of the construction process. Expect some noise, dust, and general interruption of the room in which they are being installed. If you will be living in the home during this process, plan accordingly to minimize the disruption on daily activities. Most countertop installation projects (not including the backsplash) will take several hours.
- For the safety of everyone involved, please keep children and pets away from the installation space.
- If plumbing or electrical changes are planned as a result of new cabinetry or countertops, schedule the appropriate professional to disconnect/connect as needed on installation day.
- To minimize dust, cover open doorways and vents with plastic sheeting, or ask your installation team to do that for you. If the countertops are being cut onsite, cover furniture and carpet to minimize dust.
- Be sure to create an obstruction free pathway, both indoors and out, to allow the installers to safely move the countertops into your home. This includes removing any artwork from the walls in the hallways.
- Remove all items from upper and lower cabinets, and all fragile items including artwork, antiques, mirrors and other valuables prior to installation.
- Countertops are typically installed after flooring, cabinets, and appliances. This is true for both new builds, and remodeling projects.
- Since countertops sit directly on the cabinets, the cabinetry must be installed prior to the final measurements, fabrication, and installation.
- If an apron or farmhouse sink is being used, it must be installed prior to template process.
- For the final measure and template process, be sure to have your sink, faucets, soap pumps, and cooktops on hand. This is essential for the installers to make accurate cuts in your countertop.
- If a backsplash is being installed, confirm with your countertop installer that they also do backsplash installations. You may need to find a different contractor to install the backsplash.
- If the backsplash is going up to meet the bottom of the upper cabinets, around a range hood, or to the base of a microwave, it is essential that they be all installed prior to final measuring and installation.
- All appliances including ranges, refrigerators, dishwashers and microwaves need to be in place prior to installation process.
- After installation of countertops, final wall preparation can begin. Do not paint, tile or wallpaper areas above countertops prior to installation.
- Contrasting countertops may be a consideration, determine if you want a different countertop color on your island.
- Due to slab sizes, as well as variation in kitchen layouts, seams are typically required. The placement of these seams should be discussed with your contractor.