Kitchen Countertop Comparison (and which counter I picked!)
The pros and cons of some of the most popular kitchen countertops so you can make the best decision for your kitchen.
It’s been a crazy whirlwind of a few weeks over here. I launched my e-design business (you can read more about that here). And whilst I was knee deep in starting my little business, I got the urge to replace our counters in our kitchen and kid’s bathroom.
It was mentally not a good idea. But I pulled through and I have beautiful new counters to show you….soon…they haven’t been installed yet. I just got really excited about this post.
I needed this post before I went out looking for counters. I learned alot these past few weeks.
It’s been a few years since I walked around a stone yard looking for new counters. Alot has changed over the years. There were a few new faces at the stone yard that I made friends with.
And I saw some old friends too…like granite. Let’s just start this post with the most well known counter and my old friend..
I had granite in our old house and I had granite on my island in our current home. If I could have found a granite that I LOVED, I would have installed granite again in a heartbeat.
We beat up our granite and it held up so well. I put pans straight from the oven directly onto our granite with no problems. I cut food directly on my granite with no scratching.
Don’t tell my husband, but I even stood on my granite.
Just once…to install new pendants. Ok maybe twice.
The only con I can give you about granite is that you are supposed to seal it. I have never sealed our granite in either of our homes. I probably should not admit to that but I’m just being honest.
One thing is for sure though, granite has come a long way over the years. I saw some beautiful granite in my hunt for new counters.
I saw honed black leather granite that looked just like soapstone. It was so pretty. I would never had guessed it was granite.
Here’s another one that was pretty too.
This granite was a TOP contender for my kitchen. I just wasn’t sure how it would have looked in my kitchen but it was so pretty in person.
For the most part, granite is the most affordable stone option out there. It really does depend on the stone but from what I was seeing, granite is going to be your best bet if you are on a budget.
Quartz counters are probably the next most well known countertop out there. To be honest, quartz was high up on my list. I really thought I would be installing quartz in my kitchen.
Until I did my homework.
While quartz has a ton of pros going for it, it’s one con was a big no no for my family.
Quartz is not heat resistant and for the past 4 years I have been mindlessly putting hot pans from our oven directly onto our granite counters.
I knew changing our counters from granite to quartz could be a huge mistake. And someone in our house was bound to melt our counters (and by someone, I mean me….or really my teenage daughter who loves to bake)
Quartz is man made and by definition is ground up particles of stone that is bound together with plastic….therefore making it non heat resistant as you can melt the plastic.
Here’s what a burn mark on quartz counters looks like
If you are someone who doesn’t have to worry about melting your counters, quartz is for you. It’s low maintenance and very durable.
And since it is not a stone (some might think that can be a con) it isn’t porous, which means quartz won’t stain and does not need to be sealed.
Quartz tends to be a bit more expensive than granite. Some quartz can be very expensive and some quartz can be pretty affordable. Again, it depends on the slab
If you want the marble look but not the marble maintenance, quartz might be your best bet.
I loved the “Calcatta” Quartz
Some of these tend to be more affordable
I also fell in love with this quartz
This quartz was a tad bit more expensive but not too bad. No need to sell any of your children for these counters. (Kidding!)
Talk about selling your children. (Kidding again!) One of my new friends I made at the stone yard was Quartzite and it looks like we are going to be friends for a very loooong time. Quartzite counters are the newest addition to our home.
I hope to update with a picture soon of my new counters…pinky promise.
Quartzite is kind of new to me. I’ve heard about it here and there but never really did my research. I just assumed it was out of my league.
Quartzite ranges in price from reasonable to “sell your children” expensive. Again, I am just kidding. I’ll stop kidding about selling my children.
I found the most affordable quartzite I could find because that is what I do.
Quartzite was on the top of my list because it is as durable as granite, heat resistant, and there wasn’t a slab of quartzite I didn’t think was pretty. I wanted them all.
Since Quartzite is a stone, all slabs will look different and unique, which I loved. And because it is a stone, quartzite needs to be sealed.
My favorite Quartzite was the Taj Mahal quartzite. The is THE quartzite…the quartzite all other quartzites look up to. It is so pretty.
It is also not cheap. Fortunately, I just couldn’t picture it in my kitchen and I didn’t know how it would vibe with my cabinets.
Whew, dodged that bullet. Take that back, my husband dodged that bullet
Mont Blanc is also a popular quartzite and more of an affordable option when it comes to quartzites
A close friend of Mont Blanc is Aria and another affordable option
My counter is called Luci de Luna and is also a close cousin of Mont Blanc
The one thing to be careful about with choosing your quartzite counters is that not all quartzites are equal. Some quartzites can be considered a “soft” quartzite and is really a Dolomite (we’ll talk about Dolomite later).
Dolomite isn’t as durable as a true quartzite. Some fabricators might classify a Dolomite as a Soft Quartzite.
If that is the case, keep in mind your soft counters aren’t going to be nearly as durable as a true quartzite
Another well known countertop is Marble. Marble is oh so pretty…but oh so NOT a great countertop choice for kitchens if you are Type A. Marble will look it’s best the day it is installed in your kitchen.
Marble is a soft stone and can stain and etch very easily. You do have to seal Marble as well. Some people say that once sealed, marble can be pretty durable.
Some on the other hand, might not say the same about marble.
Marble is a timeless stone in my opinion. I highly considered it for my kitchen…but then I remembered I have kids.
It is so pretty though.
If you are dead set about having marble in your kitchen, rumor has it that honed marble will show less etching. Some people also embrace the look of marble as it ages and will call all the etching and scratching “character”.
I was very surprised with some of the pricing for Marble. Some slabs I thought were beautiful were classified in the same group as some granite I was seeing.
A new kid (to me) on the block or in this case, the stone yard, is Dolomite. Dolomite is a second cousin to marble and is also very pretty.
Dolmite is slightly harder than marble, but softer than granite. It can still scratch,etch and stain. Most Dolomites will be white or gray with some veining. And since it’s closely related to marble, it will mimic the look of marble
Again, since Dolomite is a stone, it needs to be sealed. Dolomite is also pretty reasonable in price. It just depends on the slab.
Another bad blogger moment. I didn’t get one single picture of porcelain countertops. I saw them but never pulled my phone out. What is wrong with me??
Porcelain countertops were completely new to me. I knew I wasn’t likely going to be using porcelain in my kitchen so I wasn’t really paying attention when the sales person at the stone yard was talking about them.
Here is what I do know though. I’ll link an article too that has more information. Porcelain counters are very pretty and many of them looked just like marble. Porcelain is very durable (possibly more durable than granite) and heat resistant. It has a ton of pros going for it.
The biggest thing I noticed with porcelain counters is that the slabs I was seeing were very thin…very thin. I almost wondered if that would look weird in a kitchen. Also, fabrication and installation of porcelain counters is tricky. Because of this, these counters might be more expensive and some fabricators won’t go near porcelain counters.
Here’s a good and pretty in depth article about Porcelain counters if you want to learn more.
Well, I hope this little blog post helps you. It’s been a long few weeks trying to find the perfect counters for my space. I can’t wait to update once my counters are installed!
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