In order to figure out the best material for your countertop surfaces, it is important to determine your needs in the kitchen. If you perform a significant amount of food preparation on countertop surfaces, you may not want to select a material that will not show knife marks or stains. This is just one example of what to look for when choosing a countertop surface. At Granite Unlimited, Inc. we are your premier source for countertop options to help you obtain the optimum countertop for your kitchen space.
Below we take a look at four different types of countertop surfaces and their characteristics to help you choose the right countertop option for your kitchen.
The material called granite was once found in some of the most expensive homes. However, today it is one of the more popular materials for kitchen countertops. Granite is available in a wide range of colors, including everything from mottled white and deep red, to midnight black and variegated browns, to vibrant blues. This material has strong heat resistance for purposes that involve cooking and serving food. It also does not show water stains. Granite is not easy to break, scratch, or crack under normal wear and tear conditions. It is necessary on occasion to add sealants to granite in order to ensure its sheen and longevity.
As a high quality natural stone, marble is available in a smaller number of color patterns than granite. It is also a softer material than granite. Marble is an excellent surface for activities such as making fresh pasta and baking. It is the most porous material between granite and quartz. The material may reveal cuts caused by knives. In addition, marble is particularly sensitive to certain chemical cleaners and acidic liquids. In order to properly protect the surface, a high-grade sealant is required. This type of sealant is often applied by installation professionals or manufacturers. Marble countertops are ideal if you want a unique design with natural modeling and irregular veining patterns. In addition, marble darkens somewhat over time.
Quartz (Engineered Stone)
Consisting of mostly quartz, engineered stone is an exceptionally hard material that does not require sealing. Modern versions of engineered stone include a variety of palettes and patterns which earlier versions did not have. The appearance of natural quartz can be somewhat bland and unappealing without color enhancements added. Quartz has a relatively uniform composition without the many veins, flecks, or natural grains of granite or marble. It is an ideal option if you need a nonporous surface that requires no maintenance other than cleaning.
Soapstone is derived from quarried stone – as a steatite stone it consists of dolomite, magnesite, and chlorite. With talc as one of its elements, soapstone is softer to the touch than many countertop natural stone materials. It is more malleable than granite which also means it is not as subject to unexpected cracking from weight or stress. Another feature that sets it apart from granite, slate, and sandstone is its nonporous characteristic.